Having a birthday on Christmas Eve always seems to further ignite my love for Christmas and the holidays. Yet, during this busy time of year, it’s easy to get caught up with so many activities. From decorating, to preparing holiday cards, to baking, to attending holiday gatherings to shopping and navigating traffic, it can cause us to become imbalanced and to just feel flat out exhausted. Honestly, the best gift we can give to ourselves at the holidays is the gift of self-care. Here are some suggestions on how to do that.
- Slow down. Only focus on one thing or day at a time. The joy of being fully present in each moment is truly a gift. If your mind is on the next task or event, you won’t allow yourself the pleasure of the current moment. Practicing relaxation through meditation will also help you to slow down. During meditation, your breathing slows down and your blood pressure decreases. Stress hormone levels also fall. That inner dialogue is silenced. Meditation affords deep relaxation and stillness that can recharge us.
- Commit less. In the sea of requests that we receive, be mindful of what you say yes to. Take on less. Choose only those holiday events that hold meaning and provide joy to you and your loved ones. Just because you’re invited, you don’t have to feel obligated to say yes. When we say no to others, we say yes to ourselves.
- Mindfulness and Stress. Select which conversations you want to engage in and communicate consciously. If you find yourself in a stressful situation, always return to your breath. Stress causes us to breathe shallowly, which contributes to anxiety. Breathing in and out deeply for as little as three breaths can create a shift in your entire body.
- Maintain movement. Don’t sacrifice your exercise routine. Staying active can really help you maintain balance and feel better physically and emotionally.
- Rest well. A restful sleep routine will provide you with the energy and support you need. You’ll feel better and able to accomplish more when you are well rested.
- Maintain a good diet filled with warm foods. Soups and stews are a great way to warm up while providing nourishment on chilly days. Drink lots of warm liquids including tea.
- Create a nurturing space. You can do this by introducing soothing scents that you enjoy to your space, such as essential oils and candles. A warm neck pillow, faux fur blanket, or even pampering yourself with a massage can go a long way.
I hope these tips help you in maintaining balance during this time of year. Happy Holidays!