Make the Holidays Happy With Some Self-Care

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Considering how stressful the holidays can be for so many, someone should really write a song called “Have Yourself a Meditative Little Christmas.” Self-care is more important than ever when you’re burning the candle at both ends. Even when you’re doing your best to keep the holidays in perspective, you have to make time to give yourself the attention necessary to keep life moving in a positive direction.

Start by asking yourself what self-care means to you. Is it getting a massage? Carving out time to exercise even when you feel like you should be working? Jot down what makes you feel good, then eyeball your schedule to find the time for these things.

If you aren’t sure where to start, let us offer up some ideas. Whether you only have five minutes or half a day to yourself, here’s how to spend it.


5 minutes

Stretch! Seriously. Use your five minutes to stretch out your body. It is known to reduce stress, prevent future injury, and loosen up stiff muscles. Not sure how to get the most bang for your buck? Search YouTube for a five-minute stretching routine for instant relief.


15 minutes

Weather permitting, take a brisk walk outside. The fresh air will do you good, even if you have to bundle up. This little blast of exercise will get your heart pumping and blood flowing, all helpful for your circulation and mental health.


30 minutes

Take a power nap. A half hour might not seem long enough to give you the energy you so greatly deserve, but it will give your mind a much-needed break. These brief stretches of sleep have been reported to reduce stress levels and actually boost your immunity. If you aren’t at home or in a place where you can rest your head, use this 30 minutes to get lost in a book or squeeze in a quick workout. The key here is to find a quick, good-for-you escape.


1 hour

Have lunch with a friend. Yes, you may be socializing a lot this time of year thanks to holiday parties, but nothing beats a one-on-one meal with a close pal. Catch up, laugh, and commiserate if you need to. However, try to keep the venting portion of your lunch to a minimum. Focus on the positive and release the negative.


2 hours

Bring on the indulgences! Get a massage or other spa treatment you love but rarely make time for in your schedule. Allow plenty of time before and after the rubdown so that you aren’t feeling rushed. There’s nothing that can reverse the benefits of a massage faster than a speedy return to reality.


Half a day

Treat this time as your own personal wellness retreat. Set aside a few minutes of it to meditate (or more if you’re further along in your practice). Schedule a workout you really love, whether that’s running on a favorite trail or taking a killer dance class. Fill this time with the things you enjoy that are just for you. That means no holiday prep! It’s called self-care, not Christmas-care.


No time at all to do things for you? Well, we need to change that! Start by assigning out some tasks that typically fall on your shoulders. Don’t think of it as burdening others, but rather sharing responsibilities. If your work schedule is packed to the gills, start scheduling appointments for you with you.


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