10 Essential Holiday Self Care Practices

The Holidays can be a busy and stressful time of year. Even during a global pandemic when travel and social activities are restricted, there are still family dynamics to navigate, activities to schedule, and time off of work and school to plan.

Whether you have a busy Holiday roster or are planning for some quiet, low key time at home this winter, it is important to practice self care in order to get the most out of the season and avoid burnout.

Here are our top 10 holiday self care practices that will keep your mind and body feeling relaxed and restored as 2020 comes to a close.

  • Pamper yourself. Try turning your house into a spa for the night. Light some candles, take a warm bath, play some soft music and focus on accepting and loving yourself just as you are.
  • Journal. Keeping a written or video journal is a great form of self-care. Expressing your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis can prevent them from building up and causing resentment.
  • Breathe mindfully. Take 10 deep breaths in and out through your nose. This can help slow your heart rate and calm your system.
  • Call your friends. Staying in social connection is extremely important during times of stress and crisis. Reach out to your friends and family on a daily basis—even if it’s just a short message—to maintain your close connections.
  • Practice self compassion. Remind yourself that everyone gets triggered and soothe yourself by offering self compassion and self care.
  • Try an ice bath or cold shower. Cold exposure can help reduce inflammation and support your nervous system. It also helps strengthen your vagus nerve, which can reduce stress and the effects of stress on the body.
  • Help someone else. Whether it’s volunteering, donating or raising awareness, helping someone in need or supporting a cause you believe in can boost your mood and energy.
  • Get Vitamin D. Not only does Vitamin D boost the immune system, but it can also improve mood. If you aren’t able to spend time outdoors to absorb sunshine, try taking a Vitamin D supplement or eating foods such as meat or fortified cereals.
  • Exercise. Even 20 minutes of exercise a day can have amazing mental and physical health benefits. If you don’t have the time or energy to work out, try stretching or taking a short walk around the block.
  • Meditate. During the hustle and bustle of the Holidays, meditation provides an opportunity to slow down and practice accepting external circumstances without judgement. It has been shown to improve mental clarity and produce a sense of calm.