Christmas is amazing! I mean, I think you all might have got that impression from me what with how excited I always get about it. I mean, it’s not called ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for no reason. However, just because it’s advertised to be this magical and phenomenal season, that doesn’t mean it comes without stresses and problems. It can be an overwhelmingly busy period, and most of us end up stressed and exhausted dreaming of a holiday to escape from this holiday.
With that in mind, it’s so important to practice self-care, especially during Christmas time. Amidst all the merriment, you must take the time to nurture yourself mentally and physically. We can’t all be rays of sunshine all the time and Christmas does take a lot of effort and energy. So today, I’m going to share a couple of ways that you can practice self-care this Christmas, so you can look after yourself and keep the crazy at bay, as well as a special surprise at the end so be sure to keep reading!
It’s been a long year, with plenty of ups and downs (possibly more downs than ups sadly) but what that means is you absolutely deserve to treat yourself! Especially if you’re the kind of person who spends all their time making sure that everything is perfect for everyone else, it’s high time you take the opportunity to treat yourself. You could get yourself a gift – not something excessive or expensive but something you really want or need or something that you can add to your self-care routine. You can also treat yourself by pampering yourself and just doing something that you really really enjoy. The point is, one of the gifts you should definitely be giving this year is the gift of love TO YOURSELF!!
Schedule some quality ‘you’ time
During Christmas, it can sometimes feel like time just runs away from you because you’re busy preparing for so many different things or cooking or maybe going out to see people or do different things. The only problem with this is that this can soak up time during the day that you can dedicate to yourself. This sort of falls under treating yourself – be sure to take some time every day to do something you love, and just be by yourself. You could run yourself a nice hot bubble bath, light some candles and relax with your bath products and a book. You could turn off your phone for the evening and just do something peaceful, or you could call your girlfriends and have a girls night in with them. Whatever you do, make sure that it’s something you love and something that you are doing just for you that makes you happy.
Walk it off
Okay, so I’ve included this point because it has a double meaning. Firstly, because Christmas can get quite intense sometimes you just need to get some space from it all otherwise it can become too overwhelming. So, if you’re feeling stressed or like you just need a breather, take a step back and just walk it off. It could be for a short walk around your neighbourhood, a long walk or even a run if you’re feeling energetic. That way, you can come back to whatever you’re doing feeling fresher and like you’ve had a breather.
Secondly, just because it’s Christmas, we shouldn’t forget about exercise, and exercise is great for our mental health. Getting our heart rate up is important for self-care because it helps clear our minds, it’s good for our bodies, and it helps release feel-good hormones. Plus, even if it’s only for the briefest moment (typically about 5 seconds for me before the muscle pain and exhaustion sets in) you do actually feel lighter and so much better about yourself after exercising. It doesn’t have to be intense exercise like you’re training for a marathon, but even if it’s going for a walk or doing some HIIT exercises each morning, that’s a great thing to keep in your routine as a way to take care of yourself this Christmas.
Avoid the stressful bits.
There are so many aspects of Christmas that can be stressful and overwhelming. Shops can be chaotic and just way too pressurised so be sure to plan ahead (well I know that that doesn’t really help now – sorry if it’s too late for that), but you can go to stores early and do your research/call ahead, so it isn’t too stressful. Also, be sure to plan ahead in general because if last-minute preparation overwhelms you then getting ahead of things can definitely help tone down the stress.
Or, if social situations or planning big events stress you out, then know your limits. You don’t have to say yes to everything so stick to what you are comfortable with, and if hosting an event or doing lots of cooking stresses you out then make a plan to do a potluck, or get takeaways. There are so many ways to avoid stress, and a crucial part of looking after yourself is doing what you can to reduce your stress.
If you need more tips for limiting stress during Christmas, then be sure to check out my blog post on dealing with Christmas-time stress here.
Remember to rest
Sleep is so essential for us. I know I know you can sleep when you’re dead and all that but really why do we keep fooling ourselves into thinking this way? We know that we function so much better and can enjoy our days (even the tough parts) so much more when we are well rested and have had enough sleep.
Christmas can get very intense, and with the need to get everything done (all the cooking and cleaning and getting presents ready) I know that it can be quite easy to forfeit sleep to get it all done, but you need to try and avoid that. A few late nights are okay, but try to prioritise sleep and make sure you’re getting enough rest so that you can actually enjoy the holiday season and not spend the whole time in a sleep-deprived zombie/sloth state.
Connect with people you care about
Between all the things it feels like we need to do – Christmas parties, shopping, cooking, eating, preparing and all the other things that come with Christmas – it can be easy to forget about spending time connecting to the people important to us. Sometimes all those other things can take over in our head and in our schedules which means we leave out spending quality time with the people who make the holiday what it is.
Be sure to actually schedule in time for your friends and family. Reserve some quality, uninterrupted time to sit down and be present in the moment with them. Have dinner with your family, no phones allowed. Or invite one of your friends over to make cookies, or go out for drinks together but be sure to check in with them and actually spend time with them. It will be good for you, and you will definitely feel so much happier and lighter afterwards.
Christmas can be such a busy time of year, and there is so much that needs to be done. This year, make sure to go easy on yourself and give yourself a free pass or two over the holiday season so that you don’t get swept away by Christmas and end up feeling guilty, stressed, overwhelmed or a combination of all of it.
It’s okay to take a break every now and then. You’re allowed to say no to things without feeling guilty that you’re letting someone down. You don’t have to do everything that everyone else wants. If you say you’re only going to have one bite of dessert but end up scoffing all the leftovers and ice cream and chocolate in one night because it’s been one of those days, you’ve got to forgive yourself and give yourself a free pass because stuff happens and that’s okay.
Self-care is so important, especially at this time of year when (even though things can be fantastic and magical) we can lose sight of looking after ourselves and doing things that are good for ourselves. I really hope that after reading this blog post, you feel inspired to find time to practice self-care and I hope this post has given you some ideas for how you can look after yourself more during Christmas. It can be more challenging when you’re busier, so that’s why it is all the more important.
How do you practice self-care during the holidays? What self-care tips do you think I’ve missed? What self-care tips do you swear by?? Do you find yourself too busy to practise self-care during Christmas? Let’s chat in the comments section!!
Otherwise, thank you all so much for reading today’s post! I hope you are all heading off to take a bubble bath or at the very least take the evening off and do something relaxing. I certainly am. I dedicated a lot of my time transiting while travelling to get ahead on Blogmas, so I’ve been taking some time for myself more, which I definitely needed. If you enjoyed today’s post, please don’t forget to hit that like button, subscribe, comment and share with your friends. And, because I love you all so much, I’ve attached another printable in today’s post – a list of great ways to practice self-care during Christmas (please just let me know if you have any trouble accessing it)!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx (off to take a bubble bath with a book followed by something sweet and cinnamony)