For many of us the holidays bring up mixed emotions. On the one hand they are a time of celebration, warmth, beauty, good food, good times, and the loving embrace of families and friends. On the other, they bring stress, overwhelm, over-indulgence, unpleasant memories, or worse. How to navigate the holiday season while staying sane? Here are some simple tips to keep you grounded during the most wonderful time of the year:
Prioritize rest and nutrition. That’s your rest and nutrition, not your family’s or your friends’. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
Move. Walk, run, dance, practice yoga, rake leaves, shovel snow, stretch, anything.
Meditate. Set a timer for five minutes every morning and sit. Do it right after your morning coffee or shower so you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. If you have no idea how to meditate, try Headspace. I follow my breath. Maybe you’ll light a candle and take three full cycles of breath. Maybe watch the clouds go by. Maybe say a mantra. Try a bunch of different things until you find what works for you.
Journal. Three pages every morning or every evening. Use it to rant about your in-laws, worry about money, set intentions for the new year - whatever you need.
Stay close to the people in your life who make you feel sane, seen, and loved.
Spend time with your pets.
Keep a daily list of the things you accomplished and the things you are grateful for. Three of each is enough. Nice to do right before bed.
Open a window. Any window. Breathe deep.
Change your sheets.
Drink water. One or two glasses every morning (maybe right before you meditate).
Give yourself a break. Assume you will be out of balance for the next few weeks and remind yourself that it won’t last forever.
Pick one thing on this list and make a commitment to it through the end of the year.
That last one is perhaps most important. Self-care doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just pick one thing you can realistically do for yourself this holiday season and do it. Both you and your family will thank you.