The Ultimate Self-Care Cheat Sheet For Enjoying the Holiday Season

December 04, 2019 8 min read

The Ultimate Self-Care Cheat Sheet For Enjoying the Holiday Season

With all the extra commitments we have this time of year, it’s easy to let our self-care habits slip, but you and I both know that taking time out for ourselves becomes all the more important when life gets busy.

To help you show up as your best and most sparkly self this holiday season, we’ve compiled our favourite (and most important) self-care reminders. 

 

Use long queues to your advantage 

The next time you’re standing in line, waiting for a car park, sitting in traffic, waiting at the traffic lights to cross the road, use it as an opportunity to quickly reset and recharge. 

Instead of using your phone to pass the time, use these micro moments to come back to you—to slow down and explore what your mind and body needs in that moment. Maybe it’s a few deep, cleansing breaths. Maybe it’s listing what you’re grateful for. Maybe it’s a gentle stretch. 

Choose to view these moments as a gift. 

(Alex Phillips, Saint Belford @saintbelford)

 

Let go of perfection

During the silly season, we can strive for everything to look, feel and be a certain way and most of the time it is totally unrealistic. 

Get rid of the excessive pressure that you put on your own shoulders and allow yourself to go with the flow. 

When you notice yourself getting a little emotional about things not going to plan, step aside, breathe and know that everything is going to be ok.

(Daniella Elias @amitycreated)

 

Actively listen and connect with others

Consciously listening to other people sharing their experiences and perspectives can often burst our introspective bubble. 

It’s powerful to be reminded that what we are thinking and feeling isn’t indicative of some sort of flaw within us—often, it's just part of the human experience. 

Choosing to really tune in and listen to others will boost our capacity for empathy and compassion (for others and ourselves).

(Lena Phillips @thetrainingroomgeelong)

 

 

Grab a pen and paper and do a brain dump

When things start to get a bit too much, grab a pen and paper and do a brain dump. 

Write down what's on your mind—your to do's, worries, intentions, wins, wonderings, questions, feelings, hopes—absolutely anything. 

Don't worry about what it looks like or if it makes sense! It's the perfect opportunity to free up some headspace, process what's happening and shine light on what needs your time and attention and what can wait. 

(Bridget Murphy @thetruestyou)

 

Reflect on the person you want to be

It’s part of the human experience to have people we just don’t click with, whether they are friends, family or even coworkers. 

Before getting overwhelmed down the overthinking rabbit hole, reflect on who you want to be, in general and also at the Christmas celebration you’ll likely see them at. 

Perhaps even choose a word that summarises the values you’d like to exude when around that person to use as your mantra! 

It’s always helpful to refocus our attention on who we want to be first, rather than being reactive and allowing them to have a hold of our responses.

(Amy Kate Darcy @themindfulcollective)

 

 

Take a deep breath and release any tension you’re holding

If the silly season starts to feel overwhelming, pause for a few moments and use a relaxing breathing technique. First, take a deep breath in. 

As you exhale, consciously relax any tension you might be holding in your body (especially in your shoulders, neck, jaw, stomach, and legs). 

Repeat this relaxing breathing technique a few times. It's a great way to physically relax your body and take a quick mental break. 

(Rachael Kable @rachaelkable)

 

Treat yourself without feeling guilty

No matter what kind of year you have had, or what kind of holidays you do or don’t celebrate, I really believe December is a time to relinquish control and enjoy yourself, treat yourself, and reflect on the year that was. 

If this does not come naturally to you, give yourself explicit permission to. Write it down in a journal, or a place you see daily, and keep reassuring yourself that a few weeks of a very long year is not much in the scheme of things. 

Remind yourself that a huge part of the health equation is love, laughter and pleasure. You are deserving of these things, free of guilt.

(Sami Bloom @samibloom)

 

 

 

Give yourself permission to say no

With the silly season approaching, it’s important to look after yourself. Part of keeping yourself happy and healthy is saying no! 

When we say no, we take back time for ourselves—time to rest, reflect and reconnect with ourselves after a busy year. 

Saying no doesn’t have to be seen as rude or mean. 

Try this: “thank you for the invite but my schedule is already really busy” OR “I’d love to but Thursday nights are my self-care time.”

(Kate Rizzo @growclub)

 

Try one of these grounding techniques to regain balance and composure

Grounding yourself is the process of balancing and reconnecting to your mental, physical and emotional energetic self. It connects us energetically to the Earth and ourselves and helps us lean in to the present moment in a nourishing and powerful way.

Typically during the festive season, we spend so much time in a mode of 'doing.' Grounding gives us permission to switch into a mode of 'non-doing,' to slowing down just a little bit so that we can catch our breath, fill up our cup and show up as the best (or a slightly better) version of ourselves. 

Here are a few simple soulful strategies to ground you in to the moment:

  • Go outside, take off your shoes and socks and feel the grass, dirt, sand or stone beneath your feet. Notice the temperature, texture, the wind, sun or the rain. Close your eyes, Take a deep breath, sigh out through the mouth as you soften your shoulders.
  • A great one at the dining table; If you are sitting, feel the chair under you and the weight of your body and legs pressing down onto it. Notice the pressure of the chair, or floor, or table against your body and limbs.
  • Hold a mug of tea or your morning coffee in both hands and feel its warmth. Inhale its scent. Don’t rush drinking it; take small sips and savour it. 
  • Stop and Listen. What can you hear? Is the sound near or far? Notice and name the sounds.

