Self-care often gets overlooked and under prioritized, especially during this time of year. It’s now, more than ever that you will reap the benefits by taking small steps to give your mind and body what it needs to deal with the high level of stress that comes with the holidays. Make this year different. Instead of ignoring your basic human needs like food, sleep, stress management, love and enjoyment, make it a point to be present in the moment and take care of yourself. You will be a better person for it and those around you will benefit as well.
One common issue that many people face over the holiday season is overindulging. Practicing self-care on a regular basis can really help minimize this behavior because you aren’t seeking the food as your only source of pleasure. Mindfulness is also really helpful in preventing overeating (feeling of being stuffed). Mindfulness simply means being present (in your mind) with your surroundings and what you’re doing. It means “checking in” on your emotions, thoughts and feelings while you’re eating and while you’re at a social gathering.
Here is a great article that lists easy ways to incorporate self-care into your daily life. Here are some of my favorites:
- Do a short (10 min) guided meditation app on your phone, on a routine basis. I like” Head Space.” It’s free and very relaxing!
- Deep breathing before a meeting or stressful event (or in the bathroom if you’re at a stressful event and need a time out)
- Drink your coffee or tea without distraction. Just sit and sip for 5 minutes.
- Walk during your lunch. Even for just 10 minutes. Find a friend to accompany you, if possible.
- Reconnect with an old friend.
- Practice gentle stretching while you’re watching TV or listening to music or just hanging out with your family.
- Listen to a comedian or something funny/ upbeat on your way to and from work. You can find free podcasts for this.
- Hug your friends and family more often. It releases oxytocin, the “happy” hormone.
I suggest picking just one or two of these that appeal to you, and working on including them on a daily basis.
Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!