mental health

Practicing self-care during holidays – 9 best tips

Are you practicing self-care during the holidays?

And just with the blink of an eye, the holiday season will be knocking our doors. Though this time of the year is something we all desperately wait for, it brings in much stress and anxiety. Thus, practicing self-care during holidays is super essential.

With Christmas being around the corner, I know how terribly busy you would be in getting gifts, preparing meal-plan, wrapping gifts, arranging things for guests and the list is never-ending.

practicing self-care during holidays

In this struggle of getting everything done  ‘perfectly on time,’ we sacrifice our own self-care routine. This makes us feel super irritating and frustrated during holidays because we are so tired; mentally and physically that we don’t even wish to celebrate the most awaited day.

I so don’t want this to happen to you because of which, I have some easy self-care tips for you to practice during holidays to avoid burnout.

Why do you need a holiday self-care plan ‘NOW’?

‘But I already have my regular self-care routine, why do I even need one for holidays?’ I was in the same place and believe me when I say, you do need a solid holiday self-care plan. We, here in India celebrate almost all the festivals and I know how difficult it is to stick to your regular self-care routine when it comes to the holiday season.

I always thought that I never needed any self-care tips for holidays but I used to get so drained and lifeless during the best time of the year that I never used to enjoy the festive season.

Especially if you’re a perfectionist, you will want to have everything super perfect and you already would have high expectations. In this cycle of being a perfectionist, we let our health suffer the most. We get carried away with the work and totally avoid self-care.

Whether you’re a mom or having a day job, the holiday season affects everyone’s self-care routine. This is the sole reason why I planned to write a detailed piece on self-care during holidays. I have some practical self-care tips that you surely cannot miss during this time of the year. I know you’re super busy so I will keep this piece short and simple.

Self-care tips for the holiday season

1. Have a self-care routine

You might feel the urge to skip your self-care routine during holidays but be sure you follow it dearly. It’s also okay to tweak your routine or make some changes but I would so strongly suggest having your own self-care routine. I always have three blocks while planning my self-care – one for each; mind, body, and soul.

If you’re already having your regular self-care routine, go back and check if it needs some revision due to the holiday season. I will strongly recommend to plan this new self-care routine well ahead of time and let your body set on a new routine.

I have my self-care planner where I keep the track of my self-care routine and it’s super easy to follow when you have everything in front of your eyes. In short, create a plan that suits you especially during the holidays, and stick to it.

2. Plan ahead, always

To avoid the last moment rush, always plan all the holiday activities well ahead of time. I really don’t like planning everything on the same day of execution as it makes me super anxious and stressed out. Also, I find it really helpful if everything is planned right ahead of time as it spares me from a last-minute rush.

I can clearly remember the last holiday season when I was catching up with my work even on the day of Christmas. So super unplanned!! Thus, I decided to stay productive during the holidays and create a plan that works for me.

Grab your favorite planner and some shiny, bold markers and create a solid plan so that you don’t have to miss out on holiday fun while finishing up with your work.

3. Keep your expectations low ( reasonable)

I always have to remind myself that I’m just a human and I cannot expect myself to reach and be everywhere. However, we do raise our bars and expect ourselves to be some super-human, a ‘do-it-all’ kind of person which we clearly aren’t. Instead of getting frustrated and freaking out later, have some realistic expectations.

Clearly, if you’re working a full-time job or you have your own side hustle/ business, it will be difficult for you to reach everywhere and fulfill everyone’s expectations. And even if you try your best doing so, you will end up ruining your health.

This is why self-care during holidays is so very important. It’s not only about having bubble baths or pampering yourself, it’s more about taking care of your emotional and mental well-being. Communicate this with your family members and set some realistic expectations ( which you can meet without compromising your health)

Related post – How to overcome the fear of judgment.

4. Take a break and breathe

We all know the excitement of the holiday season and your enthusiasm for this time of the year but it’s so necessary to take a step back and relax. You may have been working extra hours at work to meet the holiday needs or burning midnight oil to stay on-track on your die hustle, this is the time for you to relax.

Take a break and just breathe. You don’t have to be working all the time to prove yourself worthy. It’s okay to realize that your body needs some rest and some ‘me-time’.

Do some fun activities that you always wanted to do but couldn’t make time for them. Make a long list of those things that make you happy and check them off one at a time. My darling, holiday season is for fun, give yourself the time to enjoy it.

