Yeah so ummmm, this is the time of year people, especially us women, completely forget about ourselves even though most of us are on vacation and should have LESS things to do and MORE time to do it. You’d think times would be easier, right?
I overheard a lady at the store the other day saying she doesn’t start shopping until the day before Christmas Eve because she shops better under pressure and when others are out doing the same thing.
That’s not my style but whatever floats your boat, chica. I just hope this isn’t the same lady who is rude, pushy, jumping in front of people in traffic AND in lines at the store. I hope she’s not the one who cooks at the last minute and ends up burning something, snaps at her partner and kids because she’s stressed from having to do it all, and burning herself out due to all this “pressure.”
Holiday Self-Care Tips
I challenge you to take a break from all the hustle and bustle just for a minute. I dare you to do some, if not all, of the items on this holiday to do list and follow my self-care tips for a more PEACE-FULL holiday season!
1. Firstly, give yourself permission to take care of YOU.
You’re so busy worrying about what everyone else is going to eat, what presents they’ll get, what fun they’ll have that you’re neglecting yourself. If you want to NOT give gifts this year, don’t do it. Give inspirational cards instead. Tell your family you’re not cooking this year but you’ll bring a store bought dessert instead. Whatever, they’ll get over it. The world won’t end because you didn’t slave away at everything this year. Trust me. Try it, you’ll see. 😉
2. Get the whole family involved in the gift buying, decorating, baking, and party set up if you’re hosting. Stop believing you have to do it all yourself!
3. Practice the art of giving and, no, I’m not talking about gifts. One way to practice self-care is to give of your time, talents, or goods you already have. No shopping needed. My family practices this often, including the kids. We ask ourselves, who can we serve? What do I have to give? How can I show and share love? You can never go wrong with volunteerism!
4. If you do have to be out in the crowds, do so knowing there will be idiots and much frenzy. Calm your mind, stay in forgiveness mode (you WILL need it!), and be patient with yourself and others. It’s the only way to get through the crowds with peace and not end up in jail for beating someone down because they were being crazy rude. Don’t be a part of the craziness if you don’t have to though.
5. I love my family’s cooking (well, not all of them but they know who they are)! And I know that if not for self-discipline, I’d be having seconds, thirds, and fifths! So if you’re going to be enjoying some absolutely delish foods, conjure up some self-discipline and not over-indulge. It’s easy to neglect healthy eating during the holidays and I’m not telling you to skip or not eat your traditional foods but try to do it in moderation or at least not do thirds. Also, go ahead and have leftovers too the next day but get right back on track thereafter. Don’t wait 2 weeks to get back to your normal eating schedule or you’ll end up stressing yourself out trying to do double duty on exercise and starting fad diets come January, which usually don’t work anyway.
6. Pull out your gratitude journal and start writing. Set a timer for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes and don’t stop writing until the timer stops. You’ll feel loads better and have more energy than before you started because of the increase in positive hormones such as oxytocin and reduction of stress hormones including cortisol.
7. When was the last time you read for pleasure? Welp, pull out that book you’ve been meaning to read or finish reading and get to it! #NuffSaid
#latergram Wee night reading…this chick, @mindykaling, is freaking hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed reading her book…in 1 sitting mind you!! It was like she was sitting next to me and we were rapping and chatting like old friends! Ms. Cat was a little peeved about not getting attention but she’ll be ayight. 😽 #RecommendedReading A photo posted by Kesha Brown (@uncommonchick) on
8. Get a good sweat! Move your body in some way like dancing, Zumba, or making snow angels (you do have to swing those arms and legs pretty hard in the snow!). Do whatever feels right to you at the moment.
9. Here’s one of my faves…give yourself a rub down after a shower or bath. Although it most definitely feels better when someone else does it, you can get similar benefits just by doing it yourself. What I like to do is simply take my time applying my facial moisturizer and massage my temples after a home facial, pay extra attention to my feet when I put on lotion and then throw on some soft socks, and just take my time oiling/lotioning up. It’s just a few extra minutes to do this so don’t say you don’t have time!
A photo posted by Kesha Brown (@uncommonchick) on
10. Put down the phone! Tethered to your phone much? When you’re doing #6-9 above, put your phone on silent so you’re not disturbed. Distractions are the bane of our existence. Think about it, anytime you’re distracted with notifications, dings, and sounds, it’s about what someone else is doing or wanting and not about you. So don’t let them take away from your Me time.
11. Write a handwritten note to yourself. So far I’ve gotten several holiday cards in the mail (thank you friends!) but none of them were hand written. So I wrote myself a letter. It ended up being longer than I expected as I’m a Chatty Kathy even on paper!
12. Take a nap. This is supposed to be a time when you have LESS to do so you can afford to take a nap and get more rest. Don’t think napping is for you? Try just quiet time or meditate or pray.
13. Organize your closet. Sounds strange as a self-care tactic? Trust me, you’ll feel that much better when you walk into your newly organized and less cluttered closet in the mornings to grab your gear. If it’s not your closet that’s cluttered, then organize your car, your pantry, or whatever else needs to be uncluttered.
14. Another one of my faves is doing puzzles. Increase your mental capacity and even find more calm by doing these types of exercises. You can also color (I’ve been coloring long before adult coloring books became popular!), play a game on your phone, play games with the family. I love family board game nights as we take it back to old school fun with no electronics (unless it’s the electronic timer or the Catch Phrase game itself. Speaking of which, I need to get batteries before our next game night on Christmas Eve!).
Ahhhh, my new workspace to do puzzles. It’s in front of the fireplace but I don’t use that mug anyway. LOL #SelfcareSunday A photo posted by Kesha Brown (@uncommonchick) on
15. If nothing else, breathe. With all the running around we do on the daily, we never get a chance to really breathe and I mean the good ol’ fill-your-lungs-up type of breathing. My girl, Ivy from See Body. Love Self., gifted me with a pillow that says exactly that. Breathe! I put it in my office as a reminder to take a moment and deep breathe throughout the day.
To round out today’s self care routine, I inhale, exhale, repeat. When I received this lovely pillow as a gift from my homegirl @ivylaartista, as part of her 2 year anniversary of #SeeBodyLoveSelf, I was giddy! This is the perfect gift and I’m truly grateful and honored to be a part of the celebration!!! 🎉🎉🎉 👉 FYI the See Body. Love Self movement is all about self love, a better relationship with our bodies, living a body positive lifestyle and much more! JOIN THE MOVEMENT! TAG your body positive pics with #SeeBodyLoveSelf and let us know you’re in!!!!
Over to you…
Don’t let your self-care practice fall by the wayside just because somehow you feel obligated to a whole new set of responsibilities you picked up this season. So this was a challenge to have you revamp your to dos and checklists and bring in some much needed self-care tactics so you can have a successful and peaceful holiday break.
For this holiday season and every one thereafter, I wish you many blessings, much love, and plenty of joy! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
How do you practice self-care during the holidays?
P.S. If you think you don’t have time for self-care, read this…