While the holidays are a very exciting time of year, they can also be quite stressful. Thus, it is absolutely necessary to practice self-care during "the most wonderful time of the year". Here are a few self-maintenance tips for the holiday season:
1. Set firm boundaries around your time and personal space.
If you're anything like me, you would love to have the time to do ALL OF THE THINGS!! I had to learn that not only is it impossible to be and do everything, it simply does not serve my mental or physical health well to be running around like a chicken with my head cut off all of the time. That is the recipe for burnout.
Not only is it important to prioritize your time, but it is important to protect your personal space. If there are people in your life who drain your energy more than they replenish it, then you may want to stay away from those people. The same goes for activities. If it doesn't fill you up, then why spend your time doing it?
2. Keep doing those things that are good for you--spiritually, mentally, and physically.
If you enjoy meditating, a mindfulness practice that I highly recommend, why stop doing it during the holidays? After all, this is probably the time of year when you need it the most. From in-laws who get on your LAST nerve to that uncle who talks a bit too much about politics at the dinner table, maintaining your sanity during this time of year is vital. If you journal or go to therapy every couple of weeks, absolutely continue doing those things to care for yourself mentally. I am a therapist, so I'm a little biased (wink!). And, lastly, I cannot stress enough how important it is to care for yourself physically during the holidays. Exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet are just a few of the things we all need to do in order to care for ourselves physically. I could personally do better in the area of sleep because I know that I need at least 7.5 hours per night. What is your number? How much sleep do you need in order to feel your best?
3. Take time to reconnect with yourself and others.
Mastering relationships with others and yourself is necessary in order to thrive in life. Be intentional with your time and who you spend your time with. We spend so much of our time engrossed in social media, working jobs that drain us, buying things that add no value to our lives, etc. At the end of the day, what really matters is how we spend our time and the extent to which we add value to and receive value from others. Call that friend you haven't talked to in a while who you've been "too busy" to catch up with. Have a date night with your spouse. Better yet, spend some quality time with YOU.