We have an amazing guest post by the awesome Shayla Law of Holistically Shayla. Check out her bio at the end of the article to learn a lil bit more about her.
The weather has finally turned cold and that means it’s boot season! I love this time of year. Family gathers, everything smells like cinnamon and I get to use my fireplace.
As a child, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas were always my favorite because my mom and aunts would all make sure that these days were filled with love, warmth, and lots and lots of food. But when I reached adulthood I began to notice something from the matriarchs in my family: they were exhausted and stressed out.
Now that I am one of the women responsible for making the holiday season a time to remember for our family, it is apparent to me how important it is to practice self care so as not to burn out. Here are my top three tips for practicing self care when the holidays get stressful.
- Give yourself some alone time
Whether you’re visiting family or have family coming to visit you, the holidays can mean crowded houses and busy schedules. Even if you all get along great, this disruption in your daily schedule can be stressful, whether your family is small or large. So it’s incredibly important to take out some time for yourself and yourself alone. Get a pedicure, take a solo trip to the mall, take an extra long shower, or wake up earlier than everyone else and enjoy morning tea in silence. Try to resist the urge to let your child or significant other tag along if you know you really just need some peace and quiet for an hour. This is especially important for introverts, as our energy is depleted by being around groups of people, but even for extroverts who gain energy from being in large groups, it’s often helpful to carve out time that is just for you. Think of it as a mini vacation where you can be totally selfish for a limited amount of time.
- Treat yo self!
In this season of giving, it’s imperative to remember to give to yourself! Are you the baker in the family? Maybe you have a long list of requests from family members to make their favorite cakes and pies but you’re the only person who really enjoys Caramel Cake. Make it anyway! Or maybe you’re out shopping for Christmas gifts and you spot a new scarf that you really want. Assuming that you don’t have to sacrifice everyone else’s gifts to get it, I say treat yo self! You might be thinking “but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of giving?”. Well, no, not actually. Consider the following scenario: you spend all week preparing your holiday menu, buying groceries, buying Christmas gifts, and entertaining your in laws on top of your usual duties like work, child rearing, and keeping your home from looking like a barn. By the time the holiday is over and everyone goes back to their regular schedules, you’re exhausted and, worst, resentful. I’ve seen it happen all too often and I’ve experienced it myself. It’s neither healthy nor wise to give to the point of resentment and by remembering your own needs you can prevent holiday burn out.
- Take Care of Your Body
It isn’t just the holiday season that can make this time of year stressful. This is also flu season and it’s important to keep your body nourished and strong. Even though your schedule may be hectic and you may find it difficult to find the energy to do so, maintaining your fitness routine is a must. If you start skipping your usual workouts now, not only will you find it more difficult to get back in the habit when the holidays are over, but you also rob yourself of that crucial alone time I mentioned earlier. Make leg day a priority, take a yoga or spin class, or get outside for a crisp winter run. And while you’re at it, don’t fall into the trap of eating holiday food every day. By all means, indulge in all your favorite foods on the actual holiday itself but try not to stray too far from your usual diet. This will help prevent illness and bloating!
Finally, remember to enjoy the season! This is the time for warm, fuzzy socks, hot chocolate, spiced cider, fireplaces, and giant sweaters. Take the time to indulge in those small pleasures and you will definitely keep the holiday stress at bay!
Shayla’s here to help you feel less intimidated by yoga, wellness,
and travel so you can live your best life yet. Let’s get zen! She started her blog because diversity matters! For those of you who feel underrepresented in your yoga classes (or haven’t even taken one because you don’t think people who look like you do yoga), for those of you who feel you have to hide your mental and emotional struggles, for those of you overwhelmed by “fitness” and for those of you who want a different perspective on travel, this is for you.
She runs a 7 day challenge where you learn to eat like a yogi! Click here to check it out!