The holidays are a notorious time for overextending, overcommitting, and overspending. This year is obviously a little different, yet I’m hearing some common themes in my patients.
I’m here today to tell you that it’s OKAY to NOT do any of that and to take care of you instead!
Here are 3 ways you can practice self-care during the holidays that aren’t your typical self-care recommendations:
1. Say “no”.
You know what happens. You’re on the phone with someone you love and they ask you to do something you don’t really want to do and you say “yes” out of guilt or obligation.
Later, you beat yourself up for committing, your partner is irritated, and the whole thing becomes a really big deal.
Just say “no”! When you feel it’s a “no” in your body, speak your truth.
You’ll save yourself and your family a bunch of grief, and you won’t overextend yourself with things you don’t really want to be doing.
2. Don’t Do Things Unless They Bring you joy.
Holidays are full of traditions. Many of them are really wonderful and bring us a great deal of joy. Others we do for different reasons: maybe we do them because we “always” do them, maybe we do them because other people do them for us, or maybe we do them because we feel we “have to”?
Whatever the reason, maybe it’s okay to NOT do a few things?
For example, we decided not to put up a live Christmas tree this year. Normally, this brings me joy, but this year, it was feeling like a lot of extra work. We would have to go out in the dark some evening after work when it will likely be raining, put the thing up, add the lights, get out all the ornaments, and then do it all in reverse. (I talked about this Live on my weekly Wellness Wednesdays at Noon video on Facebook. You can watch it here.)
I simply don’t want to do it this year, so we aren’t. And, I felt a huge wave of relief when we made that decision.
Maybe for you, it’s something else like sending out holiday cards, or making cookies, or going to someone’s house who isn’t being safe with COVID, or ???
Whatever it is, I give you full permission to simply decide not to do it.
3. Don’t overspend.
It’s tempting during the holidays to try to make it “perfect”. This can include spending beyond your means. Try not to spend so much that you have to repay yourself well into the new year.
If funds are tight, start new traditions, buy gently used items, ask friends if they have any hand-me-downs that would be appropriate for your family. Little kids, especially don’t care if something is brand new.
And, buying or receiving used items is better for the planet.
Make a budget and stick to it and think of it as self-care rather than feeling deprived or disappointed.
I’ve learned over the years that those things are nice and it’s the deeper level of self-care like the suggestions above that make a longer lasting difference.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Do you have other tips like these? Please post them in the comments below.