Things to do to ensure self-care throughout the holiday season:
1. Time management: as your to-do lists grow, it becomes important to use your calendars to help you get things done without compromising your self-care.
2. Continue your self-care routine
a. Sleep: Notice if you seem to need more sleep than usual; this could be due to the extra running around and staying up later at social functions, or it could be due to underlying depression or grief.
b. Eat right and drink water: Notice how your body feels when you indulge in irresistible desserts and extra cocktails and try to balance your indulgence by drinking more water and eating nutritious foods.
c. Exercise: It may be difficult to find the time or the energy for physical activity, but I would say it’s one of the key ways to stay mentally healthy during the holidays and throughout the year.
3. Allow yourself to pass or take down time: Recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed and give yourself permission to relax. This might require some assertiveness to politely and firmly say “no” to an invitation. Practicing assertiveness will come in handy in many situations throughout your life and it’s important to develop this skill.
4. Consider other ways to feel connected: We often think of the holiday season as a time to feel connected and it makes sense that we’d want to spend time with friends and family. However, if we’re far from our friends and family or if spending time with the people in our lives feels too challenging or overwhelming, spending time in nature is a wonderful alternative. Research shows that spending time in nature increases our sense of belonging, joy, connectedness, and well-being. Try walking, hiking, biking, skiing, swimming or whichever outdoor activity is available and feels good to you.