Holiday Self Care

Wow, we have made it through thanksgiving. I believe that calls for some time to relax and take care of yourself before we begin getting ready for the next holiday. Self-care is essential for those of us who tend to get burned out during the preparation and clean-up of holidays. 

What does self-care look like? Here’s my top ten list of self-care strategies:

  1. Take a nap. Yes, you! Lay down and take a nap. Everyone could use extra rest. If you can’t sleep, even just laying down for 20 minutes with your eyes closed may help reduce the feelings of anxiety or stress you are feeling.
  2. Color. I’ve been posting a lot of articles about how coloring in those adult coloring books is scientifically proven to be as effective as meditation. So go grab your crayons or colored pencils, your fancy coloring book and zen out. In a pinch, I suggest a pen and a piece of paper. Doodling should have the same effect. There is a whole art form devoted to doodling called Zentangle. Check out this article from Psychology Today.
  3. Listen to some music. You can do this while coloring, or while napping/resting. Or you can just do it on its own. Think about the last time you just sat and listened to music. It was probably a really long time ago.
  4. Call a friend. This is an excellent time to phone a friend. You can commiserate about how nothing is wrapped, or how your mother-in-law is driving you insane or whatever. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
  5. Take a walk. Just going outside, especially if the sun is shining (which of course it isn’t today in Cincinnati) and feeling that sunshine on your face and hands while you walk can really help you relax. Some people enjoy walking in the rain and snow as well. The point is walking is relaing and good for you.
  6. Spend some time with a pet. Pets just make us feel better and more relaxed. So take your dog with you while you walk, or spend five minutes playing with your cat.
  7. Cut a corner. If you feel yourself getting worked up about something on your list of to-dos, ask yourself if you can cut a corner. Does everyone really need homemade bath salts? Or can a jar from the store work just as well? Sometimes what we plan doesn’t match reality in terms of time or ability. And that’s okay. They were good intentions, but reality has constraints. Cut a corner.
  8. Nourish yourself. Make sure you are eating foods that are nourishing you- not draining you. There are a lot of sweets floating around this time of year and quite frankly, most of us don’t feel great after we overindulge. I had three pieces of my famous pumpkin pie over the past Thanksgiving weekend along with the unbelievably delicious homemade whipped cream, both of which had coconut crystal sugar. Enter brain fog and inflammation, especially in my hands. So, I am paying for that deliciousness. As of today, I am back to a no sugar diet until next Thanksgiving. I do wonder if I could ever get to the point where I don’t even have the pumpkin pie or the whipped cream. I’m almost there.
  9. Gratitude check in. Sit down with a piece of paper and spend two minutes writing down 5 things you are grateful for. You might be surprised at what comes to mind but go with it. Gratitude in even the smallest things can help us bear the anxiety of the holiday.
  10. Call your therapist. If you can get an appointment with your therapist during Christmas week, take it! Don’t pass on it because you are so busy. A conversation with your therapist during the holidays can help reinforce all the good things you’ve been doing for yourself and bring perspective to whatever you find yourself worrying about. Truly.

Does someone you love suffer from an eating disorder?

Dr. Renae Norton specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. Located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Call 513-205-6543 to schedule an appointment or fill out our online contact form for someone to call you to discuss your concerns. Tele-therapy sessions available. Individual and family sessions also available.

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