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Self-care Strategies for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is always filled with plenty of hustle and bustle. There’s the excitement of seeing family and friends, but also stress, travel, long lines, planning, preparation — and a range of emotions from positive to negative. And with the current health crisis we are experiencing, those feelings might be even more exaggerated.

For many, the holiday season means planning and taking care of others. However, this leaves little time for taking care of oneself. Below are a few ideas on how to practice self-care during this holiday season.

  • Take care of your health. Be sure to get adequate sleep and maintain a nutritious diet. Develop a plan to enjoy some special foods and treats around the holidays, while balancing them with healthy eating.
  • Manage your stress level. Take note of when your stress level seems to be the highest.  Write down the factors that add to your stress then make a list of activities you can engage in at those high-stress times that can help you relax.
  • Prioritize you!  Schedule self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or a hobby you enjoy.  Practice deep breathing exercises or simply listen to soothing music. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to make time every day for yourself even if you have to set a timer for 15 minutes at the same time every day.
  • Set realistic expectations.  It is easy to imagine the “perfect” holiday, but in reality, real life happens.  Lower your expectations so that if someone gets sick, or a gift doesn’t arrive in time, your holiday is not ruined.  Focus on what you can control, yourself and your attitude, and let go of the things you can’t control.
  • Find your joy. Take time to enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the holidays!  Be mindful of time spent with loved ones and try to focus on the joy of the season instead of letting in stress and negative thoughts.

The holiday whirlwind of activities has begun, but don’t let yourself get caught up in the stress and details of the season.  By setting realistic expectations and taking care of your own needs, it will be a special holiday to remember.

Season’s greetings from our American Family Care family to yours!

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