5. Learn to say ‘no’

This would be the best mental health tip for holidays that I always needed. We are so tempted to do everything by ourselves that we fail to realize that our time + energy are limited. We keep filling our bucket just to realize that it’s overflowing with all the extra work we took upon.

Learn to say ‘no’ if your plate is already full with all the tasks. It’s all okay to step back and not to overload yourself with all the work. Also, saying ‘no’ will not label you less. This is the sign that you’re prioritizing your mental health and putting your self-care before everything else.

If you’re not able to handle the extra work, it’s better to deny than to do it half-heartedly. The latter causes more damage. Normalize saying ‘no’ and being okay with it. Again, you’re not a super-human!!

People who have this habit of pleasing everyone have the most difficult time saying ‘no’ and they take this as a sign of rudeness. However, prioritizing your health is not selfish and this is the sole reason I stress so much on practicing self-care during holidays.

6. Create your own fun traditions

Do you have your own unique Christmas tradition? Like watching your favorite Christmas movie in your favorite PJs!! When I was a kid, we had this cute little tradition where my mom would hide some gifts inside a huge Christmas sock and reveal it to us during Christmas night.

She always used to make us believe that those gifts were from Santa and poor us! we used to gladly believe that. However, while looking back to those little fun games, I realized that Christmas was fun because of all such traditions. Plan your own some fun games or Christmas traditions and make this time of the year extra special.

You can also search online about various different countries and blend in with them. I found this tradition of book-exchange during Christmas so enticing. People of Iceland have this fun tradition of exchanging book during Christmas, if you love books, you can try this out too.

Related post – The top 9 self-help books to read this year.

7. Honor your feelings

Holidays can really bring up some messy feelings or past thoughts. It’s the time of the year where most of us are grieving for our loved ones and hence it’s necessary to honor our feelings. This is the most important aspect of practicing self-care during holidays. Do not consider any of your feelings invalid or unnecessary.

We are all humans and it’s okay to feel. I always use journaling as a medium to express my feelings on paper, to let my messy thoughts rest there.

self-care during holidays

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything and are not able to handle your emotions, I would highly suggest doing a quick brain dump exercise to release your thoughts. In the end, always remember that it’s okay to feel your feelings but do not stay there forever.

The problem arises when you eat up, neglect those feelings. They will always bounce back at some uncertain time and it will be difficult to handle yourself then.

8. Have fun but don’t burnout

Sometimes we are so carried away with the festive season that we forget taking care of ourselves. It’s natural to have fun and enjoy this time of the year but be extra careful and do not burn yourself out. We may never realize the work we did during the holiday season until we feel totally drained out.

This used to happen with me always. I used to get so carried away with the holiday season that I would do all the extra work, stay late, and totally avoid my health. In the end, I used to feel super tired and frustrated.

Practicing self-care during holidays will make sure that you honor your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

9. Ask for help

I will never stress enough on how important it is to ask for help not only during holidays but every time when your plate is full. We have this mentality of ‘do it all’ as if we’re some kind of superhumans. It’s okay to ask for help and that will not make you less capable.

Instead of doing it all and deteriorating your health, it’s always advisable to seek some help. You can always ask for help from your friends or family members especially when you have to reach everywhere.

The best thing to do here is to communicate with your family and assign some duties to everyone so that you don’t have to carry all the burden of the holiday season.

How will you be enjoying Christmas and New year when you’re all tired and lifeless!!

In the end, practicing self-care during Christmas is also a personal responsibility. You need to honor your mind and body to practice these mental health tips and enjoy the festive season.

I would love to know about your holiday self-care plan. Which self-care tips appealed you the most and what are you going to include in your holiday self-care toolkit.

Do drop your views in the comments below. I’m all ears!! Also, I am so excited to have you inside my community.

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  1. Holiday self-care gift guide - thoughtful gifts for well-being - Soothe Thy Soul

    September 5, 2020 at 11:04 am

    […] this beautiful self-care holiday gift-guide, I planned to have all the useful and calming things that can help you nurture your mind, […]

  2. Rochelle

    September 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I think around holidays are the most when people get down or depressed. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips !

  3. Monica Gutierrez

    September 9, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    I love your tip about learning to say no. It is so important to set those boundaries and protect your energy especially during the holiday season. Great post.

  4. Jon Maldia

    September 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Taking a break is a great way to care for your self. I do the pomodoro technique. I do intense work for a period of time then a short break. After a few intervals, I take a longer break. This really helps keep me energized and motivated throughout the day.

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