Ugh, I feel like self-care is such a buzzword these days. If you think you’ve been hearing it a lot…you have. Everything seems to count as self-care, even things like eating, sleeping, and breathing (I’m not kidding, google “self-care breathing” and read a million articles about the best way to breathe to reduce stress).
Despite my bitching………..there’s something to it.
It’s important to listen to your body and take care of yourself year round, but right around the holidays this starts to feel impossible. How can you relax when you have to find personal/special/meaningful gifts for 47 different people, and bake dozens of cookies for the office, and look chic for all your friends’ parties, all while NOT GAINING A POUND OMG. Oh, and actually doing work at your job? Forget about it.
Though it’s hip and trendy, even the cynic in me has to admit that self-care is necessary and needed in these times of stress. Here are some ideas on how to relax, all with a holiday spin. ‘Tis the season, after all.
1. Take a bubble bath.
Clean out that bathtub, find some seasonal bubbles and give yourself a half-hour of bliss. Gingerbread, vanilla, cookie, and peppermint scents will bring out your Christmas spirit. Try this set of bubbles from Philosophy (it would make a great gift, too!).
2. Watch a movie.
Christmas Vacation, anyone? My favorites are Elf, Love Actually, and Die Hard (if Christmas happens in the movie, then it’s a Christmas movie!). Make plans to pop popcorn, turn off your phone, and spend two hours with the Griswalds.
3. Stare into a fire.
Where I live, it’s really freaking hot (except right this minute, when we have a wind-chill of -4 degrees…). Any excuse to light up our fireplace is welcome by me. If you don’t have a fireplace, try a few candles or even some string lights and just relax nearby, even if you’re doing the usual stuff. Would you rather scroll Insta on your lame couch or in front of a roaring fire?
4. Eat delicious food.
You know what’s in season right now? Pomegranates! Greens! Pears! Citrus! What about those classic winter foods that sound gross in the summer, light hot chicken noodle soup! Chili! Casseroles! All those foods are seasonal, delicious, and healthy. There’s nothing more comforting than a hot meal at the end of a cold day. Try this tilapia and lentils recipe on for size…you’ll be too full to gorge on cookies.
Christmas = parties = booze = dehydration. When you get dehydrated, your skin sucks, your energy tanks, and you feel crappy. Stay on top of things by drinking tons of water and tea, and consider trying matcha or turmeric lattes for an extra boost of energy and nutrients. That way you can indulge in that extra glass of champagne, knowing it won’t wreck your body. Also, don’t overdo the caffeine and stay away from energy drinks. Extra coffee will just leave you buzzing and anxious, and energy drinks are pure garbage.
6. Do retail therapy the right way.
Let’s face it: sometimes you go shopping for other people, and leave with bags of stuff for yourself. Now you feel stressed (and maybe a little guilty), and you still have to get something for your coworker’s brother-in-law. Try making a list of gifts in advance so you don’t go into unnecessary stores and spend unnecessary money. And if you tend to treat yo-self, budget a little money for a present from you to you.
7. Have a snowball fight.
Wreck havoc on your enemies and burn mega calories while you’re at it! If you’re gonna be stuck in the snow, you might as well play in it, right? De-stress after a long day by acting like a kid again.
8. Make some healthy resolutions.
I’m alllllllllll about setting goals. I set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals, so needless to say my New Year’s Resolution(s) is/are carefully planned out. Even if you don’t go balls-to-the-wall like I do, take some quiet time to think about where you want your life to be in the new year. Reflect on the good things that happened this last year and pick a few areas that could use improvement going forward. Maybe you were really great about sticking to a workout schedule, but you didn’t get regular sleep (or you drank a bit too much). As the new year approaches keep those goals in mind and set yourself up for success.
That’s all I’ve got for now! If you’ve got other ideas for stress management, especially those with a Christmas-bend, let me know in the comments!