Self-Care During the Holiday Season

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Hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving. If you’re like most of us, you’re probably already feeling stressed and maybe a little anxious. This time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in all that has to be done and forget about the joy in the season. Between planning meals, hosting family and friends, having house guests and all the other holiday events, it’s easy to lose sight of the joy and get mired in the stress.

If you’re the one who does all the planning, cooking, hosting, wrapping, you’re probably the caretaker of the family. That could be a mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent and even child. Whatever role you have in the family, if you are the one doing the care taking it’s important for you to take care of yourself during the stressful times, and we all know the holidays can be stressful.

Take some time, before Thanksgiving to do a little self-care. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to practice some deep breathing, or it could be a little more elaborate like taking yourself to a movie or out to lunch to get away from all the holiday planning. The important thing to remember is to not feel guilty about taking time to care for yourself. Below are some examples of ways you can practice self-care during this stressful season.

Self-Care During the Holiday Season

Exercise – Now more than ever, you should keep to your exercise routine. Don’t let the busy season be an excuse to miss the gym, or your daily walk. Exercise, and making the time to do it, keeps us centered, keeps us to our routines (and routines are so important during stressful times), and keeps the blood flowing. Sticking to your exercise routine also helps to prevent overeating or stress eating during the holidays and that can prevent an unexpected weight gain come January.

Eat Well – The holidays are all about eating delicious foods with family, and that’s a wonderful thing – in moderation. You can have a taste of all the delectable food choices out there, and dessert is totally an option, just enjoy in moderation.

Budget – During the holidays more and more of us are spending beyond our budget. Black Friday sales start earlier and earlier, making it easier to spend. Set a budget for what you can afford to spend this season and stick to it. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, gifts from the heart can be so much more memorable than the latest tech gadget or fashion trend. Set a budget and stick to it and you won’t have any surprises when the bills come in January.

Me Time – Carve out some me time during the season. Go to lunch with friends or slip away to read in the bathtub (with bubbles of course). Whatever makes you happy and calm, is something to do to center yourself during this chaotic season.

Don’t Overindulge – The holiday season is a time when people overindulge in alcohol. Aside from not feeling very well the next day, too much alcohol can cause problems at family gatherings. Limit drinking to one or two cocktails and avoid those relatives to over imbibe and then want to talk.

Meditate – I love to meditate either first thing in the morning, it gets me focused on how I want to take on the day, and keeps me grounded. No matter what time of the day works best for you, meditation can be super helpful this time of year.

Gratitude – As always, practicing gratitude is a great way to focus on what really matters. Instead of focusing on all the dishes that need to be washed you can think about what a wonderful meal was served on them and the food on those plates nourished so many people – that’s a lovely thing to be grateful for. The holidays can be crazy busy, but they are because family and friends come together to celebrate miracles.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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