Let’s face it, December can be one of the most stressful months of the year. With travel plans (especially COVID travel plans), family dynamics, financial decisions, and more, the holidays can be hectic to say the least.
Even with the excitement of holiday cheer and celebration of the hope of Christ, if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves burned-out and exhausted by the time Christmas Day rolls around.
During this time where you are preparing all the last-minute details, we wanted to remind you to set aside time to check–in with yourself and practice some simple self-care.
What does “self-care” look like?
Self-care simply means taking care of yourself- mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! Practicing self-care looks different for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be a big dramatic thing.
Even by implementing these simple tips below, you can help yourself stay in a healthy place, avoid burnout, and love your friends and family well!
5 Tips for Self-Care
1. 5-Minute Meditations
Once you get into holiday mode, finding alone time can be difficult. Our normal routines fall to the side, and you may not be able to spend 30 minutes doing a devotion or listening to a teaching. Instead of trying to stick to a strict schedule, realize this season is temporary and make small adjustments. Set a goal to take 5 minutes in the morning (or anytime really!) to meditate on God’s Word and be still. A great app for scriptural mediation is Abide. You can also do your own mediation by turning on some worship music or reading your Bible. Even just five minutes of connecting with the Lord can help you stay refreshed during a busy time!
2. Mental Health Check-Ins
Don’t wait until the New Year to ask yourself how you are doing! Check in with yourself before you go to bed (or during a moment of down time) and evaluate how your day went. Were you stressed? Did you yell at your spouse? Were you disappointed? Did your plans change? Do you miss someone? Are anxious?
Sometimes just asking ourselves these questions allows us to realize where we need to make some changes or process our emotions. Don’t wait until you get overwhelmed. Take time to check-in daily to prevent unnecessary burnout or stress.
3. Manage Boundaries and Expectations
A simple way to lower your anxiety and keep yourself at peace is to take time to manage boundaries and expectations. It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself during the holidays. You may feel like you need to create the perfect celebration or cater to everyone else’s needs.
Take some time to set boundaries for yourself and be realistic about your expectations. You don’t have to say “yes” to everything. Your Christmas celebration doesn’t have to be “perfect.” For more suggestions on boundaries listen to our MercyTalk episode, “Boundaries with Family.”
4. Plan Time for Rest
Ever wonder why Christmas can feel exhausting? Because it is! If you don’t take time to rest, you will tire yourself out. Just like you plan time to spend with family and friends, plan time to rest. This can look like a set bedtime, a day of the week with no activities, or an hour of alone time every day. Block out some time on your calendar to recharge and rest!
5. Do Something Fun
Don’t forget to enjoy your holiday! If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, maybe you need to take a second to do something fun. Whether it’s watching your favorite Christmas special, calling a friend, or eating some cookies- prioritize doing things that refuel you. Whatever fun looks like to you, make the choice to be fully present and enjoy yourself.
Christmas doesn’t have to be stressful
By practicing self-care during the holidays, you can help yourself stay mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy throughout the Christmas season and spend more time enjoying it.
Have a Merry Christmas and be sure to practice these 5 tips for self-care during the holidays!
Mercy Multiplied is a free-of-charge residential counseling program that helps young women ages 13-32 break free from life-controlling issues and situations. Apply today or learn more by visiting MercyMultiplied.com.