Are you looking for some holiday self-care ideas? We’ve compiled a list of some fun ways to melt away stress during the holidays with fun activities, tasty treats, and thoughtful gifts.
Whether you’re throwing a holiday party, taking a relaxing day off, or spending time with your family, these self-care activities should help you get through the holidays.
Each activity is outlined below, describing what it is and why it might benefit you. Included in this guide are easy food recipes and holiday gift ideas.
Why do we struggle during the holidays?
Holiday shopping is often stressful, crowded, and overwhelming for many of us. If our wish list is too long or too expensive, we may not be able to buy everything on the list. Often, social gatherings are disquieting because it’s hard to tittle-tattle with people you don’t know well.
Even worse, winter weather can make it difficult to leave the house or travel around town. This can lead to feelings of social isolation over the holidays, resulting, among other things, in depression and anxiety.
People who are single or without a family struggle at this time because no one likes to spend the holidays alone.
Some experts believe that modern technology is contributing to the rise in social isolation over the holiday season. Since people did not use the internet to call, email, or text each other, nor did they have cell phones to check Facebook or watch YouTube videos, they feel life was easier in the past.
Some claim that shopping for everyone during the holidays makes them stressed. The task of finding gifts for 25 people can be overwhelming, especially if you wish you could buy all of the presents.
Why is self-care important during the holidays?
It’s hard to care about anything during the holidays. For your mental health and wellbeing, however, it’s important to make time to practice self-care. Our time is so limited, so balancing this can be very challenging.
Even though International Self-care Day is celebrated every year on July 24, every day should be filled with self-care. Every day is a day to honor self-care practices that restore our vitality.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. People avoid self-care for a variety of reasons, but it’s also one of the most important.
You cannot be there for your loved ones no matter how much you care for them, how much you want to spend time with them, or how much you provide for them if you are too tired or busy taking care of everything else.
As we approach the holidays, we must reflect on the importance of self-care: it is a way to be better able to give our time and love to those who need it most.
Following some self-care strategies for the holidays will give you the energy you need to get important tasks done.
The Best Holiday Self-Care Ideas
The importance of self-care during the holidays cannot be overstated. You have to keep yourself going with practicing some self-care through this time so you are refreshed and rejuvenated once you get through.
Exfoliate before bedtime
As you head to bed, exfoliation is essential. Your skin will be smoother, and you won’t have any dry patches in the morning due to dead skin cells.
Drink a cup of Sleepytime tea
Is there something to take the edge off after a long day at work or spending time with family? Sipping on this caffeine-free herbal tea will help you relax and get ready for bed.
Herbal teas are a good source of good-for-you antioxidants that can help you sleep better before you go to sleep.
Watch your favorite holiday movie
A relaxing holiday movie might seem like an obvious choice, but watching it can help you relax. These dog movies will set you in the right holiday mood. Also, it is one of the best holiday stress relief tips.
Using social media, you can stay in contact with loved ones in another country or across the globe. Reach out to your family and friends, share updates, or send them your best wishes.
Volunteer with children
“Adopting” a local family for gift-giving is a tradition that many families follow. Participating in such activities helps you grow in self-confidence and meet new people who are friendly and receptive to your kindness.
Think about how you are feeling
During every 8 hours, identify the feelings you are experiencing. Take note if they change throughout the day…or if they travel over the course of a day.
It’s a good idea to write down your feelings or bring a list to bed at night so that you can re-visit them before going to sleep. you can also take some ideas from these journaling prompts for mental health. Keep a journal to do this, or use a spreadsheet on your smartphone.
Get physical with yourself!
Spend some time doing deep tissue massage with oil, doing yoga in bed at night with candles, or meditating by day. Tell yourself it is time to relax, and you deserve it.
With these holiday mindfulness activities, you can relax deeply and eliminate the blocks in your mind caused by stressors throughout the day.
Free up your calendar
Keep your social calendar free of “going to” events for the next few weeks. Resist the urge to take on extra tasks at work.
Put a creative spin on holiday activities to make them more enjoyable. Come up with holiday jokes or prepare a holiday folder you can always mention in conversation.
Invest in meaningful gifts
Don’t buy gifts for your family. Instead, give them books, art supplies, music, robes, whatever you can think of that they might appreciate. There is a good chance they already have all that they need.
