Self-Care Tips During the Holidays

Shandra Martinez

| 3 min read

Teenage girl packing Christmas gifts in a car after shopping. She wears a protective mask to protect from corona virus COVID-19.
Holidays have a funny way of sneaking up on some of us. We know where they fall on the calendar, but the season can still catch us by surprise. We turn on our radio one afternoon only to hear “Jingle Bells,” or when channel surfing, see that the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas is already well underway.
Your mind might immediately turn to the mountain of things on your to-do list: shopping, wrapping, gift-giving and family activities to be planned. In a normal year, holidays can be an emotional time or a season of anxiety for some people. But factor in the current coronavirus pandemic and remote work or school schedules that some families are juggling, and this season’s stress factor can increase significantly.
Making self-care a priority during this busy time is important for your physical health and mental well-being. There are lots of ways to do this. Some things take just a few minutes. Others will require you to pencil yourself into the schedule for a little downtime. Here are some ways you can bump yourself to the top of your list this unusual holiday season:
Exercise. This might seem like the last thing you have time for as your days get busier during the holidays. But that’s why squeezing in regular exercise is important. A good workout will lower the levels of stress hormones in your body, making you feel calmer, according to Harvard Medical School. It doesn’t have to be a two-hour session at the gym. You can break up your exercise into small bites and make it fit your schedule:
  • Meet a friend for a walk in your neighborhood
  • Do an arm workout with free weights between meetings
  • Start your day by streaming a workout class
  • End your day with a few yoga poses or tai chi moves
Delegate. Do the holiday shopping trips, meal planning and very-merry details keep landing on your plate? Divide the duties among others in your household. By sharing the load with others, you are also sharing a feeling of responsibility for the season itself.
Pencil in some pampering. It’s important to set aside time for yourself. Whether you have a favorite hobby or you want to spend an hour reading, listening to music or just talking to a friend, doing things that have nothing to do with the holidays will give you a true break.
Eat well, sleep well. This may sound basic but getting enough rest during this busy time of the year is a good goal to have. Some of us try to pack too much into our day during this season, staying up an hour later at night or setting our alarm even earlier in the morning to get a jump on our to-do lists. What we are shortchanging is our sleep. The same goes for the food we eat. When we skip meals because we are busy or swap nutritious foods for drive-thru bags, we are not taking proper care of ourselves at a time when we need to stay well. 
Photo credit: Getty

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