Self care is all about setting and honoring personal boundaries. Practicing self care can seem difficult at times in an ongoing, fast paced world, especially during the holiday season. It can easily become overlooked and neglected during the busy (and sometimes overwhelming) holiday season.
Maybe you are catering to family needs, preparing that special dinner, scurrying to retrieve presents or ingredients from stores, and getting intertwined into family debates. During the holidays, self care may not take priority. It is easy to negate our own needs and fixate our attention on catering to the needs of others. As a result, we can become overwhelmed, annoyed, and exhausted with holiday activities and agendas, leaving personal care untouched.
Why Self Care is Important (Especially During the Holidays)
It is important to realize that taking a break to unwind, destress, and relax is necessary during these particularly challenging moments. Setting reminders to care for yourself and honoring boundaries can help to make time with family even more enjoyable. For a moment, let us think. How often do we strive for mindful breaks during the holiday season? Are we mindful of our reactions and responses with family when overwhelmed or strained from completing holiday tasks? Caring for our personal health provides us with nourishment and self appreciation while honoring self identified boundaries.
Self care practices can seem impossible to enforce outside of our normal surroundings. A good idea to combat this challenge is identifying self care techniques prior to holidays. It is so important to be intentional when prioritizing your needs. Outlining, researching, and preparing how time will be spent for self care practices and other responsibilities can be beneficial to honoring those self identified boundaries.
Here are some specific self care activities that you can try out this holiday season:
- going for a nature walk
- using mindfulness techniques during time with family members
- taking deep breathing breaks
- engaging in exercise such as yoga
- reading one’s favorite novel
- listening to a favorite podcast or song
Self care is a conscious way of realizing our own needs and making ourselves a priority. Ultimately, the holiday season can be one of the most exciting times of the year and we all look forward to it. On the other hand, holidays can become a major stressor and challenge to us if not mindful. Added stress, pressure, and responsibilities to have a “perfect holiday” can override our joy and ability to remain in the present moment. Consciously taking additional special moments to cater to our own needs may allow us to fully enjoy the entire experience of the holiday experience.
Strive to take that extra moment, acknowledge your needs, and care for yourself.
About the Author
Briana Carr, MSW, LCSW is one of Evolution Wellness’ licensed therapists. Bri helps women and men develop self-compassion and create meaningful relationships. When Bri isn’t helping individuals, couples, and families find their inner strengths, you can find her perfecting her musical talent on the piano.