How well do you really look after yourself? Do you make the time to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being? Do you create the space for yourself to nurture the relationships that bring you joy?
Well, you might, but even the most self-aware among us find the holidays to be the busiest and most stressful times of the year. Introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts alike all find the holidays to be the most draining, often feeling the obligation to do more, give more, and host more than we can possibly manage!
As a result, self-care often gets pushed to the back burner. And yet, self-care is the single greatest thing we can do for ourselves during the holidays and the months that follow. It’s the single most important thing we can do to ensure our mental, physical, and emotional well-being during this hectic time.
The pre-holiday period, the middle of the holiday season, and the post-holiday period all present opportunities for self-care. Before the holidays begin is the time to start preparing for the coming season — setting boundaries, and recharging the mind, body, and soul.
In this article, we’ll look at the importance of self-care during the holidays and the best ways to practice it, both pre, mid, and post-holidays.
Start the holiday season off right by taking the time to take care of yourself first. This is the time to set boundaries, make a plan for the weeks ahead, and make sure you have the energy to take on the joys of the season.
Let’s take a look at the best ways to practice self-care pre-holidays.
Prioritize Your Sleep Schedule
During the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. But taking the time to prioritize your sleep schedule is essential for the weeks ahead. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night and establish a consistent bedtime routine. You won’t just feel better the next day — you’ll also be able to take on the coming weeks with a clear mind.
Start an Exercise Routine or Stick to Your Regular One
Physical exercise can help reduce stress and boost the immune system, both of which are important during the holidays. Take the time to get out of the house and get your body moving. Take the dog for a walk, hit the gym, or sign up for a fun fitness class with friends or family members.
Make Plans with Friends & Family
When the holidays roll around, it’s easy to forget about spending time with the people you care the most about. Take the time to connect with the people that bring you the greatest joy and start planning special activities or events throughout the season. As you do this, it’s important to also create the space to take breaks and rest when you need it.
Start a Gratitude Journal
One of the best ways to stay focused on the positive during the holidays is by starting a gratitude journal. Each day, take the time to write down the things that bring you joy. It could be the simple task of writing down the things you’re thankful for, the people in your life, or the moments that made you smile.
When you do this, the holidays will be the joyful and special occasions they’re meant to be. By taking the time to practice self-care pre-holiday, you’ll create the space to truly enjoy the season ahead.
Prepare to Be Assertive and Set Boundaries
The holidays, ironically, can be the most stressful time of the year. With the added obligation to take part in family events, go the extra mile for holiday parties and gatherings, shop for expensive gifts, and generally put on a smile — it’s all too easy to overextend yourself.
That’s why it’s important to practice the art of self-care during this hectic period. It’s important to be assertive and set the boundaries you need for your time, energy, space, and resources. Make sure that the expectations are realistic and manageable, then stick to them as the season progresses.
If a friend or family member oversteps the boundaries you’ve set, don’t be afraid to speak up and say no. Remember that the holidays are the time for quality connections and relationships — not the time to burn yourself out.
Once the holiday season is in full swing, it’s important to take the time to look after yourself. Here are the best ways to practice self-care mid-holidays.
Take Breaks from the Hustle and Bustle
The holiday season can be an extremely hectic time of year, with long days filled with shopping, socializing, traveling, and entertaining. It’s important to take the time to relax and unwind during the season. Set aside time for yourself, whether that means taking a walk or stretching for 10 minutes — the important thing is to create the space to recharge.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
With the stress of the holidays comes an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Take the time to check in with yourself and make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to look after your mental wellbeing. Talk to a trusted friend or family member if needed, practice mindful activities such as yoga or meditation, or seek the help of a professional.
Connect with Nature
Nature is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Spend some time outdoors, walk in the park or take a hike — the important thing is just to get outside and breathe in the fresh air. This will help you re-center yourself and create a sense of peace and calmness during the season.
You did it! You managed to get through the holidays and the long list of tasks that come with the season. Now it’s time to take the time to look after yourself post-holidays.
Make Time for Self-Reflection
Take the time to reflect on the past holiday season and the experiences you had. What did you learn? What would you do differently the next time the holidays roll around? Reflecting on the past helps us to become more aware of the present and make the most out of future holiday seasons.
Set Realistic Post-Holiday Goals
Once the holidays are over, it’s natural to feel a sense of sadness and post-holiday blues. To combat this, set realistic post-holiday goals for the coming months. This could be the goal of getting eight hours of sleep each night, spending time with friends and family, or taking the time to read a book you’ve been wanting to read.
Detox from Social Media
Social media can be an extremely taxing activity during the holidays, with the constant influx of posts and the pressure to keep up with the latest trends.
Take the time to detox from social media and focus on the things that bring you the most joy. That could mean turning off notifications for a few days or taking the week off completely.
Recharge Your Social Battery
What brings you the most pleasure? Is it the time spent with family and friends? Or the memories made during each holiday? Take the time to focus on the things that bring you the most happiness, whether that means watching a funny movie, going for a walk, or simply taking a break from the frenetic pace of the season.
This will help to recharge your social battery and will set the tone for the coming year. We’re already in the first few weeks of the new year — the time to start taking the steps towards self-care and looking after yourself is now.
Book a Massage or Spa Day
One of the best ways to practice self-care pre, mid, and post-holidays is by booking a massage or spa day. This will give you the opportunity to relax, unwind, and replenish your body after the holiday season.
At Aquarius Wellness Spa, we understand the importance of self-care during the holidays. We’re here to help you look after yourself pre-holidays, mid-holidays, and post-holidays with a range of services designed to leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
From our Signature Massages to the ultimate Spa Day packages, we’ve got the perfect self-care services for the holiday season. Book a spa service today by clicking here, and experience the Aquarius Wellness difference.
As always, our wish for all of you, as stated in our mantra at Aquarius, is to:
The Aquarius Team