Oh hey there, holidays. You are officially upon us, and I have to be honest – I am here for it. I don’t know about you, but my vision for this time of year includes hanging out with my family on the couch, fire blazing, watching Christmas movies, and being cozy. It includes leisurely afternoons spent baking and decorating, and maybe staying up a little later to enjoy the twinkling lights because, why not – it’s the most wonderful time of the year after all. But we all know this isn’t the full picture of the holidays. Effective the day after Halloween, we all were appointed to another full-time job as Family Holiday Director. Overtime required. Weekends mandatory. Enjoyment optional.
But what if you were able to enjoy it after all? It all comes down to my five daily self care habits that are absolutely essential for the holidays (and beyond). These are the foundational practices that will help you stay grounded, keep your mind feeling clear and energized, and allow you to be fully present for this (mostly) magical season.
- Sleep. If you want to experience the holidays fully charged, this is mission-critical. In fact, every single other thing we could talk about is less important than sleep, and yet most of us just don’t get enough of it. Everything works better when you are well-rested. It’s like a holiday gift to yourself that just keeps on giving.
- Time alone. I know, this one is laughable sometimes – especially for those of us who can’t even take a shower without the constant soundtrack of “Mooooomm!” It makes such a difference to have a little bit of time each day where no one needs you. It may require you to shift the way you transition into or out of your workday. It might require that you think differently about a break during your day. But I promise you, you can do this. And if this is hard, you can start slow. Look for five minutes here and there during the day where no one needs you and work up from there.
- Tea time. Of all the ideas that I give to my coaching clients, this may be their favorite. The idea is, you take a moment in the mid-afternoon for yourself. It can be literal tea, but it doesn’t have to be. This break is very intentional and at a similar time every day, because that’s a demonstration that you are in control of how the day will unfold. (Note: do not try to overlap this with time alone. You need both!)[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]
- Meditation. This is the busy woman’s secret weapon. My friend Brenda says meditation is like a shower for your insides. You would never go through the day without taking a shower, right? And meditation, even a short one is the opportunity to clear out any junk that has accumulated in your mind. A few minutes of just breathing is a great place to start, and there are tons of apps to help you do it. I’ve learned that adopting these short, almost like micro-meditations can be very powerful for staying on my A-game mentally.
- Wind-down routine. A wind-down routine is how you end the day. There is a ton of content out there about morning routines and ways to get fired up to have an amazing day, but often we neglect the evening. We’re really trying to avoid the situation where you fall asleep on the couch with your makeup still on, laptop next to you, and phone buzzing alerts every 3 minutes. Maybe you light a candle and make a warm mug of tea. Maybe you dim the lights in your kitchen and get into some super cozy pajamas. Maybe you read a book. Usually, wind-down routines start about one or two hours before bedtime and help give you that buffer between the up energy of your workday, after school, dinner, and evening routine with your family. Most importantly, it will help you immensely in transitioning into a restful sleep.
We’re in this together. Now let’s go have a brilliant holiday season.