This article is written by Maggie Scott.
The holiday season is an exciting time filled with love, joy, and unfortunately, stress. While you may be eager to go above and beyond for the ones you love the most, it’s also important that you’re implementing self-care into your holiday plans as well.
Here are some tips to help you look after yourself as you’re getting in the holiday spirit.
1. Be mindful of your diet
For many people, the holidays can be hectic, and that can take a toll on your body. It’s absolutely critical that you make sure your physical self is taken care of, especially during cold and flu season. In order to keep your immune system strong and healthy, you have to make sure that you’re nurturing your body through a well-balanced diet.
The holidays provide us with an opportunity to celebrate with the ones we love, but we often celebrate by eating foods that are not always the healthiest for us. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy your favorite treats, overindulging can cause fatigue, heartburn and an upset stomach. It can also cause unexpected weight gain that is difficult to get rid of once the holidays are over, and can cause more serious health issues as the years go on.
The best way to prevent these less-than-pleasant feelings is to be mindful of what you’re eating. This doesn’t mean skipping your holiday favorites altogether, but instead, choosing to consume recommended portion sizes and satisfy your cravings by savoring those first few bites. Think about using a trackable weight loss program that can help guide your indulgences during the holidays. A healthy diet can help prevent some of the physical and mental stress that comes with this season, which means you’ll be able to better enjoy the festivities.
2. Get plenty of sleep
Another way you can stay healthy during the holidays is to make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. It can be easy to put sleep on the back burner, but there are lots of reasons sleep should be a priority. Sleep deprivation can impair decision-making skills, limits your communication skills, and can lead to a poor immune system, all of which hinders your ability to enjoy the holidays.
The proper amount of sleep gives your body and mind the opportunity to destress and to repair itself from the day. Try not to deviate from your regular sleep schedule as much as possible. If you’re traveling, try to limit it to times that you would normally be awake, and re-establish your sleep schedule once you’ve arrived. Lastly, work to keep your sleeping area as dark and quiet as possible to help you fall asleep. If you have noisy guests, use a fan or other white noise source to help drown out what’s going on around you.
You’ll be able to appreciate the holidays much more if you’re well-rested and have a clear mind, and your guests will appreciate your jolly attitude, too!
3. Schedule some alone time
It can be easy to feel drained after committing all of your time to your friends and family during the holiday season, so it’s important to set aside some relaxation time for yourself as well. This is especially true if you find yourself to be more introverted, or if you find the holidays to be overstimulating and anxiety-provoking.
Spending time alone gives you the ability to decompress from taxing holiday events and puts the focus back on you and your needs. You can use this time to get some much-needed rest, or do an activity that excites you and helps you learn a little bit more about yourself. Don’t be afraid to use some of the vacation days you have saved to simply relax at home and binge-watch Netflix or read that book that’s been sitting on your dresser for over a month. Now is the perfect time to spend with your family and friends, and it’s also the perfect time to spend with yourself.
4. Let yourself feel your emotions
The holiday season is filled with all kinds of emotions, and it’s important to let yourself feel each and every one of them fully. Whether it’s the excitement of all the festivities, the love you’re receiving from those closest to you, the grief from experiencing loss, or the yearning for years past, it’s important to deal with these emotions head-on instead of avoiding them.
It’s perfectly okay if the holidays tend to be a not-so-happy-time for you. You are not alone. Instead of masking those feelings by overeating or binge drinking, work to identify where these feelings are coming from, and try not to label them as good or bad. This will help you actualize your emotions, and thus, give you the ability to deal with them.
It’s also good to find strategies that can boost your mood so that way you’re able to keep your emotions from building up and affecting your rational point of view. Learning to deal with your emotions is a great skill to have for all times of your life, but it especially comes in handy during the emotional holiday season.
5. Treat yourself
You’ll likely spend a lot of this season trying to find gifts for your loved ones, but there’s no reason why you can’t get yourself a gift as well. Use this time to get that new computer that you’ve desperately been needing or a new pair of shoes that will boost your confidence. Celebrate this wonderful time by showing yourself how much you value yourself. You’re already going to be in the store or shopping online, so you might as well put something in the cart for yourself as well!
Author bi0: Maggie Scott is a content writer whose interests span far and wide. She usually writes health and wellness articles to help her readers feel their best, or she’s writing her critic on the latest rom-com movies to hit the theaters.
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