(Angelina Morino @thehausofhealth)

 

 

 

Enjoy every single moment

Reflect on the fact that life is short, and there are a strictly limited amount of Christmas days remaining for all of us. ⁠

If you're celebrating with parents or elderly relatives, keep in mind the fact that there will eventually be a holiday season without them attending. 

Don't let this get you down, but instead, let it force you to really cherish every single moment. After all, all we have is the present.

(Tom Stanford @saintbelford) 

 

More self-care activities you can do in less than 10 minutes.

  • List 5 things you're grateful for.⁠
  • Put your favourite song on and sing along to it.⁠
  • Go for a mindful walk around the block without your phone. ⁠
  • Create a folder or album of photos, videos and screenshots of quotes that make you happy.⁠
  • List 5 things you love about yourself.⁠
  • Close your eyes and slowly inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6. Keep repeating this pattern. ⁠
  • Declutter your phone by removing apps you don't use.⁠
  • Implement screen time limits on your phone. ⁠
  • Unfollow Instagram accounts that make you feel unworthy.⁠
  • Journal using this prompt: ⁠what's been bothering you, and what steps can you take to alleviate your internal suffering?⁠
  • Take an extra long shower.
  • Plan your day for tomorrow so that you can start the day with a strong sense of purpose.⁠
  • Search for a 10 minute body stretch on YouTube
  • Get your heart rate up with 50 jumping jacks 
  • Repeat this mantra: "I deserve to invest in myself. I am worthy of love, growth & healing" and any others that leave you feeling empowered.⁠
  • Put the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea. Sit and enjoy it away from technology. ⁠
  • Call a friend who always lifts your mood.⁠
  • Look up your favourite comedian or favourite scene in a sitcom and have a laugh.⁠
  • Tidy up your desk⁠
  • Diffuse essential oils. My favourites are peppermint and lavender. ⁠
  • Watch the clouds pass by.⁠
  • List 3 things you're really proud of this year.⁠
  • Start reading that book you've been wanting to read.⁠
  • Make those appointments you've been putting off. ⁠
  • Google "free mindful colouring", print one out and start colouring.⁠
  • Ask for help. Reach out to someone who could help you with whatever you might be struggling with. ⁠
  • Send a thank you message to someone who has helped you this year.⁠

Need some daily inspiration? Need a daily reminder that you're not alone in whatever you might be feeling? Follow us @saintbelford for your daily dose of self-care inspiration, ideas, personal anecdotes and bite-size wisdom. 

 

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🌟Self-care in 10 minutes or less🌟⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ 📌Make sure you save this one for the days you need a little more self-care inspiration.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ◻️List 5 things you're grateful for.⁠⠀ ◻️Put your favourite song on and sing along to it.⁠⠀ ◻️Go for a mindful walk around the block without your phone. ⁠⠀ ◻️Create a folder or album of photos, videos and screenshots of quotes that make you happy.⁠⠀ ◻️List 5 things you love about yourself.⁠⠀ ◻️Close your eyes and slowly inhale to the count of 4 and exhale to the count of 6. Keep repeating this pattern. ⁠⠀ ◻️Declutter your phone by removing apps you don't use.⁠⠀ ◻️Implement screen time limits on your phone. ⁠⠀ ◻️Unfollow Instagram accounts that make you feel unworthy.⁠⠀ ◻️Journal using this prompt: ⁠what's been bothering you, and what steps can you take to alleviate your internal suffering?⁠⠀ ◻️Plan your day for tomorrow so that you can start the day with a strong sense of purpose.⁠⠀ ◻️Repeat this mantra: "I deserve to invest in myself. I am worthy of love, growth & healing" and any others that leave you feeling empowered.⁠⠀ ◻️Put the kettle on and make yourself a cup of tea. Sit and enjoy it away from technology. ⁠⠀ ◻️Call a friend who always lifts your mood.⁠⠀ ◻️Look up your favourite comedian or favourite scene in a sitcom and have a laugh.⁠⠀ ◻️Tidy up your desk⁠⠀ ◻️Diffuse essential oils. My favourites are peppermint and lavender. ⁠⠀ ◻️Watch the clouds pass by.⁠⠀ ◻️List 3 things you're really proud of this year.⁠⠀ ◻️Start reading that book you've been wanting to read.⁠⠀ ◻️Make those appointments you've been putting off. ⁠⠀ ◻️Google "free mindful colouring", print one out and start colouring.⁠⠀ ◻️Ask for help. Reach out to someone who could help you with whatever you might be struggling with. ⁠⠀ ◻️Send a thank you message to someone who has helped you this year.⁠⠀ ◻️Write down 5 new experiences/adventures you'd like to cross off your bucket list in the next 12 months. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #pledgetostaywell

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What's your Self-Care tip for the holiday season? Leave a comment below 👇🏼

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