Frosty air, early sunsets and only a few golden leaves left clinging to the trees. You know what that means: The holidays are right around the corner. For some, the months of November and December mean warm, comforting smells, festive decor, and long afternoons sipping steaming mugs of tea with the people who matter most. For others, the holiday season can trigger negative emotions, bringing on feelings of stress and loneliness.
Regardless of which camp you fall into, one universal aspect of the holidays is that between time off work, having guests over or sleeping in your childhood bedroom again, your self-care routine can suffer quite a bit. Before you know it, you’re in a sugar-filled, sleep-deprived daze—and there’s nothing festive about that.
Want to stay on track with your routine this holiday season? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Carve out time to journal
If you keep up with Silk + Sonder, you understand the importance of journaling—and taking some time to freewrite is never more important than when you’re out of your routine. So whether it’s five minutes or half an hour, do your best to carve out time to write every day. Not only will this help you process your feelings in a healthy way, but taking pen to paper can help organize your thoughts and help you stay in check when it comes to keeping up with your other self-care routines.
Watch the Christmas cookies and mulled wine
First things first: It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little indulgence. While we’re all for curling up with a mug of mulled wine while nibbling on your grandma’s homemade cookies, be cautious of overdoing it—too much sugar can leave you feeling sluggish, depressed, and reaching for more sugar. In addition to watching your sugar intake, make sure to load up on fruits and veggies here and there. Remember: Eat the rainbow!
Sleep is one of the very best ways you can take care of yourself. Not only will a full night’s rest help you stay present and enjoy time with friends and family, but it will give you the willpower to eat sugar in moderation and the energy to exercise while everyone else camps out in front of the TV. If you’re sleeping away from home and your environment is noisy, try traveling with a white noise machine—it can make all the difference. And don’t be afraid to duck out of games or long conversations a little early, either. Everyone will be happier if you’re well-rested, especially you!
Could you spend the entire holiday season moving from your bed to the couch to the kitchen table and back again? Sure, but that’s hardly good self-care hygiene. Exercise during the holidays doesn’t have to mean marathons and boot camps, it can be slower and more creative. Think a walk around the block after dinner with your sibling, or 15 minutes of yoga before everyone else wakes up. Even a little bit of exercise will make a big difference in terms of your physical and mental health.
Find an accountability buddy
Self-care looks different for everyone, so find someone to hold you accountable for your self-care goals during the holiday season, whatever that means for you. If it’s a nightly bubble bath, recruit a friend to send you a quick text check-in making sure you’re going to take it or plan on taking it, and do the same for them. Once the holidays are over, you can have that same person hold you accountable for your New Year’s resolutions.
If the holidays mean you're constantly surrounded by people, it's important to set boundaries and carve out some alone time. Consider excusing yourself to into a room and read for a bit, taking a solo walk, or simply going to bed a little earlier than everyone else so you can curl up and watch your favorite movie or Netflix show.
Prioritizing self-care during the holiday isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the extra effort. So ditch the excuses and make it happen.