Guys, holidays are weird. They stir up a lot of emotion in people. That’s why I thought some holiday self care tips would do us some good. This time of year, there’s joy, cheer, tradition and a lot of love. It’s beautiful and contagious and just plain awesome.
But if we’re getting real, all that excitement can be a bit draining- it’s A LOT to make every holiday party, see every loved one, pick all the perfect gifts to give friends and family, effortlessly wrap them like you’re Martha freakin’ Stewart, and stay healthy and happy (and rested!) during the process. And if you’re more of a perfectionist, you might pressure yourself to practically become one of Santa’s Elves come December 1st.
Although I wish I was Buddy the Elf, I’m sadly not and I think the holiday hoopla really stirs up a lot of expectation to be so. damn. happy.
The MOST important part of this time of year is to be present. Both in the company of others and with yourself. Enjoy it…. The holidays only comes once a year after all. But also cut yourself some slack if your sister’s, best friend’s, son’s gift ends up being not the most innovative.
You’re going to be GIVING so much of yourself this month. It’s important to remember that you won’t be your BEST self for your loved ones during this time unless you’re being good to YOU as well.
There could be some not so cheerful stuff going through your head this month. Such as missing a love one who’s passed, or challenging your negative beliefs about food and your body when there’s food – EVERYWHERE, or just feeling a bit lonely this Christmas (divorce and break ups happen…) when that mistletoe is staring you in the face. Who came up with that tradition, anyway?
These kind of feelings are okay, too.
Speaking of traditions. Usually when one is disrupted due to a circumstance like I listed above, that can kind of bum us out, understandably. Time passes and things change. And we as human beings can be a little put off by change. Noooo, really??
Let’s face it, for a lot of people the month of December doesn’t look like a Christmas movie. Real life is still going on. Like careers, kids and more. There’s a magic in the air no doubt, and the decorations and traditions are fun. But responsibilities don’t pause, bills don’t take a break, and your social calendar is more crammed than it’s been in months.
Again, all the more reason to prioritize your self-care routine this month. It’s merited, it’s deserved, and every Sunday of December I’m going to show you how to do it.
Each week we’re gonna take self-care a step… further.
Below are the 4 topics we’ll be discussing in December. I start with the basics, our actions. Then we go a bit deeper with words, followed by core beliefs (and why they can be so triggered during the holidays) and lastly how it’s actually a form of self care to dream of a future full of comfort – plus it’s perfectly timed with the New Year around the corner.
Part 1: Actions. The first, and most simple step.
Part 2: Words. The spoken and the silent.
Part 3: Beliefs. What you think you become.
Part 4: Dreams. Manifesting a life full of comfort.
So let’s jump right into part 1, shall we? First week of December, we’re going to think about our actions and how small acts of love and care for ourselves can replenish our energy to give.
Challenge yourself to find NEW ways to care for YOU. Beyond the pedicures, cups of tea and bubble baths (although those are all fantastic). I broke down the types of self care activities into a categories below.
Let’s start with ACTIVE self-care.
The stuff you actually doooo (or spend a little money on).
At home spa day- XMAS style. Light candles that are holiday scented, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your bath water.
Work out! Go to a fitness class you haven’t been to before. I suggest hot yoga- warms you right up from the winter chill!
Wake up 20-30 minutes early and dry brush, oil pull, and drink warm lemon water.
Order a healthy meal delivery or grocery deliver. Take the pressure off, but know you’ll be eating well.
Buy yourself flowers. Arrange them. Put them in the place you spend the most time.
Drink some greens. Make smoothies and fresh green juice.
Listen to a great podcast.
Get yourself some winter-y loose leaf teas. Make yourself a cup of tea mindfully.
Volunteer. Materialism is in the air. Give back, and you’ll feel incredible.
Go listen to live music. I’m not sure why, but I’ve (pretty much) never seen a live performance I didn’t enjoy.
These are the somewhat typical self-care acts we think of that include pampering, doing something comforting or fun, or trying a new activity. These are fantastic for the days you want to just make yourself feel special, and when you want to invest in yourself (both through time or money).
Next up, SPIRITUAL acts of self-love/care.
Things you can do alone, simply, silently and without very many things.
Meditating for a full 20-30 minutes. Ahhhhh. Learn how to make this less challenging here.
