How to Make Time for Yourself During the Holidays
posted on November 10, 2020 | by Alyssa Abel
The holidays are supposed to be fun, but many people find them stressful. When you’re not spending time with loved ones or sitting down to great food, you’re likely juggling seasonal responsibilities in addition to your normal routine.
It creates the perfect environment for stress and anxiety. This year, with so many uncertainties and stressors added from the pandemic, take control of your mental health and learn how to make time for yourself during the holidays. Even if it feels strange, it’s an easy way to battle your ups and downs well into the new year.
Cherish Every Moment
When you imagine stepping away for some time alone, you might feel guilty. After all, the holidays are about spending time with loved ones. As you greet family members and make memories, be present and cherish every moment. Later, when you need a break, you’ll be at peace with how you spend your time.
Review Your Schedule
As you plan your schedule for the remaining weeks of 2020, make sure you leave space for self-care during the holidays. It may feel silly to make notes in your planner about waking up 15 minutes earlier, but it gets you into a new routine where you prioritize your mental health.
After you figure out how long you want to focus on self-care, determine what you’ll do, and include that in your calendar reminder. Every time you check your schedule, you can look forward to that new daily walk or evening bath, where you’ll feel your worries melt away.
Monitor Your Stress
Once you add yourself to your calendar, don’t feel locked down. If you’re less anxious one day, you can always move your self-care to tomorrow or find another way to relax. Instead of a half-hour bath, you might pour a glass of wine or step outside for a few moments of fresh air.
Monitoring your stress levels is an essential healthy habit. As you get used to checking in with your body and mind, you’ll prevent your anxiety from getting too intense and spend more time enjoying your life. Less stress also benefits your physical health by reducing headaches and insomnia.
Do Something You Love
If making time for yourself feels like a chore, you’re not approaching it with the right mindset. Self-care should always reflect what you love. Consider your personal goals and if any of them can help you maintain your mental health — like developing a new skill. Maybe you can learn to paint with watercolors or establish a robust nightly skincare routine. Doing something you’re passionate about makes it much easier to find those spare moments for yourself.
Reserve a Few Minutes
Even during your busiest days, find a few minutes to put yourself first. At the beginning or the end of the day, use five minutes of your time to breathe deeply and center yourself. You can always extend those sessions when you have more time. Valuing those fleeting moments is how to stay motivated during the holidays that would otherwise feel like months of unending stress.
Turn Errands Into Rejuvenating Alone Time
Eventually, you’ll need to run to the grocery store or mail a box of gifts. Use that time in your car or on your walk to be alone. Enjoy the quiet moments or listen to relaxing podcasts designed to gently turn off your racing thoughts. Bringing yourself back to the present moment through meditation reduces the stress-related ACTH hormone cortisol that would otherwise inflame your nervous system and leave you feeling on edge.
Remember to Delegate
These tips will teach you how to make time for yourself during the holidays, so start with delegating. You’ll immediately have more free time when you don’t carry all the responsibilities on your own. With a little bit of help and scheduling, you’ll reduce your anxiety and enjoy time with your loved ones.