When it becomes busy time, self-care is usually the first thing to go. This is one of those busy times for most people. So by the time the holiday comes, we are tired or sick. Or Grinch-like.

I know I’ve been sick on quite a few holidays. Simplifying Christmas has been so helpful for lessening the stress.

And this year, I decided instead of lessening my self-care, I would amp it up.

I paid for a punch card at our local community recreation to incentivise making it to exercise classes. I only have so much time to use up those punches or I lose money. I’ve been making it about three times a week. I am having so much fun with Zumba. Exercise is a great stress reliever. Then I do weights and yoga at home other days. If you don’t have that much time you can fit in these mostly 15 min. workouts: http://www.youtube.com/befit

I am also letting myself sleep as long as I need to until I wake up naturally. I get more done when well rested. If you can’t sleep in longer due to kids or work, you can go to bed earlier or take a nap.

My goal is to eat 7 fruits and vegetables a day. At least 3, I get through a morning homemade smoothie.

Other ways to add self-care to the holiday season:

  • Read an advent reading or inspirational reading daily
  • Schedule and take downtime after a big shopping or cooking day. I’ll bet a massage or long bath would feel fantastic!
  • Enjoy the fun parts of the season – looking at lights, Christmas carols, movies/TV specials, the smell of pine, connecting with loved ones
  • Ask for help with the chores
  • Schedule stay at home evenings
  • Say no
  • Keep checking in with yourself to see what you are feeling, if you are stressed and what you need

The lies we tell ourselves are we don’t have time, it all HAS to be done, and we can’t take time for ourselves. But, we can take care of ourselves, enjoy the holiday and get things done. We get to choose what it is that we want.

If you want to take care of yourself, you will have to plan for it. Otherwise it probably isn’t happening.

***

Photo by: Janet

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2 comments

  • Janice

    Beth, those are great ideas for taking care of yourself. When we put our own health and well being at the top of the list instead of the bottom we will be healthier and happier. That way we will have the energy to do the things we want to do for our families. Of course sometimes it helps to remove a few of the other tasks from the list. That’s what simplifying is all about.

  • Maggie

    My house is not decorated but all my gifts have been purchased. Some are wrapped and ready to mail. Most will be finished tonight. But I have shopped all fall to find the best gift for each person on my list. My son and I did the rest of the shopping last Saturday (always a fun day for the two of us to share) and after the packages are mailed, I’ll add some holiday cheer to the house. This is the most relaxed I have been in a long time. No real rush to decorate. We’ll put the tree up this weekend and make cookies. Once the ornaments for the tree are out of the basement, the advent calendar and nativity scene will come out, too. I usually keep things out until mid-January so will still have plenty of time to appreciate their beauty. For a change, I’m doing things on my schedule and it has relieved some of the stress of keeping up with someone’s else’s timetable.
    Beth, thanks for the tips on taking care of oneself. We do forget to do that in the midst of working and “working”. God Bless You and your family and have a very Merry Christmas.

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