Throw a party
If you have the ability to host a special holiday event at work or home, go ahead and make it happen! You’ll probably find that everyone enjoys the extra attention and the additional focus on what you should enjoy during this season.
Don’t let holiday shopping become a chore …make it fun! Don’t try to “shop” every day (although I’m sure many people will resort to this option because it allows them an extra element of control). Consider shopping over the phone or online instead.
Exercising is one way to do this. A second thing that can help is listening to music. With some tunes and a good movie, you cannot go wrong. If you must, lock yourself away in the bathroom, but don’t forget to chalk it up!
A manicure and pedi
A manicure or pedicure might be your idea of self-care. People love this idea because it feels wonderful! There are other ways to treat yourself that are less expensive and just as fulfilling.
Netflix and chill
You deserve a good show or movie, so put on some cozy PJs and enjoy them.
Exercise relieves stress
You can use it to get your blood flowing and sleep better, but it can also be a great way to connect with your body and maintain your peace and balance!
Bake something yummy
Make this holiday season as allergy-free as possible for everyone in your family – or even better, go vegan or gluten-free!
Clean your space/home/closet/bathroom
Getting the clutter out of your way will put a tenfold improvement in your mood! Furthermore, it will give time for self-reflection.
Give someone a gift of your affection
You should take advantage of this time to air your feelings. Holiday cheer is always good for the soul and always inspires you to be positive.
Eat to detoxify
Warm-up with hot spicy food, a drink, or dessert that will relax you – there are so many detoxifying foods!!
Make things colorful
Make sure you surround yourself with color and positivity – even if you don’t feel your best physically, give yourself the gift of positive vibes and good thoughts.
Play with your pets
When you want to relax and have fun, you can often turn to your pet. They will always be excited to have you fully to themselves.
Allow yourself a twenty-minute break from the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations to simply breathe.
Take the afternoon off
If you find holidays by yourself getting you frazzled, take at least one afternoon off each week to unwind. Watch movies, read books, listen to music for one hour each day, or do whatever you like.
Don’t forget to eat well during the holidays. Eating large meals has become the norm for many people, and they rely heavily on food as a primary source of happiness.
Between larger meals, make sure to have healthy snacks to avoid overeating.
Make sure you drink plenty of water instead of alcohol to keep your skin looking fresh.
Cut down on makeup
So you won’t seem tired or rundown, wear minimal makeup. As a result, you won’t have to worry about fixing it all the time.
Get your spine adjusted
After all that shopping, visit a chiropractor to adjust your spine! Cracking your back yourself may also be an option.
Spend time with your loved ones
Make sure you surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and remind you of this every day. Family members should be able to fulfill this role, but if they can’t, you can still do it on your own. Try finding someone who makes you feel awesome about yourself and keep them around!
Prepare ahead so you won’t have to worry about remembering what everyone wants during the holidays. Make a list of items your loved ones might need or want and order them on Amazon in advance. If you are still confused about what to buy, click here to check out some great holiday gift ideas.
Have extra cash in handy
Cash is good to have on hand if someone wants something more expensive last minute, so you can still buy something else later.
Put together a holiday self-care box to use during the holiday season. Include bubble bath (check out our recipes of homemade bath salts), foot lotion, nail polish, as well as hats and scarves to keep you warm. Even if you don’t have time to use everything, just knowing it’s in your closet is an excellent reminder that you deserve to take care of yourself during the busy season.
Walk down memory lane
It’s a good idea to look through your cards and presents from last year and store them carefully so that when you open them this year, they’ll still be beautiful. It’s always fun to receive comments on wrapping paper you save.
Prepare meals in advance so you can spend time with your family before you rush off to prepare food. When you’re cooking, give yourself enough time to enjoy the process and not feel rushed.
Pick out outfits
If your schedule is packed with holiday parties or other events, plan your outfit in advance. Know what shoes work with what outfit, how accessories go with what, and so on.
Enjoy your stay at home
You might want to postpone your travel plans. Consider spending the holidays at home instead of making all those trips back and forth.
Giving gifts is a lovely tradition during this time of year, but it’s also essential to remember that not everyone gets a gift. Putting all your effort into holiday gifts doesn’t mean you break the bank at the end of the month.
