Self Care and the Holidays

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Happy day after Thanksgiving, everyone.  I hope you're enjoying a day off, like I am.  I wanted to check in anyway, because I'm using this weekend not for shopping but for taking care of myself (and our house!)  A couple weeks ago I posted about some reminders for ensuring that you have a more simple holiday season this year.  Because in addition to being the most wonderful time of the year, it's also the most stressful for people.  Simplifying the season obviously goes a long way towards combating those stress levels, but it's still so important to take care of yourself.  A hallmark of this time of year is to take care of everyone else - and that's fantastic, of course, but you're not being the best version of you for anyone else if you aren't taking care of yourself too.

You might be blaming your sniffles or fatigue on the weather, but a lot of illness is born from stress.  You're doing more things and sleeping less hours this time of year, which has a direct effect on your body and mood.  So here are some great ways to take care of yourself, all of which I plan on implementing myself this weekend and into December:

  • Get off the internet.  Well, except this blog.  But really, get off any site (looking at you Instagram) that makes you feel like you're not doing enough - enough pictures, enough events, enough decor, enough cookie baking, etc.  Just don't even go down that road.  And while you're at it, get off the shopping websites.  Every day is a new and better deal.  But you don't need it all.  So step away from the screen, put the phone down, and enjoy offline life.
  • Follow your routine.  December is the top month to totally quit the routines that usually make your life function so well.  You get up later, go to bed later, stop exercising, eat more cookies, opt to wrap gifts instead of your usual morning routine with your coffee and a dog walk.  Follow your normal routine as much as possible.  There's definitely more demands on your time, but like the simple reminders say - no is a complete sentence.
  • Nap.  Not just for kids!  If your sleep cycle isn't up to snuff, feel free to take a nap during the day when you can.  Your body needs sleep to repair itself, so not sleeping leads to illness.
  • Read a book.  One that doesn't rhyme and prominently feature reindeer.  Your mind could use the escape, plus it's so comforting and cozy to curl up under a blanket with a good book.
  • Consider clutter free gift ideas for those you live with.  Seriously, it's a sanity saver.  Personally, this means John and Hawkeye - god love 'em, but a lot of my time is spent cleaning up after them.  Namely, their clutter.  If I don't gift them clutter-y things for Christmas, my life is easier.  See how that works?  If you're always picking up your kids toys, guess what I suggest you don't give them for Christmas?
  • Do something that's only because you want to do it.  Not because someone else does, or you feel obligated.  If you want to go see a movie, do that.  If you want to drive around to see Christmas lights, take a bath, binge watch Netflix, do at least one thing that's only because you want to do it.
How do you keep your stress levels in check during the holidays?  What's your favorite way to take care of yourself?

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