It’s no secret that sometimes, the “most wonderful time of the year,” can also be the most stressful. As much as the holiday season is about spending time with the ones you love, it’s easy to lose sight of that in the chaos of holiday prep and gift-giving. On top of that, because the spirit of the season is selflessness, this can also be the time of year we are most likely to neglect our own self-care. This year, show up for the ones you love by being the best you that you can be! Here’s how:
We get it - if there’s anything in short supply during the holidays, it’s time! But take this opportunity to reclaim your time, babe! We’re encouraging, not requiring, that you set aside some time for self-care this holiday season. Before bed or during your morning routine, pick a regular appointment with yourself for your favorite self-care activities. Whether it’s a face mask, a yoga session, or a home-cooked meal, schedule self-care sessions throughout your day. And then, make sure to check in with yourself and your emotions. We all aspire to feel magic, joy, and gratitude during the holidays, but that isn’t always the reality. So when you’re feeling down, or stressed, don’t squash them--make the time to address those emotions, so that you can move past them.
You may feel the urge to cram in all the holiday spirit you can: light shows, shopping, cocktails with your girls. But giving yourself permission to be more selective when it comes to your holiday schedule will help you enjoy the things you do participate in much more. Get out of this go, go, go mindset, and try to opt for quality over quantity when committing to plans. When choosing what to do and what to skip, prioritize the opportunities that will bring you the most fulfillment, and help you create the most positive memories to take with you into the new year.
Are you experiencing the overwhelming feeling of, “There's so much to do and so many people to see”?! It’s really easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of going here, there, and everywhere during the holidays. Instead, do what you can to get grounded and present in the moments you share with the ones you care about most. Next year, you won’t remember the look on your family’s faces when they open their gifts if you aren’t present in those moments. So, leave the dishes in the sink a few minutes more when your family is swapping stories about holidays past, and tune into the sounds of delight surrounding you when the ones you love are opening their gifts. Do everything you can to experience those moments with all of your senses, and you’ll carry their joy with you for so much longer.
It’s no coincidence that we set resolutions for ourselves right after the holidays - the holiday season is often when the goals we’ve set at the start of the year get off track. We’re all guilty of it--we put our routines on the back burner because the holidays are just so darn busy! This might mean letting our healthy lifestyle choices fall by the wayside (hello, holiday cookies!), or skipping an appointment with our life coach when it interferes with a celebration on your calendar. Which is why we’re asking you to try your hardest to stay true to these pieces of your life that are important to you and your sanity this holiday season. It might be tough to set the boundaries you need to succeed, but the SheFactor community is here to help when you need some support and validation.
Beyond a holiday card that spells it out, where do you find the most joy during the holidays? Joy is a very personal experience. Perhaps it’s the nostalgic feeling you get when you watch your favorite classic holiday movies. Or, maybe joy overcomes you when you listen to funny seasonal songs. This year, make it your goal to find reasons to laugh and smile during the holidays because doing so will not only help you find the joy but also spread joy to others!
Take a second, can you identify what the biggest source of your holiday stress is? Maybe it’s decorating your home or hosting a holiday meal, or perhaps confronting tumultuous family relationships. The best thing you can do, first, is to remind yourself that holiday stress is temporary. It will pass, we promise! In the moment of such stress, take stock of what you can or can’t control about those situations. For example, you can control what color scheme you use to decorate your tree, but you probably can’t control your siblings’ bickering. Focus on the things you do have control over, and release the stress that’s associated with the things you can’t.
Like letting go of the stressors we can’t control, it’s also helpful to let go of our expectations for the holidays. Holiday movies, ads, and social media paint this perfect picture of the holidays, but in reality, we all know just how chaotic they really can be! Head into the holiday season with an open mind, and exercise some forgiveness when things don’t go precisely according to plan. So if your apple pie gets a little brown in the oven, know that some people will love that added crunch. Maybe your tree won’t be as straight and even as you had hoped, but remember that makes it all the more unique. Don’t hold tight to the perfect holiday image you have in your head. Instead, embrace the imperfections as they arise, and enjoy the authenticity of your holiday season!