Reading a book about mindfulness, meditation, self love. What I’m currently reading? The Untethered Soul. I waited until I felt ready for this one, and started it last night. It inspired this series of posts!
Coloring a mandala.
Praying or writing to a higher power (the universe, God, that’s up to you).
NAPPING! Sleep cures all. So does a laugh.
More specifically, a gratitude journal (SO important this time of year)
Yoga! Doesn’t need to be a class. It feels amazing to flow freely and just go with it. OR sit in child’s pose or legs up on the wall pose with hand at your heart and the other hand on your belly. Listen to your breath.
Unschedule something. Take a commitment off the list – I suggest something work related.
Go for a run or walk without a phone or music. Notice the noises around you.
Write affirmations. **More on how to do this next week!
Sing your heart out to Christmas songs in the car (yeah… I consider this spiritual)
These self-care suggestions are great for when you’re feeling tired, worn down, frazzled, over committed, and cynical. Cause it happens! If you find yourself getting easily frustrated by the holiday traffic at the stores, or just can’t imagine the thought of going over to your cousin’s for drinks, probably a sign you need to check in with yourself. Use them to replenish yourself emotionally, to quiet your mind, and prepare for the next round of holiday commitments!
SOCIAL ways to care for yourself.
Because it feels amazing to be in the company of those who lift you up.
Facetime someone who lives far from your home (I do this with Sapana of Real and Vibrant a lot, ha!)
Call your grandma. Don’t laugh! It brings grandparents (or any older family member) SO much joy, and will make you happy, too. And don’t tell me you don’t forget to call her sometimes!
Go for a long brisk walk with a friend. Snow on the ground? Bundle up and link arms with your bestie. Just get moving (and chatting).
Make xmas shopping a day with your girlfriends. Don’t run out to the mall after work one day when you’re already dreading it. Bring some friends, help each other find the best deals, take a break for lunch, and make the whole experience less stressful.
Host or put together a dinner for friends. Everyone does it for Friendsgiving in November, let’s try it again in December.
Plan a holiday movie night. Snuggle up with the boo, wear fuzzy socks or themed PJS, make hot chocolate. Turn on your favorite Christmas Classic – the whole nine. Nobody is judging you for being a kid again.
Plan a new tradition with someone. Go out and make something up and promise one another you’ll do it again next year.
These kind of self-care activities are the REASON for the season. To spread love and kindness to those who love you. With the emphasis on tradition and cheer this time of year, chances are these types of self-care will feel really fulfilling and it’s the stuff memories are made of. Because do you really remember the gifts you received growing up? Nah….
CREATIVE acts of love and kindness.
Gets your out of your comfort zone, into your creative zone, and sparks joy.
Make your own beauty products – Try the book Homemade Beauty for Ideas
Spend the day with your camera. Keep it in your bag, capture anything and everything that brings you joy. Feel free to use your phone.
If you’re like me, editing photos on various apps (VSCO, Snapseed,) can be really…fun. Maybe it’s the blogger in me, but download these apps and play around with your favorite shots. Don’t worry about the instagram. Just have fun.
Get in the kitchen and cook. Experiment. There are a few recipes on this blog if you need inspiration…
Draw. If you suck, who cares? If you don’t suck… keep drawing/painting/creating.
Do an activity you used to love as a child. I used to take ballet and ride horses. What’s your thing?
Make your own gifts for co-workers and friends. Or make your own ornaments or decorations. Note: This is only self-care if you enjoy DIY projects, not if you think it’s what you should like doing.
Write. Write letters, write blog posts, write poems. Just write.
These types of self care build confidence. Creative activities put you in your “flow state” which is incredibly therapeutic and very mindful.
The challenge this week? Find time to do two things from the list above, in two different categories. Maybe you’re used to social or active self-care, so try creative.
If completing two is a breeze, do two more from the remaining lists. Schedule it in your calendar if you must. Don’t allow all the OTHER things on your to do list keep you from having an enjoyable, relaxing, and self-loving week.
Comment below which you’ve tried in the past, what you’re committing to this week, and what you think of the idea to GIVE to yourself, to be your best self for the others in your life this season?
And get ready to tackle WORDS – the spoken and the silent self talk, next self-care Sunday!