This holiday season, consider incorporating some self-care. Thinking about the holidays, let alone experiencing them, can be overwhelming. Often, our daily healthy habits go by the wayside. The good news is that we can create holidays that are more joyful and less stressful. First and foremost, give yourself permission to opt out of some things – it is alright to say no! Maybe it means you go to one side of the family for Thanksgiving and one side for Christmas/Hanukkah, (or just stay home). Maybe you send your regrets to a party or two rather than accepting every invitation.
Next, accept that you don’t have to do everything perfectly. The decorations, parties and presents you see in the media, or even at other’s homes are not necessary. If you don’t have the time, funds, or energy, find a level of engagement in the holiday season that works for you and your family. What kids want most is time. Sharing yourself is really what the holidays are about. Think about fun ways you can spend time as a family. Try giving experiences instead of stuff.
This may seem counterintuitive, but be selfish. This means doing something just for yourself when everyone is grabbing for your time. Put yourself on your calendar and give yourself time each day to refresh and recharge. Self-care can include just five minutes of breathing, stretching, mediation, exercise, or thinking about things and people who bring you gratitude. Whatever you need to do to be fully present is necessary. Think about the alternative: a stressed-out, stretched-thin individual who is desperately reaching for the finish line rather than present in the moment.
Fill your cup!
Kim Oliva, Integrative Health Coach