5 Ways to Give to Yourself This Holiday Season

The holiday season has begun (yay!) and this time of year is typically meant for slowing down, pausing, and embracing all the beauty, connection, and community around us. But sometimes this can be hard, and for a lot of people the holiday season can feel rushed, stressful, and chaotic. Here are my top 5 tips on how to give to yourself first so you can lean into this holiday season with a little more ease.

1) Set boundaries (and stick to them)– Enforcing boundaries around the holidays can be tough. For most, the holidays can shine the light on a lot of family dysfunction. One way to combat feeling emotionally drained this holiday season is to set boundaries for you and your family. This can look like: “We can come for dinner, but cannot stay the night.” “I know in years past I have done it all, but I really need help this year with x.” “Thank you for thinking of us, but we cannot make it this year.” “I’d prefer my dietary choices/my body not be part of our conversation this year.” “I can’t do that this year, please ask me again next year.”

2) Maintain your sleep schedule- You’re not yourself when you’re tired. Prioritizing sleep will be crucial to your mental and physical health this holiday season. If you aren’t sleeping, the rest of these tips will be harder to implement, so if there is one thing you take from this post, it’s to make sure you are getting quality sleep, within your normal sleep schedule. This is a boundary only you can set.

3) Schedule in self- care- This can be a hard action step for a lot of people because we are so used to giving all the time, especially during the holiday season, that we can often forget about ourselves. Make your appointments now before life gets too crazy and don’t cancel them. Don’t cancel on you! View your self-care as a non-negotiable time that way you aren’t completely wiped out by the New Year.

4) Practice saying no- This one is extremely hard for a lot of people, especially if you identify as a people pleaser. This is a great opportunity for you to practice those boundaries we discussed previously and to be strong in who you are and what you desire. Don’t say yes if it’s a no for you. If others are making you feel bad for your choices, this is a reflection of them and their struggles and has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to explain yourself—a simple “no thank you” is all you need.

5) Utilize meditation & deep breathing – Hopefully by the time the holidays have hit, you have practiced meditation and/or deep breathing so you can access it in times of need. But if not, this simple 4×4 breathing tool is all you need to calm your nervous system, get you back in your body, and refocus on what is really important. All you need to do is for a count of 4, breath in, pause for 4 seconds, breath out for 4 seconds and repeat 4 times. End with a mantra such as “I am doing the best I can” or “I have all the tools necessary to stay calm amongst the chaos around me.” This awesome tool is free and can be accessed at any time, even in the midst of chaos. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Happy & Healthy Holidays!

– Rachel