Be responsible if you drink. Don’t forget to eat before you drink so that you won’t consume empty calories. Holiday self care also means not going overboard with things that can potentially wreck your body.
Take on a DIY project
There’s a DIY project that will take you away from the holiday season festivities. You can make art out of your favorite holiday pictures by wrapping them in marbles or rock candy or putting them into a fabric bag with feathers and sequins.
Take time off from work
Maybe this season is the right time to take a break from work. A holiday can not only overload your body, but it can also hinder your career. During this time off, take some time to read about getting organized at work so that things run smoothly again when the new year arrives.
Set up a playlist
Make a playlist of your favorite songs and artists, and listen to it while doing anything that invigorates or relaxes you: a bath, dressing up, cooking. Holiday self-care is incomplete without some soothing activities.
Makeover your hair
Let your stylist do something you’ve never had done before. If you want a cut, just go, and you’ll be surprised!
A nap will do you good
Bonus points if you take one in the sun. Your health will thank you! In the late afternoon or early evening or after work, if going to bed early isn’t an option for you, take advantage of your body’s natural nocturnal cycle and take a long nap.
Listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook
Make it fun enough to keep you from doing anything else. While you’re at home and the weather is nice, tune in to a great podcast outside on your porch or by your pool! Or maybe listen to an audiobook with Audible Plus, an all-you-can-listen membership that brings you access to thousands of titles, including audiobooks, podcasts, and originals across a variety of genres, lengths, and formats.
Cheap Holiday Scent
Pick up one or more candles that smell like pie or chocolate at Dollar Tree to make your holiday home smell warm and inviting! Candles are a great way to decorate any area of your home.
Discover or create a lucky mantra to help you through the holiday season. As you brush your teeth or put on your make-up, repeat it to yourself.
Purge your bathroom cupboard of old make-up, lotions, and creams by performing a “make-up” cleanse. Get rid of all your old make-up by donating it to a charity or putting it in the garbage. Donate any item you don’t plan to use anymore after three months.
Do you like browsing Pinterest for pictures of cozy holiday decorations? Pin what you want and take them along when you go shopping.
Perhaps you don’t feel like watching a show or movie right now, but how about reading one instead? Bloggers and vloggers often write about their favorite holiday reads. Have a look at their favorite titles and give one a try! They’ll cheer you up to no end!
10 Holiday Self-Care Quotes
The self-care idea has been around for decades and has come and gone as a trend, but it’s here to stay. Put your phone away and take a moment to learn how to take care of yourself this holiday season.
1. “Self-care is giving yourself what you need at that time.” — Kathleen Shannon
2. “Self-care is as important as oxygen.” — Doreen Virtue
3. “You can’t care for others until you truly care for yourself first.” — Unknown
4. “Keep calm and practice self-care.” — Unknown
5. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
6. “The mind can think anything it wants to think; physical or physical self-care is needed.” — Unknown
7. “Eat well and live healthily, and you’ll be able to be good company for others.” — Kathleen Nadeau
8. “I believe in the philosophy of taking care of your body and mind, and if that means getting a pedicure or manicure or doing something nice for yourself, then why not do that?” — Heidi Klum
9. “You deserve your own personal celebration. Celebrate YOU.” — Unknown
10. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn
What you should avoid during the holidays
A holiday season full of parties filled with rich food, spending time with family members who don’t want to miss out on anything, or simply not enough sleep can take its toll on the body and the mind.
While it can be fun for some people, it can be stressful for others. Don’t let this year’s holiday season overwhelm you by making these common holiday mistakes:
- Intoxication – feel free to indulge in your favorite drink. Just do not go overboard.
- Unnecessary stress – this is the worst thing you could possibly do.
- Getting too full – keep your portions small.
- Stressed out family – put in your best effort to make everyone’s time enjoyable, but also do not neglect yourself.
- Overindulging – make sure you get enough rest after this holiday so that you can have another relaxing one later on.
We all like to celebrate and enjoy the holidays, so we hope you have a good time and stay healthy. Let’s take some time to practice holiday self-care during those extra hours.
Whether you want to stay in and relax, go on a vacation with your loved ones, or spend time with the whole family, there are ways to stay healthy without sacrificing sleep or socialization. Always keep an eye on the end goal and maintain a balanced perspective.
Also, don’t stop practicing self-care after the holidays so you keep up the spark.