Considered the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season is a time to celebrate and surround yourself with close friends and family.
However, for some people, the holidays bring about a great amount of stress.
While this time of the year can be joyous, it can also be painful for some individuals who are dealing with things like grief or spending their holiday alone.
If you’re dealing with the holiday blues, here are a few tips to take care of yourself this holiday season.
8 Tips for Holiday Self-care
1. Create Healthy Boundaries
When it comes to protecting our mental health, boundaries are essential. During this time of year, try not to let other people’s negativity overpower you.
If there’s something you don’t want to engage in, it’s ok to say no. Don’t stretch yourself thin by taking on more than you can handle. If someone brings up a topic you’re not open to discussing during a family gathering, you have a right to tell them you don’t want to talk about it.
If you’ve experienced loss whether it was this year or a few years ago, continue to take time to grieve.
My grandmother transitioned in 2015. When she was still here physically, we’d spend every Christmas at her house. It was our tradition. Even though it has been almost 7 years, this time of year is always difficult for me because of her passing.
You have to hold space for yourself to grieve. Don’t think you have to be over it because a significant amount of time has passed.
It could help to do something in honor of the person who has passed. For me, this looked like setting up an altar, leaving my grandma offerings, and sitting to talk with her.
Even though she isn’t here physically, it helps me feel connected to her.
If the holidays bring up uncomfortable feelings, meditating gives you time to sit with your thoughts and feelings and release them.
I love meditation and it has been key to my healing.
Meditation makes you more self-aware and can offer peace of mind.
If you’re new to meditation, check out this blog post I wrote for a few meditation tips.
4. Pamper Yourself
Self-care is about so much more than things like bubble baths or getting a manicure; however, this form of treating yourself is still important.
Taking time to pamper yourself whether it’s doing a face mask or getting a massage will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Pampering yourself will also be nice if you’ll be spending your holiday alone.
The most important thing is to do something nice for yourself.
5. Practice Gratitude
Use this time to make a list of all the things you’re grateful for. We all have at least one thing to be thankful for even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Practicing gratitude can reduce stress and improve your mood.
Take time to acknowledge all the good in your life.
6. Allow Yourself to Feel
Most people want to avoid painful or uncomfortable feelings. Whatever you’re experiencing, tune into it.
You don’t have to sit with your painful feelings all day but make time to check in with yourself. Use this time to try and understand why you’re experiencing these emotions. You don’t have to keep everything inside; let out any painful feelings you have.
It might also help to journal about what you’re feeling.
7. Do Things In Moderation
It’s common for some of us to over-indulge during this time of the year. We may eat too much or overspend on gifts for our loved ones.
Don’t get caught up in doing things excessively.
Yes, allow yourself to eat the holiday dinner or buy nice gifts but don’t overdo it.
8. Ask For Support
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself when you’re struggling is reach out for help. There’s no shame in needing extra support from those who care about you.
Just because this time of year is merry for some, doesn’t mean it’s not horrible for others. Some of us will need a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear.
If everything feels overwhelming, there are people who are willing to help you. When reaching out, it’s important to let them know what you need and how they can help.
Another resource I’ve personally used in the past is the Crisis Text Line. I think this can be helpful for someone needing some support but maybe not having anyone else they can talk with. If you’re in a crisis, you can text 741741 to be connected with a Crisis Counselor.
Coping with the Holidays
If you’re not in the Christmas spirit or looking forward to the new year, know that it’s ok. Don’t try to force yourself to be happy about the holiday season.
The most important thing you can do is take care of yourself in whichever way you believe will be beneficial to you.
By engaging in self-care practices and loving on yourself, you’ll be holding space for yourself and anything that’s heavy on your heart.
One thought on “8 Tips for Holiday Self-care”