How to Find Self Care During the Holidays

According to Psych Central, "there is often an increase in depressive feelings as time and money resources are drained and people struggle with recent or unresolved loss" during this time of year. Although we like to call the holiday season the "most wonderful time of the year", sometimes it can be a little sad and/or stressful. How can you solve that? With a little self care!

The holidays can be fun, but at times, they can also be incredibly busy and stressful. There's all the usual responsibilities, plus if you're in school, you're surrounded with the additional stress of finals. Moreover, you're still trying to fit in a packed social calendar into your life. With all of the fun holiday social events and spending lots of time with friends and family, it's easy to neglect self care during the holiday season.

Here are some ways to add a little self care to your life during this holiday season and take some of the added holiday stress off your shoulders.

01 | feel free to leave early from social obligations.

I totally get wanting to spend time with friends and family, but there are some social events that seem like they've eaten up all of your day and/or go basically all night, depriving you of that much needed sleep. I think that it's fantastic to go to any holiday parties and/or events, but if you feel like you're getting tired or drained being there, don't be afraid to duck out a little early in order to get some alone time and some much needed rest.

02 | don't be afraid to give a gift card.

With the struggle to find the perfect gift, sometimes it can be incredibly stressful. While I usually don't really like giving gift cards because they feel impersonal, when I'm on the receiving end and I receive a gift card, I'm always happy with it. Gift cards may not seem like the perfect gift, but in reality, they are very much appreciated and can relieve some of that stress that you have in searching for gifts.

03 | set boundaries

During the holiday season, sometimes the rules change a little. Suddenly you're deciding to go out to social events more and more, neglecting your usual personal time. Because of that, you might find it nice to set some boundaries for yourself or a limit on everything else so that you can make time for alone time. Additionally, if spending or holiday eating is something that gets out of control, set boundaries on that as well, but remember to keep them reasonable.

04 | find a relaxing creative outlet

Whether it's painting, drawing, knitting, or playing the piano, it's great to find some kind of creative outlet that allows you to step away from it all. Whatever it is, find something that you can just do to unwind and forget about all of your obligations, even if it's just for a short period of time.
Added bonus: if that outlet happens to produce some physical item (ex: knitting a scarf), you can cross a gift off your list and give that to minimize the gift giving stress!

05 | stop and smell the roses

In this day and age, it seems almost impossible to live in the moment. While I don't know much about mindfulness, it can be amazing when you start thinking more about the present than anything else. I remember one moment so vividly from a trip that I went on with my friends, a time where I was just thinking about how perfect and serene that instance is. Take care of yourself this holiday season by stopping and smelling the roses and just living in the now.

06 | be proactive

While you might not listen to this advice, as many times as we hear "don't procrastinate", it usually goes in one ear and out the other. However, I'll still say it, just because you might need to hear it again. The sooner you can get your responsibilities done with (aka gift shopping, exams, etc.) the sooner you can enjoy the holidays and avoid that stress. Be proactive this holiday season because future-you deserves a few things to be taken off her/his plate.

How to Find Self Care During the Holidays

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