The holiday season can take its toll on us.
For many of us Christmas means one get-together after another, staying ‘switched-on’ for lots of conversations with colleagues and family we don’t usually spend a lot of time with, and overindulging on delicious food and drinks.
All of this can take a lot out of us. So instead of burning the candle at both ends and paying the price of exhausted days after long, boozy nights, why not give yourself the gift of self-care this year?
Here are some tips for investing in yourself this holiday season.
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Healthy boundaries are important, but maintaining them can be difficult. This is especially true when it comes to family. During the holidays, families get together. This includes relatives who can be overly intrusive, or demanding our attention, draining our energy.
So remember that you are in control of your energy. Nobody has a right to siphon it from you, not even your grandmother. Stand your ground when you need to. You can be subtle at first, which will hopefully get the message across.
However, we all know that some people can be so oblivious to the effect of their behaviour on others that you will have to be more direct and clear about needing your space. If all else fails, physically remove yourself from the situation to preserve your sanity.
Gift Yourself ‘Me Time’
It will undoubtedly be difficult at times to get away from all the chaos and commotion, but do what you can to protect yourself.
One underused tactic you could employ is simply saying “No, thank you” to at least one holiday obligation. Sure, you may be guilt-tripped when you respectfully decline an invitation to an afternoon get-together with your politically-opinionated uncle, but they will have to respect your decision.
You could also plan-in positive activities that give you an excuse to invest in yourself. For example, going to the gym, listening to a podcast you enjoy, or doing some yoga.
If things like this are part of your usual routine, then try your hardest not to drop them, because that will only make you resent your holiday obligations even more.
Get Introspective with Meditation
One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to simply close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath. Don’t let the word meditation mislead you; it doesn’t have to be some abstract and mystical concept. It can be very easy to start practicing.
Check out this short video on the ‘moment meditation’ that will guide you through how to turn any moment in your day into one of inner calm.
Mindfulness meditation is when you focus your awareness in the present moment. Any distracting thoughts are acknowledged, but let go of… always coming back to the breath as your anchor. To give you an idea of how to practice a simple exercise in mindfulness during the busy and stressful holidays, follow these steps:
- Find a place where you will not be disturbed for a few minutes. The quieter, the better, although you can use noise-canceling headphones to drown out any excess noise if you need to.
- Sit comfortably, either in a chair or cross-legged, with your posture straight.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
You can time yourself and do this for at least a minute, or until you feel you’ve relaxed and released some of that holiday stress.
Sure, eating that holiday turkey will pump you with some relaxing tryptophan, but at the expense of feeling like you definitely ate too much and will probably regret it later.
How about a nice dose of endorphins instead? Those feel-good chemicals your body makes after you exercise will help you feel empowered, energised, and optimistic.
During the holidays you may find yourself traveling far away from your usual gym or sports team, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo your exercise routine completely.
Join an Online Course for Personal Development
Taking some of the time you have during the holidays to take an online course for personal development is a great way to invest in yourself.
These courses can be found on platforms like Udemy, where you can find a wide range to you evolve your consciousness and knowledge.
Here also are some other helpful apps that will help boost various areas of your life:
- Luminosity Mobile – An app designed by neuroscientists featuring games to improve your memory and attention.
- Grateful Gratitude Journal – Keep a log of all the small and big things that occur in your daily life that you are grateful for.
- Habit List – This app will help you break bad habits and create better ones. You can track your progress and receive reminders.
- Headspace – Boost your mindfulness, focus, positivity, and sleep. You can also track progress toward your goals.
- Worry Watch – The majority of our fears are irrational. This app helps you track what you are worried about. It then creates charts which identify the patterns of your worrying so you can figure out how to address them.
Power Up Your Life
I personally enjoy the period between Christmas and New Year as a chance to switch off from work and invest in myself with some self-reflection.
It’s at this time that I look back at the past 12 months and recall some of my highlights, lowlights and lessons that I want to take into the next year.
I’ll reconnect with my values, assess my levels of happiness, and set fresh goals, new habits and lifestyle adjustments.
If this is something you’d like to invest in for yourself this holiday season, and want to make 2020 your best year yet then download my new Power Up Your Life Workbook.
I’m offering it FREE to only the first 1,000 downloaders who also sign-up to our regular free email magazine, The Power Up.