The Importance of Practicing Self Love and Reflection During the Holiday Season

As we begin to hear ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ in the local grocery store and see the red and white decorations and rose gold accessories illuminate the isles, it’s clear that the holiday season has once again crept upon us.

While this time of the year is filled with festivity, joy, and family, it can also be a time filled with stress and overwhelming emotions. It’s important not to get stuck in these emotional stress areas and let it overshadow all the joy the holiday season brings.

As every year passes by, it seems like the list of tasks around the holiday season gets larger and larger. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and ready for the season to be over.

Think back to when you were a kid. Could you sleep the night before Christmas? If you were anything like me, the answer was probably no way.

How can we nurture that excitement back into our daily lives as adults? How can we find joy in the little things? Through self-love and reflection. Check out this well-being quiz to learn which self-care strategies fit best for you.

Planning is a form of self-care.

Have you ever had so much work to do that your body just shut down? I’m talking completely frozen in anxiety and dread. I’ve been there, and I know I’m not alone in feeling so!

Take time to plan your holiday season, whip out those fancy pens and your stationary set box and break it down into small bits if you need. Use a Christmas Planner if you need. This will make each task seem like what they are, small tasks that you need to do eventually. It’s not this giant scary monster that it looks like when you have no plan, no list.

Make manageable commitments.

Oftentimes, we find that we are overcommitted to things during the holiday season that we just can’t get out of. It’s okay to say no, not this year. You are allowed to do what is best for you, your schedule, and your family. It’s okay if you can’t make it to that white elephant gift exchange this year, even if it is via zoom and you did have some extra modern desk accessories to give away. Your friends and family will understand.

Before making a commitment, check your schedule and see if it’s in your best interest.

Get outside during the holidays.

Studies have shown that spending time outside significantly reduces stress. Something my family likes to do the weekend after thanksgiving is to hike and spend time outside with one another. This brings everyone together in a peaceful outdoor setting. It is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving!

If it’s usually snowy during the holiday season, build that snowman you’ve always told yourself you would. Drink some hot chocolate outside with a book one evening. Get outside and allow your stress to melt into the crisp air.

Reflect on your holiday season.

By the time January first rolls around, we are usually setting goals and looking towards the future. What if I were to tell you reflection is just as critical as setting goals?

You can even reflect on each day throughout the season. Try this ‘fragility exercise’ daily, and see how your gratitude increases.

It also might be helpful to purchase a notebook and write down three things that went well, three things that could’ve gone better, and five things you are grateful for each day!

Just because you’re a little more grown-up than you used to be, doesn’t mean the holidays should be stressful. There’s no age limit on fun during the holidays! Plan your holidays, get outside, and reflect on each day. Joy will flow back into your life as soon as you allow it to enter through self-care and reflection.

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