Taking Care Throughout the Holidaze: 15 Self-Care Tips for the Season

Posted on December 21st, 2022.

The time of year has come along again. The crisp, cold air, the snowy and rainy days, the lights aglow encompassing our neighborhoods, and our hearts. Yes, the holidays. It can be a time of great joy, and great sadness. A celebration of life and rebirth, or a time of intense grief. On top of the mixed emotions and memories that come with the holidays, we are subjected to the brainwashing holidaze. During the holiday season, we are extra bombarded with propaganda on buying more than we need, more than we can afford, and to indulge to the fullest. This is a tempting offer during darker and colder months and the holidays should indeed be celebrated to the fullest by all who take part. What is celebrating to the fullest? Anything that makes your holidays pleasant, memorable, and enjoyable.

Holidays are celebrated differently by all and while there are serious traditional suggestions of how to celebrate, there is no cookie cutter way to do it. This same rule applies to self-care. What works for one person is not going to be the formula that works for someone else. There are also personality traits that are at play when someone is working on becoming their best, perhaps festive self. If you are the type to run around constantly, bake a million cookies, and host the family for the holidays, fabulous! If you want to sit back and have a quiet and uneventful holiday, great! We cannot neglect our self-care and our needs just because it is the holidays.

I do believe all should incorporate some form of their tradition into this time of year as a reminder of the meaning of the season, and to honor their cultural and spiritual self. But how it is done cannot be dictated by a TV commercial, holiday song, or by your own family. It is OK to give yourself permission to have what you need for the holiday. That is going to look different from year to year given our lived experience, and current circumstances, though it is possible to have peace regardless of what is happening during holiday seasons to come. Nurturing your self-care as intended is holistic in nature. It is everything that makes up you. I believe it is necessary to nurture your self-care to be of service to others and promote positivity in the world around us. If this is retreating, celebrating with a large crowd, or taking a break from tasking traditions, we can come to accept ourselves exactly as we are and for what we need.

Nurturing our self-care can start by practicing simple mindfulness techniques to help ground us in the present moment, to allow ourselves permission to give what we need, and let go of materialism and demanding holiday tradition. We must let go and allow ourselves to just be. Regardless of our circumstances, our holiday plans, or our amount of money and gifts. Grounding yourself is the method of bringing all your attention to the present moment. You can use your five senses to observe what is around you in your environment, as well as simply put your feet flat on the floor and feel your feet against the earth taking a few slow, deep breaths in and out. To honor and nurture all elements of our self-care during the holidays, here are fifteen both festive and non-festive ways to take care of yourself in many areas of your life.

15 Self-Care Holiday Tips:

  • Practice the art of receiving and asking for help
  • Take yourself to the symphony or ballet (Nutcracker anyone?)
  • Spend time with friends and supports
  • Take a walk in the park with the lights, or go ice skating, or otherwise move your body

Laugh, cry, or otherwise allow yourself to express your emotions

  • Sing, dance, or engage in play of another kind
  • Pray/meditate and give thanks for yourself as you are
  • Cuddle up with a book and a hot drink
  • Write affirmations to yourself and others for gifts
  • Get plenty of sleep this time of year and as much light as possible
  • Network at a holiday work function
  • Set boundaries around time and activities to allow enough time to rest and recharge
  • Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water
  • Practice mindful drinking if partaking in alcoholic beverages.
  • Take time out for yourself during the season whenever you need to

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