The holiday season seems to come and go in the blink of an eye — so many celebrations, reunions, and festivities are packed into just a few short weeks each year. It’s easy to get caught up in the euphoria of it all, so make sure to follow these tips to help you take proper care of yourself.
1. Have you eaten a good meal?
Work parties and holiday dinners may have you treating yourself to foods you’re typically not accustomed to eating. Or doing some last minute shopping while juggling end of year projects might have you forgetting about meals entirely. Create a structure for yourself that ensures you have at least one meal a day made out of food that nourishes your body and makes you feel good.
2. Did you get a good night’s sleep?
Getting enough restful sleep is crucial to mental health. Eight hours a night can be tough to keep up with between holiday parties and entertaining visitors from out of town, but compromising your rest can quickly result in you not being fully mentally and emotionally present for things you care about. Take a critical look at your calendar and pick some dates to call it a night early — bonus if you can also sleep in the next day!
3. When were you last alone with your thoughts?
Some holiday experiences involve a little bit of sensory overload — the teeming crowds at holiday markets, the shrieking kids at your niece’s holiday pageant, that same holiday jingle that seems to play everywhere from your supermarket to your office elevator. If it all has you feeling on edge, set aside some time to mentally turn down the volume and look inward. Spending time with yourself and your thoughts will help you re-engage with it all from a more centered place.
4. Is the way you’re spending time nourishing you?
There are always certain expectations you have to fulfill during the holidays, whether it be the annual dinner with that big client you secretly can’t stand or that ugly sweater tradition you don’t have the heart to tell your siblings you’re not really excited about anymore. While there’s kindness in being generous with your time, don’t forget to be generous to yourself too. Prioritize holiday activities and spending time with people you actually care about and minimize the amount of things you’re doing out of a sense of obligation.
5. Are there feelings you’re afraid to feel?
Clients frequently come to me expressing that they feel sad, lonely, or angry, but they don’t know why. This is more common during emotionally charged times of year, such as the holiday season. If you’ve been struggling with a difficult emotion without an immediately clear cause, stepping back and reflecting on it honestly may reveal thoughts or feelings you’ve been reluctant to face.
Another year passing by may remind you of your own mortality. Witnessing others celebrate with their (seemingly) happy families could bring up the pain of your family’s dysfunctional dynamics. Getting in touch with your inner emotional life can be tough, but it can also result in some much needed clarity.
Getting more support
Sometimes check-ins and self care aren’t enough. If you’ve started to realize that you’re not feeling like your usual self, it might be time to consult a therapist. Schedule a free phone consultation with me today by clicking the button below — I’m ready to hear more about what you’ve been struggling with and discuss how to get started on working together.