Self care is important to keep in mind throughout the whole year, but especially as we are in the middle of the holiday season and looking towards a new year. The external expectations and internal pressures that come with the holidays can be overwhelming if we don’t have a plan. Thinking about self-care plans now will prepare us for healthy habits in the new year.
What is Self Care?
First, self-care is not a luxury. It’s about meeting the basic needs of your body, mind, and spirit so that you can fully show up for yourself, your family, and your larger community. Sometimes when people hear self-care, they think of getting massages or taking private retreats. These could very well be part of a larger self-care plan, but this self-care plan won’t require money or separate retreats!
Our Best Selves
What are you like when you’re your best self? Write down a few words that come to mind.
What do you need, to show up at your best?
Most people need the following to show up at their best:
- Meals and water
- Morning routine
It’s especially important to focus on these key areas this holiday season. In order to be at our best, we all need to make sure we’re getting enough sleep, movement, and eating healthy food. This is something we all know in our heads but can sometimes have a hard time actually doing in our daily lives.
Before I started tracking my habits on a daily basis, I thought I was meeting my personal goal of getting at least six hours of sleep every night. I was surprised to find that what I thought and what I was actually getting every night didn’t match up.
So how do we make self-care a priority during the holidays?
5 Step Self Care Plan for the Holidays
- Out of the top three basic self-care areas of sleep, movement, and what you put in your body, which is your top priority?
- Track your sleep, movement, and eating daily. Or you can track your top priority area only.
- Write down specific and small actions you will take daily to make your self-care a priority. Know your baseline, and plan from there.
- If you’re getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night, an example of an action is “Get at least 6 hours of sleep a night.” “If I don’t get at least 6 hours of sleep, I will take a 20 minute nap during the day.”
- Another example is “Take a 10 minute walk everyday” or “Do 10 squats and one 30 second plank everyday.” This goal will depend on what your baseline movement is now.
- If you’re trying to eat healthy and drink more water, set a goal that increases the amount of vegetables/fruits that you’ll eat on a daily basis as well as increases the cups of water you drink a day.
- When you have your basic self-care needs met for your body, move to planning a simple morning routine to meet your spiritual needs. That might include prayer, meditation, and/or reading daily. This doesn’t have to be long. It can start at 5 minutes a day. You could also start with this simple mindfulness act.
- Last, but not least, write a list of things you find pleasure and enjoyment in. Do one pleasurable activity a day during the holiday season. Write it in on your planner so you don’t forget. I know that when I don’t write it down and it’s not part of my daily routine, it usually doesn’t happen. Sign up below to get a copy of 50 Ideas for Daily Self Pleasure.
The holidays are meant to be a time of joy with people we care about. In order to truly enjoy the holidays, we need to make sure we’re running on Full and not on Empty.
What ideas will you implement this holiday? Do you have a self-care plan for the new year?
Melinda Mitchell says
I find so much pleasure in reading, and spending time with my grandbabies!! Their hugs and kisses are the best things in the world!!
Absolutely Melinda! Enjoy the grand babies!
Abby @ WinsteadWandering says
I need to remember these steps this year! The problem, for me, during the holidays is that I WANT to be able to do everything all the time; it isn’t about guilt like it sometimes is other times of year. Regardless, the whole season will be more enjoyable if I take some time to take care of myself.
I know Abby! There’s a desire to do all the things – but I find that there isn’t usually the matching time or energy!