My Favorite Approaches to Self-Care

The holidays are perhaps one of the most stressful times in our lives. Our social calendars fill up, we have shopping and presents to wrap, meals to plan, kids Holiday pageants to attend, and the list goes on.  Not to mention the everyday tasks that already keep us busy.  At times, we may feel like hamsters on the habit trail just running in circles and getting nowhere fast.  In the midst of it all, we may lose sight of our own needs and spend less time caring for ourselves. Putting ourselves last cheats us out of being the best versions of ourselves we can be.

Practicing self-care year round is important, but it’s especially important during the holidays. Taking time out to make ourselves a priority will allow us to experience the true joy of the season with less stress and hassle.  So, here are my favorite approaches to self-care.

  • Think positively. There is a lot of power and energy behind our thoughts and that power makes things happen.  Our thoughts send little vibrations out into the universe and manifest in our lives. If you wake up each day thinking how stressed you are, you only be more stressed.  If you keep your thoughts positive on the other hand, positive things will happen.  Choose your thoughts carefully.
  • Drink your water. Sure, it’s easy to reach for that third cup of coffee this time of year.  Coffee is water, well sort of. It’s caffeine, sugar and sometimes dairy. Instead, carry a water bottle with you and make drinking 2-3 liters a day a non-negotiable daily have to. Your body will appreciate it.
  • Make exercise a priority. Find an exercise activity you will enjoy and stick with. You could take a yoga class, jump on the Zumba bandwagon, or join a challenge group at the gym.  I can offer you 30 at home fitness programs as well, such as the 21 Day Fix or Hammer and Chisel.  Aim for 30 minutes a day and remember exercise is a proven stress reducer. It also improves your mood.
  • Find time for mediation and reflection. Spending just a few minutes in quiet mediation helps to quiet the mind, and let your regroup, refocus and re-energize. If you prefer, you can spend a few minutes journaling. Sometimes writing down the crazy thoughts and /or the things you are grateful for will help you see the big picture. Worries become smaller, and gratitude expands.
  • Spend time outdoors. Even in the colder months, this is important. Time spent outdoors increases your immunity, boosts your happiness, and improves your vitality. Sunlight is also a great source of vitamin D.
  • Get plenty of rest. Consistently getting 7-9 hours a night helps to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Getting less than 7 on a regular basis can leave you groggy, stressed and less able to deal with life’s little twists and turns.

Each of us has a gift we can give away to the world. Our gifts shine brightly when we practice self-care and make ourselves a priority.

As if this season wasn’t already crazy, we are moving in early December. So, I am taking these tips to heart.