Marketing professionals have us believing that the holidays are supposed to be festive and happy. While family get-togethers and gift-giving can lead to happy, memorable moments, the stressful and unhappier ones aren’t discussed enough. We’re here to talk about a few tips to help you enjoy a beautiful holiday season while still focusing on self-care.
It’s OK to tell others that you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It’s also OK to tell them you’re not feeling particularly festive this year. Getting your feelings out in the open helps set clear expectations and lets your family and friends know you may need extra quality time this year. Sometimes, even acknowledging your feelings to yourself is what you need. Letting others know you need extra help this season can allow them to step up. Let your spouse know you may need assistance planning, cleaning, decorating, or prepping this year.
Despite the busyness of the holiday season, it’s still important to prioritize yourself. If you find it challenging to find time for yourself and self-care throughout the holiday season, consider adding yourself to the schedule. That way, you’ll have time to catch up on pressing tasks or indulge in self-care.
This is also an excellent time to add an extra session with your therapist. Counseling helps us be self-aware and learn how to cope with triggers that may influence our moods, and these are things we could all use help with during the holiday season. The Bay Area has a lot of experienced therapists San Francisco residents can turn to for help with things like seasonal depression, holiday blues, or any other pressing issues.
Your nutrition and food choices significantly impact your overall health and feelings. The holidays are often filled with sugary snacks, leaving you tired and bloated. While you don’t have to skip all your favorite holiday treats, try balancing your diet. If you know you’ll attend a holiday party this evening, choose a salad for lunch today.
Look up a few healthy snack recipes to serve your family this season. You’ll still get to celebrate the festivities but with a healthier diet. Alcohol is also common during the holiday season, especially if you have a lot of parties on your schedule. Try to limit alcohol as it can increase blood pressure and affect overall mood. Opt instead for a non-alcoholic holiday drink so you can still join in on the celebrations without the undesirable side effects.
Exercise is also essential to your mental and physical health. Regular exercise helps release serotonin and endorphins, which can help combat negative feelings. Finding the motivation to work out may be difficult if you’re overwhelmed. Instead, consider doing exercises you enjoy that lead to a positive result.
Yoga can be both relaxing and physically rewarding. If holiday shopping and chores have you feeling tired and unmotivated, consider a lower-impact routine, like meditation. Meditation helps relax the mind while teaching you to stay present and focused, a task many of us find hard during busier seasons. You can also fit a few minutes of meditation into your morning or nighttime outline, making it easier to keep up with.
Sleep is essential to your overall health, yet it’s one of the first things to do when we get busy. Try to prioritize a good night’s sleep during the holiday season. Make it a point to go to bed earlier if possible. If you can’t increase the hours of sleep you get each night, consider improving the quality of the sleep you get. Ensure your mattress and bedding are comfortable. Avoid any distractions, like your smartphone, when trying to fall asleep.
The holiday season is full of invitations to parties and gatherings. Parents may feel obligated to attend many holiday celebrations to create memorable family memories. However, there is such a thing as too much. It’s important to know when to say no. Consider a few top must-attend celebrations and add these to your schedule. Carefully consider any extra invitations and how they might impact your overall mood. You don’t have to say yes to everything. If you’re worried about offending anyone, approach the conversation honestly by letting them know you’re overbooked and overwhelmed.
The holidays may be one of the busiest times of the year, but focusing on self-care is more important than ever. Whether that includes scheduling an extra appointment with your therapist or taking time to eat right, a few small changes can make a huge difference. Put yourself first this year; you’ll be more available and open to your family and friends.