This time is an opportunity to turn that enthusiasm inward to create a manageable self-care (or self-sustainability) routine to get you through it all. Winter is afterall an amazing time for introspection and reflection-- if you can slow down enough, that is. Here are some tips for getting through the holidays without hating it all.
How to practice self-care during the Holiday season
Between work and personal commitments my to-do list can get long very quickly during this season. Does it for you as well? I've learned to be more intentional with what I actually put on my to do list in general, and the holidays are no different. If you haven't read my post about productivity and getting shit done, make sure to read it for tips on creating more time and energy without sacrificing impact. And more time and energy means more time to practice self care during the holiday season!
To begin your to-do list, ask yourself these questions to decide what goes on it:
- Does this need to be done? If the first answer is yes, then ask yourself the next question. If it’s no, give yourself permission to not give a fuck about it! (those fucks are precious, my friend.)
- Does this need to be done by me? If not, you can assign this task to someone else in your life- a co-worker, family member, or a friend.
- Does this need to be done right now (this week)? If it doesn’t need to be done right now, it doesn’t belong on your to do list but on your project management list, like on Asana.
This is something I've only recently begun implementing but it really works. I've started scheduling in all the things that are on my to do list onto my calendar each week. This gives me a clear picture on where I'm spending my time and making sure my priorities get done.
To do this, first take a look at your pared down to-do list. Remember that this list shouldn't be long because we're being very intentional with what we put on it. Next, decide what your top 3 priorities are for the week. Then, schedule the top three things that you have to get done in your calendar first and give yourself ample time to accomplish them. I like to get the big things out of the way on Monday/ Tuesday so that I have the rest of the week for small stuff and rest.
3. Say No more often than you say Yes
This is a tough one. Saying no can be hard, especially if you're a people pleaser. But doing so is so important for self care over the holiday season. I think this becomes even more crucial during the holidays with parties, get-togethers and other social commitments. Remember, your fucks are precious so don’t worry about disappointing people!
Think of it this way; every time that you say Yes to something, you are actually saying No to something. For example, if I say yes to attending a holiday party with my friends on a Friday night, I'm saying No to having my nightly self care ritual, which I've been looking forward to all week. See what I mean? Does this make it easier to say no?
Here are some helpful questions that I ask myself before making a commitment to something:
- If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to? (see my example above) Decide what's more important to you and trust your intuition.
- Is this in alignment with my personal/professional goals? If it's not, the answer should be a clear no.
When I practice self care during the holidays, I make sure to spend time in sacred space daily. For me, this is making time for a bath, doing my morning Tarot card pull, or simply sitting quietly with a cup of tea. Remember that sacred space doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be a place to gather your thoughts and connect back to yourself and to Spirit. Building an Altar as a way to focus your intentions and energy and is useful when faced with the hectic pace of the holiday season.
Start small and stay in your space for 5-10 minutes each day. Continue to spend more time there as needed. I promise that you'll come to enjoy this peaceful time away from the craziness of the holidays!
5. Add a simple self care routine
What better way to end a busy day than with a nightly self care routine? A simple self care routine can help to reduce any tension, remove negative energy and help you to relax right before bed. As a self care witch, I have a routine for both the morning and at night. If the beginning of the day works better for you, start your day magical! The point is, make sure to practice self-care everyday - you deserve it!
I like to journal every day as a part of my self care ritual. However, I find myself looking inward more over the holidays. As everything around us dies down and the days become increasingly shorter, it is a natural opportunity to make more space for reflection in our lives. Winter is a great time to root down, hibernate, and reflect.
Whether your reflection is meditation, journaling or something else, it's important to take pause in the day and check in with yourself. I find that when I'm too busy, I don't check in often enough and this leaves me feeling frazzled and unbalanced. When I'm not aligned, I'm not showing up for the world in a way that I can, and want to. Reflection is a huge part of how I live intentionally and it becomes vital over the holidays. If you need prompts or a way to make journaling a practice, I highly recommend these workbooks.
Start with small changes for a big impact
So these are my 6 tips on practicing self care over the holidays. This isn't an exhaustive list of all the things you MUST do. These are just some tips I have found along the way that help me have the time to do what I love and to take care of myself. Pick one that resonates with you the most and start small. Self care shouldn't be a chore, it's something that you can look forward to so keep it simple at first.
When I give myself the love that I deserve, I feel whole and fulfilled and can give the best of myself to others. The holiday season doesn't have to be a time of stress and anxiety. You can find calm and peace by just adding a few self love rituals into your daily life.
Tell me, what's one tip that I missed in this post. How do you practice self care over the holidays. Let me know if the comments below!