Boost Your Peace with these 7 Intentional Tips for Holiday Self-Care
In a world with increasing demands on our time, energy, and capacity, self-care is more essential than ever. Pouring from an empty cup only leads to burnout and dissatisfaction. Keeping a pulse on your internal needs can help you approach the busyness of the holiday season with ease, intention, and a fuller cup to be fully present for every special memory. Below are 7 intentional ways to pause and nurture yourself with intentional self-care even amidst a busy holiday calendar.
1. Create a Daily Gratitude Practice
Cultivating a gratitude practice could look like taking time each day to journal about 3 areas you are grateful for whether it be your job, a special moment with your family, or simply having a roof over your head. Shifting the focus onto what you have in the present can help you become more mindful and grounded in your day-to-day life. If you prefer a guided journal with prompts The 5 Minute Journal is science-backed and harnesses the healing power of gratitude, setting intentions, and reflection.
Tip: To involve your loved ones in a more collaborative way, go around the dinner table and share something you are grateful for. Research has shown that higher levels of gratitude can help lower levels of depression and anxiety.
2. Take Time For Silence and Meditate
With increasing daily demands on our time and energy, meditation is one way to deepen your peace during the holidays. The morning can be the perfect place to do this before the demands of the day set in. Finding a quiet space to unplug from devices and practice deep breathing is a great place to begin. According to neuroscience, practicing mindfulness can help to increase connections between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. These parts of our brain can help us become less reactive to stressors and have quicker bounce back amidst stress. Meditation can be an incredible tool to help you move beyond the to-do list, refresh your mind, and access your own inner wisdom.
Tip: To begin meditating find a quiet space, set a time limit of 5-10 minutes or more, and focus on your breathing. While guided meditations are available sitting in silence can help you to take notice of your thoughts and redirect yourself back to peace and clarity.
3. Practice Grounding Outside in Nature
Grounding is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that ground or connect you in nature to the earth. Key ways to practice grounding include walking barefoot in nature, lying on the ground skin-to-earth, and immersing yourself in a body of water such as a lake or the ocean. While research is still ongoing, these grounding techniques have been linked to reduced stress, lower inflammation, and overall mood improvement! Grounding can also improve sleep and help to reduce overall cortisol production.
Tip: While it can become harder to practice grounding outside in the fall and winter months in certain parts of the U.S., consider planning a vacation somewhere warm and practice grounding yourself by walking barefoot on the sand. Even touching snow with your bare hands or playing amidst the fall leaves can be other helpful practices.
4. Cultivate a Clean, Organized Space
An organized space can greatly encourage a calmer state of mind especially in busier times. One way to prepare for the holidays is to declutter old clothes and items you do not use and to donate or sell them. Less clutter equals more space for things (and holiday décor) you truly love! Taking inventory of past holiday décor can also help you discern what you desire to keep and what needs to go.
Tip: Other ways to hit refresh on your space include: tossing blankets in the wash, re-organizing the pantry, donating old books, and dusting. Cultivating an organized space can help you stay grounded amidst the holiday busyness.
5. Pour Into Your Sleep Routine
Sleep is a vital way of showing care to yourself no matter what season it is. Avoiding sugary snacks and high-carb treats before bed can help improve sleep quality as carbs can reduce the amount of time your body spends in the deep sleep cycle. Having a set time to wind down, put your phone/laptop away, and head to bed can be beneficial to support a healthy circadian rhythm. Mood and sleep are very connected and sufficient sleep can help to regulate emotions and help you to keep your cool amidst holiday chaos!
Tip: For a sleep “refresh” consider changing out your sheets to match the season, using blackout curtains, and ensuring your room or living space is nice and cool.
6. Exercise Out Of Love Not Punishment
The holidays can often mean a time for more indulgence with food and drink. Getting in regular exercise is key to have you feeling better no matter the season! Instead of going into self-beat up mode, practice viewing exercise as a way to show love to your body…not punishment.
Tip: Trying out different exercises can help you find one that you truly love and enjoy doing. With busy holiday schedules, getting in a long workout may not be doable. Consider adding in a 15-minute walk to end the day!
7. Find Small Ways to Treat Yourself and to Alone Time
Alone time can be hard to come by depending on your life season but it doesn’t mean you can’t create it. The holidays can often be a time focused on giving mostly to others, why not give to yourself? Finding small ways to give back to yourself whether it be a special holiday latte, a walk in the park, or even a relaxing night in.
Tip: De-stress and soak in an Epsom salt bath to unwind and cultivate peace. Epsom salt baths have been shown to be helpful for easing both muscle pain and stress.
This year, give yourself the gift of healthy boundaries and self-care to boost your peace. Slowing down to care for yourself can give you the joy and space to navigate the holidays with a full cup.