People often say that the holiday season is the best time of the year. Cheerful gatherings, lifted spirits, and a fresh new year right around the corner – what’s not to love? The truth is that this is not a realistic depiction of everyone’s experience with the holidays. For many, this time of year brings about negative emotions, such as anxiety or loneliness. To help alleviate those negative feelings, consider incorporating self-care into your routine. Here are some ways you can do just that.
Set aside time each day for a mindful practice. Be mindful in a way that feels right for you. Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are all great options to get you started. These practices help you stay in the present moment, easing your stress about the upcoming holidays.
Pay attention to your emotions. Instead of bottling up those emotions, write them down! Grab a pen and paper, set a timer for 5 minutes, and write down everything you’re thinking and feeling. This is a great way to release emotions, both positive and negative.
Stay active. Find an exercise routine that works well for your schedule. Make sure it is manageable and realistic! Starting out with an extremely intense exercise regimen is never a good idea. Start small and build from there.
Practice gratitude. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for. I know it sounds simple, but it will help bring you perspective (and positivity). The goal with this exercise is not to dismiss our challenges or struggles; rather, the goal here is to appreciate the little things in life we often take for granted. Don’t forget to express your gratitude year-round, not just around the holiday season!
Get some fresh air! Spending time outside may not be as appealing during the colder months, but it is still important. A little bit of fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for your mental health.
Treat yourself with kindness. Many of us, myself included, are our own biggest critics. We don’t give ourselves enough credit! Next time those self-deprecating thoughts come up, combat them with positive self-talk. It may feel unnatural to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones, but over time it will feel more authentic.
This holiday season, the best present you can give yourself is taking care of your health (mentally, emotionally, and physically). Try to keep this in mind in the coming weeks.
We wish you a safe, happy holiday season!