They say the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes that stretch from Thanksgiving to New Years can feel seriously hectic. Whether you’re a mom scrambling to pick up presents for the kids, or a single 20-something just trying to survive cuffing season, there’s a good chance you feel depleted come Jan. 1.
But here’s the thing: Your needs matter, even during the “giving season.” Here are five simple ways to practice self care (what Nutritious Life refers to as nurture yourself) during the holidays. Because you deserve it.
5 Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care
Say ‘No’ to What Doesn’t Serve You
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to simply say ‘no.’ Whether it’s politely declining that second piece of pie your aunt is pushing on you or skipping a happy hour you have zero interest in attending, tuning in to your needs is a critical component of self-care.
TIP: Brainstorm a few phrases you can lean on when you’re looking to opt out of social pressure this season. For example: “Your pie was delicious, but I know my body will feel best if I stick with one slice. Thank you for offering!” Or: “Happy hour sounds awesome, but I’m feeling a bit run down today. I’ll catch the next one when I’m feeling more energized and can really enjoy it!”
Gift Yourself Something Special
There’s a lot to be said for giving to others, but sometimes it’s extra nice to treat yourself to something special as well. Consider it a warm self-love hug.
TIP: Opt for a gift that supports your self-care goals, like working on your mindfulness or upgrading your skincare routine. Here are a few picks we’re loving this year.
- This 5-Minute Journal that helps you set intentions for the day ($30)
- An anti-aging serum from Skinceuticals that’s oh-so-worth the splurge ($166)
- The Glo fitness platform offers an online membership that costs less than the price of a single boutique fitness class per month. Open the app whenever you’re in need of a soul-nourishing yoga flow this season ($18 per month)
- Wake up to coffee shop-worthy turmeric lattes at home with this handheld milk frother that’s easy to use and affordable ($15)
Get Grateful Every. Single. Day.
While the best benefits follow from expressing gratitude to others, jotting down something you’re grateful for every day can also lead to a more positive outlook on life.
TIP: Practice gratitude every day of the holiday season by writing down one or two things for which you are thankful right before bed. Bonus points if you write a letter of gratitude to someone you know, like a coworker, your doorman or the local barista. They’ll feel appreciated and you’ll feel fulfilled knowing you brought them good vibes.
Yep, you read that right. Sometimes taking a shortcut is the best thing you can do for your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that it’s a-ok to simplify things.
TIP: Go ahead and buy a prepared turkey instead of making your own from scratch or send a thank you email (or electronic gratitude note!) instead of a handwritten one. The sentiment is the same and it’ll streamline your to-do list.
Commit to One Healthy Habit—All Season Long
Ever feel like you need to hit every one of your health goals in order for you to feel like you’re doing enough? Scratch that mentality! So many of us bid our wellness habits farewell until Jan. 1 because we feel like we can’t keep them up over the holidays. News flash: No one has time to hit the gym, meditate and meal prep all while buying gifts, volunteering and hosting family over the holidays.
TIP: Instead of ditching it all, commit to one or two health habits that are easy enough to maintain, even on the busiest days of the holiday season. Maybe it’s drinking half of your weight in ounces of water and taking your multivitamin every day. The bottom line: Choose something simple that’ll help you feel nourished—without stressing you out.