Holiday self-care is always an important thing to make room for. It goes without saying that the 2020 holiday season is full of its own unique form of burn-out. Everyone is struggling from pandemic-fatigue, many suffering a great deal of loss and additional stress on top of the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays.
That’s why it’s even more important to practice holiday self-care this year. The season is going to look different no matter how you slice it, so you might as well make it different in ways that nurture and refresh you.
This will of course look different for everyone depending on your own unique circumstances, but here are some ideas to help jump-start your motivation to look after yourself this year.
Re-Define the Holidays
This is a chance to re-focus. As we age, many people find themselves becoming disconnected from the true meaning of the holidays. It’s far too easy to grow cynical and hard-hearted about the commercialism and consumerism that so often consumes this time of year, feeling as if it’s all just going through the motions. This year is the perfect opportunity to stop that merry-go-round. This is your holiday season and it can look however you want it to look. Don’t feel shackled to what you’ve always done just because you’ve always done it that way. Take some time to consider what is meaningful to you and forge a new path in that direction.
Embrace the idea of giving to other people in a way that is more personal this year. Many are suffering from a lack of connection, so a personal letter, a hand-made gift, or specially baked food can add that personal touch that a flurried and hassled trip to the mall for anything that will do doesn’t quite convey.
Contemplate the Season
Spend some time in contemplation about what the holiday season means to you personally. Would you like to explore more of what it means to establish a practice of gratitude? Would you like to become more generous with your time, thoughts, and energy? Would you like to find a way to establish more peace and harmony in the world? Many of us are pushed along in the stream of tradition and holly jolly whirlwind without ever contemplating our own values and how we can celebrate them this time of year.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
If you’re grieving from losses you’ve sustained this year, give yourself the space to feel them. It’s okay to give yourself what you need to grieve, even if that means opting out of some of your usual celebrations. Holiday self-care can mean establishing time for quiet and grief without the pressure to “do Christmas.” Healing takes time, and that’s okay. It’s not failing to need a minute.
Make Space (For Yourself or Others)
Having spent an increased amount of time at home this year, some find themselves in a state of solitude they’ve never experienced before, while others are experiencing a severe lack of solitude due to being surrounded by their family members or roommates at all times. Whatever your situation, spend some time creatively brainstorming how to give yourself what you need. If you desperately need some human connection, think through how you can make that happen. A holiday walk with friends? Coffee with outdoor seating? A bonfire? A weekly Zoom check-in? If you need to get away, talk to your partner or other people in your support network about what you need-- a night away from the kids, a night completely alone, a quiet bubble bath--and give yourself permission to make it a priority to ensure it happens.
Don't leave yourself behind in the mad dash to create a cheerful holiday for everyone else. You're worth taking the time for, so establish a little holiday self-care into your life this year.