As the holidays ramp up, so do stress levels. Between packed schedules, holiday expenses, organizing everyone for festive feasts and just dealing with snow, storms and traffic, it’s enough to make anyone batty. The upswing in emotional labour that accompanies the festive season is a real thing - so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s not your fault. Here’s some strategies to up your self-care - so you can bring happy memories through the holiday season.
Keep Up The Boring Yet Useful Stuff
Don’t let go of the things that keep you running smoothly. Drink your water. Get some fruit and vegetables. Take a walk or go to yoga. Make sure you get enough rest. Take your medications. Floss.
If you have social anxiety or even a particularly hair-raising social occasion (like facing down your partner’s parents for the first time) make doubly sure you’re getting your baseline self-care.
Consider Whether You Need To Get Out Of The House (Or Stay Home)
Got a houseful of relatives? Consider planning a trip to the skating rink, walking around your neighbourhood and admiring the lights, catching a movie or going to make a snowman. Cabin fever is real, and getting outside for some fresh air can be the perfect antidote. (Bringing said houseful of relatives with you is optional.)
Conversely, if you’ve been running around with an endless list of holiday missions, feel free to reclaim the power of the word no. It’s totally okay to decline to attend another open house or Secret Santa, put on your favourite pyjamas and spend the evening catching up on your Netflix.
Get Yourself A Gift
Is there something you really need? Alternatively, is there something you really hate to do? Has no one ever given you this thing you really want and need? Be your own Santa and put it under your own tree.
I have a friend who gave herself a year’s worth of laundry service after realizing that offloading a chore would be a gamechanger. Last year, I replaced my mattress and bedding after realizing that I was spending a third of my life being uncomfortable and annoyed, and not in a character-building way. Don’t be afraid to prioritize yourself in the holiday rush.
The holidays can be crazy, but don’t let them make you crazy. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do, especially when you’re caregiving for everyone else. By setting limits, understanding what you need and making sure you get it, you can make great holiday memories.