Oak Hills Womens Center

'Tis the Season for Self-Care

Christmas and The Holidays are supposed to be a time to celebrate the season with family and friends but the unintended consequence can sometimes be stress and burnout. If keeping up with your calendar of events has you stressed out, it's time to make a change and exercise "self-care".

Self-care does not come naturally to many women - after all, we can do anything, right? Well, maybe for a while. Even if you’re having fun, adding extra activities and commitments to an already full plate can be stressful. Often times our normal healthy diets are forgotten, we aren’t getting enough sleep, and we stop taking care of our needs.

At first, the notion of caring for yourself so that you can be effective at managing the stressors of the holidays seems impossible. Who has time for that? Isn’t that just selfish? Actually, self-care is an act of love, a gift you give yourself toward your own well being. And, everyone around you benefits when you exercise better care of yourself.

So how can we accomplish self-care with a busy holiday schedule and so many demands on our time? Here are some simple tips you can incorporate into your holiday living that will make a difference to your bottom line of healthy living:

Set priorities

Even though we think we can, we can’t do everything. Remembering what’s most important to you can help avoid feeling overwhelmed. If holiday demands get unwieldy, take care of the important things and let the rest take care of itself.

Learn to be still

Whether it's prayer, a quiet spot in your home, or a bench outside your office building, practice sitting and being still for a few minutes. You’ll feel rejuvenated, your thoughts will take order, and you’ll begin to relax. Then you’ll be ready to take on your holiday agenda!

Avoid overcommitting

Ever ask yourself, "How did I get into this?" Whether it's hosting a gathering, baking for the kids' school, or working for charity, take some time to decide whether your answer is "yes", or "not this time". Be watchful of the activities you do because you do them every year; evaluate whether they contribute to your wellbeing or just drain your valuable energy.

Be mindful

Besides the joy of the season, the holidays are also famous for overindulgence. A good rule of thumb at parties is "just have one". This will limit your caloric intake and you'll be happier in January!

Change Tradition

Traditions are heart-warming and should be enjoyed. If they have the adverse effect of creating stress, robbing the joy, and creating negative feelings, don’t be afraid to change things up and create new traditions for all to enjoy.

Nothing's perfect

Finally, it's OK to relax! Avoid striving for perfection in everything and allowing yourself some grace. You'll be happier and everyone around you will enjoy you more!

To care for yourself is to love yourself. We love ourselves when we make time to do the activities that help us be healthier, happier, and fulfilled in life. By practicing self-care this Christmas and Holiday season, career, family and relationships stay balanced. Why wait until the new year to begin your resolution? Resolve today to take charge of your health, happiness and personal growth.

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