Happy Holidays! Christmas is in five days, but there’s something about this year that doesn’t feel like the holiday season to me and it has everything to do with the pandemic. A few things I really love about the holidays are; the lights, the music and just the overall feel of the season. But this year I’ve been missing out on the full experience because I haven’t been able to go out the way I wanted to. In fact, all of my Christmas shopping was done on Amazon. While it was convenient and safe, I miss the experience of being in the stores and seeing all the decorations, the Christmas inspired items, clothing, products and the Christmas music playing while I shopped. I will say that the one thing I don’t miss about the stores are the LONG lines. I’m an in and out person when it comes to shopping. But I’m learning to practice patience when I’m in situations where I have no control.
Despite the restrictions we’re facing, this is still the busiest time of year. Even though Christmas may be a little different for all of us, I’m sure that we can still use some self-care to free us from the chaos of preparation. I’ve recently started posting about the myths of self-care, and how we should celebrate and find pleasure in the small wins, by grabbing the opportunity for a self-care moments when we can. For example, maybe you don’t have time to do a full Yoga session but you can do breathing exercises while you’re making dinner or while you’re doing work on your computer. If you can’t find time to sit down and read a book, you can listen to a book on audible or listen to a motivational podcast. These are emotional self-care activities that you can do in your car, in the shower, or while you’re cleaning up around the house. Other options are; repeating and writing down affirmations, taking a nap if you have the time, get an adult coloring book and color with the kids, ask for help when you need it and saying no if you’re not available. Small efforts lead to big wins over time and those are the most effective wins.
I specifically made these challenges Christmas inspired because I wanted to keep us in the holiday spirit while we take care of ourselves. While doing some research for this blog post, the common theme that stood out for me was the stress of the holiday season and how it’s really important for us to engage in self-care practices during this time of the year. This article actually defined the holiday season by stating that “the most wonderful time of the year becomes archaic and difficult because of the amounts of stress that we deal with.” With that in mind, here are some physical and emotional self-care ideas to help reduce your stress levels this season.
Sunday–COZY YOGA (emotional and physical self-care): While I was researching Christmas inspired self-care ideas for this blogmas post, I found a site that mentioned Cozy Yoga. It was my first time hearing about it but I thought it was so fitting for the holiday season. I assumed it was going to be much different from regular yoga but it’s not lol. I did some research and it looks like it may be the name of a Yoga Studio. Another site says that “cozy yoga is the ultimate at home practice for the whole family. All bodies and all types are welcome for this gentle 40 min Yoga practice designed to help you balance the energy of your body, process, stretch, soothe, and find what feels good.” I also found a Cozy Yoga video, that gave me the idea that this form of Yoga may have been a yoga practice that you can perform in comfy and warm yoga attire. I’m encouraging you to do this practice in front of your Christmas tree (especially if it’s real). The smell of pine while you inhale and transition in your poses will surely keep you in the holiday spirit.
Monday–GRATITUDE MEDITATION (emotional self-care): If you’re following me on social media then you’ll know that I’ve been doing a 13 Days of Gratitude challenge since Monday the 14th. I got the idea from my Shop Lovet Agency Self-Care planner which I referenced in this blog post. The year has been rough for all of us and if you’re lucky enough to be safe, healthy, still be employed, and have your family. Then you have more than enough to be grateful. Take some time today and meditate on all that you have and everything you’re grateful for. Your gratitude practice doesn’t have to stop at meditation. If you don’t have one, start a gratitude journal, and each day write down everything you’re thankful for, from the breath in your lungs to the ability to work from home during the pandemic. I found a practice you can use that’s specific to the holiday season.
Tuesday-CHRISTMAS INSPIRED HOMEMADE POTPOURRI (emotional self-care): I’ve seen these a lot on Pinterest. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically boiling herbs, fruits and spices to fill your home with the smell of the holidays. I love this idea for self-care because I believe that the aroma from each ingredient can be beneficial to our mood. Christmas potpourri usually consist of the following ingredients and is designed to fill your house with the smell of Christmas throughout the day. While you’re going about your day, if you feel stressed or challenged, take a deep breath in an inhale all the aromas and use it as your source of comfort and relaxation. Allow it to keep you centered today.
- Fresh Cranberries
- Cinnamon sticks
Wednesday–DRINK HOT COCOA AND WATCH CHRISTMAS MOVIES (emotional self-care): Today’s challenge is a bit of a segue into Christmas day. It’s the day before Christmas Eve so tonight after you’ve done all your gift wrapping and preparation, sit down with a hot cup of cocoa (with all the fix-ins) and watch some of your favorites. If you have a fireplace turn it on, (or listen to a fireplace ASMR), plug in the Christmas tree, and if you have time, do a movie marathon. Get your family involved and enjoy yourself and each other. Here are a list of options to choose from.
Thursday–LIGHT A CHRISTMAS SCENTED CANDLE (emotional self-care): I love candles. I’ve mentioned in the past that I buy my candles based on the seasons so my home would always have a summer, winter, fall, and spring smell. Holiday candles are the best because they will always put you in the spirit. It’s Christmas Eve and you might have a lot going on or it may be a lazy day. Much like the Christmas potpourri, light a candle and fill the house with the smell of Christmas. Allow the scent to be your source of calm admits any chaos. Here are some Christmas candle ideas.
Friday–MERRY CHRISTMAS (physical and emotional self-care): Enjoy the time with your family. Family time is the ultimate self-care. As hectic as it may be at times to be a parent, I know there are plenty of joys tied into it. Focus on that today. If you’re spending Christmas solo find the joy in your solitude there’s a blessing in solitude as well.
Saturday-TAKE A NAP (physical and emotional self-care): It’s the weekend and it’s the day after Christmas so for most of us it’s likely going to be a lazy day. The holidays are mostly behind us right now so stay in your pj’s all day and schedule some time in for a nap. Take several naps throughout the day if you can, nap with kids. The to do list and chores can wait until tomorrow. Todays all about naps, snacks, movies and family.
Despite what the year has been like for all of us, what’s most important is how we play the hand we’re dealt. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the saying “life is 90% of what happens to us and 10% of how we deal with it.” The saying is true, because we can’t control most of what happens to us but we can find the lesson in all our adversities. Happy Holidays, I’ll “see you next week with a new set of challenges.
Also, if you’re interested, here are some other Christmas inspired self-care ideas, I did a blogmas post that you can check out here (in case you didn’t click the link when I mentioned in previously). It contains a list of twenty-five Christmas inspired self-care ideas, and it includes a free printable!! Feel free to reference the infographic above as well (the first pic). It is a very condensed version of the twenty-five Christmas inspired self-care ideas.
By the way, if you haven’t signed up already. On January 3rd, I will be launching my weekly Newsletter, in addition to my Self-care Accountability Worksheets. The worksheets will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The self-care worksheets are FREE but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.