Thinking about scheduling time off from work to enjoy a little self-care for the holidays?
A staycation to spend your downtime relaxing at home with your family may be the break you desire. Yet, if you’re not mindful of your time, your staycation can be anything but restful.
You imagine yourself unwinding and enjoying the space, ease, and quiet. Instead, you’re spending more time socializing, spending money, running errands, and completing seasonal tasks. Before you know it, your staycation is over and you hardly feel rested at all!
During a staycation, it feels like you have all the time in the world. But if you’re not careful, you’ll spend all that time and have none leftover for yourself.
If you want to feel well-rested and rejuvenated during this time of the year, take time for yourself first.
Why Caring For Yourself is Crucial, Especially During the Holidays
Your to-do list feels like it’s growing each day, but your days feel shorter than ever (especially after the time change!).
So what might you do?
You overextend yourself.
You’re busy at every moment — cooking, shopping, cleaning, wrapping gifts, decorating… the list goes on!
But what happens once you overextend yourself? According to Psych Central, you may start experiencing:
- Headaches and muscle tension
- Appetite changes
- Disruption in sleep patterns
- Lack of focus
- Poor judgment
- Nervousness or anxiousness
All of these symptoms put you on track to feeling overwhelmed and experiencing signs of burnout!
You heard that right. You take time off to enjoy the holidays and wind up experiencing burnout instead! And the last thing you want for the new year is to feel overwhelmed with life.
The first thing you want to do is create more free time and space in your life during your staycation. If you’re a perfectionist and over-achiever, you might want to do everything yourself. As a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever, I feel you. So, if you’re taking time off for the holidays, these tips can help you dedicate some of that time to YOU.
Self-Care for the Holidays: Take Time for Yourself (So You Can Feel Rested and Centered During Your Staycation)
#1 Maintain Your Morning Routine
When you’re taking time off, it’s tempting to stay in bed all day.
Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sleep in. Feel free to catch a few extra hours of sleep — you deserve it!
What I am saying is that even when you’re taking time off from work, your morning routine need not take a break. Remember: your morning practices are meant to benefit you. This daily ritual ensures that you give time to YOU before you give it away to others.
Even if it means you’re starting it one or two hours later because you’re sleeping in, stick with it. Your morning routine can keep you grounded and empowered for the day that awaits you.
Some of my favorite practices I do in my morning routine include:
- Journaling my thoughts and emotions
- Practicing gratitude
- Applying and diffusing essential oils (aromatherapy does wonders for calming your body and reducing stress)
Doing just these five things helps me start my day feeling invigorated and inspired. And with all the shopping and decorating you might have to do, wouldn’t you want to tackle them feeling empowered?
#2 Gift Yourself the Present Moment
During the holiday season, it can feel like so many things are competing for your attention. You’re putting up holiday decorations, checking people off your gift list, and writing messages in your holiday cards.
Sometimes, you forget that the present moment is HERE and you’re living it right now.
To remind myself to be more mindful of the present moment, I practice sensory self-care. Sensory self-care is tending to your five senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing). And during the holidays, there are so many special opportunities to give your senses some attention:
- When it’s feeling chilly, light the fireplace and enjoy your favorite hot drink
- Run a hot bath and light your favorite scented candle (might I recommend holiday scents of pine or cinnamon?)
- Drive through neighborhoods while playing holiday tunes and admire how families decorate their homes with Christmas lights
- Try a new holiday recipe with the family and let the delicious aromas waft through your home
Delighting your senses during the holiday season can make this time of year even more memorable.
#3 Express Gratitude for Yourself
You’ve worked so hard, and now you’re taking some well-deserved time off.
This staycation is a sign of gratitude for yourself, an acknowledgement of all you have achieved this year.
Nobody will argue that it has been a crazy year.
You’ve gone through so much — a pandemic, social tensions, and now we have political developments to wrap up 2020.
We have ALL been affected. If you felt isolated or fearful during this year, it’s understandable.
Yet, you have made it to the end of the year.
Your hard work, resilience, and commitment to yourself and your family have only empowered you.
And you deserve recognition for that.
And even though it may feel silly, the next time you see yourself in the mirror, tell yourself, “Thank you for all you have done. I appreciate you.”
Reclaim Your Time and Give It To Yourself
During this time of the year, it’s easy to give all our time away, whether to holiday tasks or socializing with others. Instead of feeling centered, you feel like you’re pulled in every direction.
It’s time to stop feeling overwhelmed this holiday season and start feeling well-rested, replenished, and inspired.
This only happens when you set aside time for yourself and use it for self-care and self-love.
If you need a little inspiration for self-care activities that will revitalize you, I offer you a free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.
I hope your holidays are filled with warmth, joy and ease. Take care and happy holidays!