Taking Care Of Yourself Through The Holiday Hustle
Gift shopping, cookie baking, family dinners, holiday parties - all packed into a three week stretch. The Christmas season comes and goes in the blink of an eye. It’s easy to get caught in the hustle and lose touch with yourself.
As the year comes to an end, December is a great time for reflection and gaining perspective for the upcoming year. Vision casting and goal setting is not reserved for CEOs and post-grad students, it is merely a mindset muscle you have to flex. Getting in a creative headspace is the hardest when your calendar lacks white space due to holiday engagements.
Even if you only have five minutes to yourself today, here are some self care habits to quickly tap into your creativity and unleash your potential. When you find yourself running from one activity to the next, simply close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Sometimes that’s all you need to feel centered and at ease no matter where you are.
1. Set your alarm five minutes earlier and write ‘morning pages’.
Place a journal and pen by your bedside the night before and free write for five minutes before you get up in the am. Jotting down all of your thoughts right when you wake up, removes the tendency to filter your journal entries and allows you to see into your subconscious. Try committing to three days of ‘morning pages’ and read over them at the end of the week. You might be surprised at the themes that come to the surface!
2. Take ten minutes to meditate and ground yourself.
Whether you have ten minutes or even just three to spare, using guided meditation to bring awareness to your breath and find stillness in a busy world can majorly improve anxiety, depression, and focus. I recently downloaded a helpful app that walks you through quick meditations and reminds you to stick with it everyday.
3. Wake up your senses with an invigorating body scrub.
The energizing smell of peppermint mixed with an exfoliating massage will turn your short shower into a mini spa retreat. This tip is as simple as replacing your body wash with a essential oil-infused scrub and massaging it over your whole body. Apply a dab of eucalyptus oil once you dry off to feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead, or apply lavender oil to unwind if you shower at night.
4. Go for a drive to give your mind space to dream.
Over the winter, one of my favorite ways to clear my busy brain and think big picture is to grab my keys and go for a drive - not to anywhere specific, although sometimes I’ll stop for a warm drink along the way. I find that being behind the wheel, where you can’t multitask or get sidetracked, is the best way to focus on my present situation and reposition myself wherever I’m planted. Play some jazz or perhaps instrumental Sleeping At Last to kickstart your deep thinking session and just drive.
5. Listen to an inspiring audiobook, podcast, or video.
When I feel stuck in my own head, I love tuning into to a podcast or book that helps me zoom out and engages my problem solving, positive thinking mindset. Some podcast hosts I subscribe to for motivation and support are Melissa Ambrossini, Jenna Kutcher, Rachel Hollis and Jen Gotch.
When the holidays feel overflowing with love and full of cheer, be thankful and soak up each moment. And when they feel overwhelming and lacking balance, make some space for your bright self to shine. Nobody can give 100% of themselves all day and avoid burnout - save some care and love to give back to yourself and don’t get too busy for the little things that make you happy!