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Tips for Practicing Self-Care During the Holidays

By Emily Beene, Foundation Programs Coordinator

The holidays are in full swing and it’s once again the busiest time of the year! You’ve checked every gift off your list, decorated your home and maybe even watched a holiday movie (or ten) curled up on your couch.

Even during the chaos of the season, it’s important to prioritize yourself. To make it easier, we’ve decided to round up some of our favorite “Holiday Self-Care” tips to ensure this is the best holiday season yet!

1. Take 15 minutes for yourself.

And no, this is not 15 minutes spent scrolling on social media. Every day, make sure to carve out at least a couple of minutes for yourself and really focus on listening to what you need. Maybe you’re exhausted from staying up to wrap those last final gifts? Or you’ve endured just a little too much family time? Treat yourself to a relaxing bath or try out a new face mask while snuggling up in your favorite blanket. Take a quick walk, call a sister who lives far away or organize your bathroom cabinet. Whatever helps you unwind and breathe for 15 minutes, don’t skip it during the holidays!

2. Give back to others.

Are you feeling like the holidays have lost a bit of sparkle as you got older? Maybe it’s just us, but especially around this season of the year, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the gifts, the shopping and the never-ending to-do lists. Wasn’t it all just so much more magical when we were kids? When I start to feel this way, I love to focus on ways I can stop thinking about myself and give back to others. Maybe it’s volunteering at the food pantry or supporting the Kappa Delta Foundation by giving a donation to the scholarships campaign. Giving back helps me focus on the real meaning of the holidays and not just my problems.

3. Get some sleep.

Especially with the nonstop, on-the-go nature of the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re not skimping out on your sleep. As tempting as it might be to stay up a few more hours to stuff the stockings or bake one more batch of your signature homemade cookies, make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night to keep you healthy and avoid that infamous year-end burn out.

4. Don’t be afraid to say, “No.”

Setting boundaries around the holidays is difficult because you want to be at every event to spend time with every person you love. But this can leave you feeling like you are spread way too thin very quickly. Feel comfortable turning down things that add more stress unto your plate than happiness. You don’t have to attend every party, go to every ornament swap or exchange gifts with every person you know. You can’t do it all and that is perfectly normal (and OK)!

5. Try to be healthy but also, treat yourself.

We get it, between the slew of holiday cookies and sweets, cocoa and egg nog, it’s easy to over-indulge this time of year. The goal here is to strike a balance: focus on staying healthy without feeling like you are restricting yourself. Maybe this is simply eating what you are craving in the moment and making time for a short walk with family members to stay active. Or starting each day of the holiday season with a green smoothie to make sure you get those veggies in first thing. And if you do go a little too crazy with the cookies, don’t stress about it too much.

6. Remember, self-care is NOT selfish.

I’ve heard this phrase so many times since it became popular, but I still have to remind myself of it when I feel guilty for taking some time to recharge. If you’re like me, and the second you sit down you think “Wait, am I being selfish? I’ve got so many things to do!” this definitely applies to you. But before you start doubting yourself, remember that you need to take care of yourself before you can focus on others. Remember the rule during every airline safety demonstration? Make sure to put on your mask before helping others with theirs. Same thing!