One of the biggest things I’ve learned, and can be especially true amidst the holidays, is that often times our greatest source of pressure and stress stems from ourselves. We must be in tune with what we really want and need – ahead of what we think our family needs, what others are telling us is needed. Here are five tips to help you feel like your best self this holiday season.
Decide what you want and need
Take a few minutes to pause and think about what it is that YOU really want during the holidays
- What activities fill your heart and soul?
- What causes you stress?
- What do you want to change from previous years
- What are your absolute non-negotiables? The things that you must make a priority
- Identify boundaries that will help you feel your best. For more on boundaries, I recommend this recent We Can Do Hard Things Podcast titled, “How to Set and Dold Boundaries” with Melissa Urban.
Although we can’t necessary control all the things it is helpful to identify what it is that is important to YOU
Make a plan (and remain flexible)
Having a plan is great and we must remember even with the best plan, things may change. Here are some tips for creating your holiday plan:
- Identify your non-negotiables and schedule them into your calendar – this can include holiday activities such as attending a holiday concert AND this should include your own daily self-care needs.
- Talk to your spouse about the things that cause you holiday stress and how they can help
- Remember what is within your control, and even the “best” plan may not always work out exactly
- Take time every day to pause — if you have trouble slowing down, set a timer for every hour, and when it goes off, take a moment to just notice how you are doing and take a deep breath. (I’ve also used a Meaning to Pause bracelet – love it!)
- Feeling stressed? Take Deep breaths – One of the best calming techniques (along with exercise) is to focus on your breath.
- One of my favorite, simple breathwork exercises is the 4 count breath. Follow along here.
- Protect your down time. Resist the urge to fill all open time with plans.
Take care of yourself every single day.
I will continue preaching we must put on our oxygen masks first, and this is especially true during the busy, stressful holiday seasons. Here are a couple ideas:
- Do at least one thing every day that gives you energy.
- This may mean daily movement (yup, nature’s best medicine for stress relief!)
- Prioritizing your sleep, knowing it will be OK if some things remain undone
- You can find some more examples of daily self-care items in my blog post, “What is Self-Care Anyways?!”
Say no and let go
Sometimes we need to let go of activities or expectations that no longer serve us. When we know what we want and need, it is easier to identify the things that we do not need.
- Once you identify your boundaries, it may mean saying no to hosting an event or taking on a task that others expect you to do, even if it’s not in your interest or bandwidth this year
- It may mean letting go of unrealistic expectations. You’ve got a baby and toddler, maybe your favorite holiday tradition needs to wait a year.
- Honor the season of life you are in.
- Have no shame in saying no. It’s honorable to put your own needs first.
- Let go of notions of perfectionism
One of the biggest things I’ve learned, and can be especially true amidst the holidays, is that often times our greatest source of pressure and stress stems from ourselves. We must be in tune with what we really want and need – ahead of what we think our family needs, what others are telling us is needed. Let go of unrealistic expectations and ACT on what is best for you.
Which of the above ideas is something you will try out this holiday season?