Self-care during festivities: How to be good with yourself

During the holidays, comparing and competitive feelings rise up in our minds while measuring ourselves against our friends, family, and colleagues. When we’re caught up in a rush to create the perfect holiday experience, showing ourselves a little self-compassion actually helps us show up for others. And at the same time allows us to maintain an eye on our own mental well-being.

Holiday traditions count as self-care 

Traditions can provide a sense of grounding and comfort during the humming holiday season. During times of increased stress, traditions can donate a heart-warming sense of familiarity. 

As mentioned in the past articles, not all holiday traditions and rituals are health-promoting. Overeating and the social pressure of forced get-togethers, for example, are a great source of stress, and often they don’t exclude one another. Moderation is the key:  they help you fulfill some of these fundamental needs of connection and belonging. Research shows that participation in family rituals boosts feelings of closeness with other family members and self-reported enjoyment (read: happiness), according to a study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

Schedule some time to engage in self-care activities

What are self-care activities? Everything that makes you feel good, indeed! Schedule some me-time and engage in what makes you happy: exercise, meditation, a hobby you enjoy, some beauty routines, or just a warm bubble bath. Program the activity at the same time each day to make them become a routine, or set a timer or alarm to remind yourself.

In the same way, practice gratitude for the people and events in your life. Write in a journal what you appreciate in your life. If you are bold enough, let others know the gratitude you feel.

Avoid anxiety-inducing situations

Don’t be afraid to say no! It comes with no surprise, but there are activities that you don’t feel or want to attend, but you feel you have to. It’s easy to over-schedule your time. Even during a pandemic, you might receive dozens of invitations to parties and gatherings for the festivities. Think carefully before accepting an invitation: How much time or energy will it require from you? Is it worth it? Concentrate on simple home activities and traditions that make you feel good. 

Take time daily to listen to your emotions: You are taking care of yourself. Focus on relaxation techniques that may include deep breathing exercises, listening to soothing music, reading a book, or practicing yoga. You are in charge of your life, and you decide!

Moderate your expectations

Healthy living includes moderation in all things. In eating and drinking, for example, but also in the expectations of the season and yourself. 

Striving for perfection is exhausting! 

Aspire for “good enough” instead of stressing out to create the “perfect” holiday tree, meal, gift experience, etc.

Think about moderating your use of electronic devices. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great ways of connecting to others. At the same time, we compare ourselves to all the perceived “perfection” posted by others, fostering the feeling that we aren’t good enough.

One of the positive things about expectations is that we are the ones that create them. There may be factors moving you in one direction or another, but the expectations you set for yourself can be changed at any time. It is necessary to realize that you have more control over them than you think you do.

Give To Others

Helping others is also a part of your Holiday self-care. 

Did you know that random acts of kindness can make you feel happier? Anything that takes your attention away from peer pressure or stress, helping you focus on another person can be beneficial for your overall well-being, and do something good for someone in need. If you know people who are lonely, invite them to your celebrations or bring them a gift or food to celebrate festivities. You can also donate to a food bank to assure the less fortunate a warm meal for Christmas.

The holiday season can mean different things to different people. The celebrations may differ in different parts of the world and have different acceptions in other cultures. The essence of the holiday remains the same, though: Expressing thankfulness and gratitude for what you have. And this includes your most important asset: yourself!

Your Humanoo Team

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