They say, “It is the happiest time of the year”. This, of course, depending on what you plan to do and who you plan on spending it with. In as much as this is the time you have been looking forward to all year long, it comes with its share of stress; the shopping, decorating, cooking, without forgetting visits from certain family members (you know the ones I’m talking about).
It is also a time of the year where you reflect upon how productive (or not) your year has been, and maybe come up with New Year resolutions. If this isn’t enough, you still have to put on a smile and act like everything is all milk and cookies, well, because it’s the Holidays!
To stay sane and ensure that you are genuinely happy and really enjoying this special time of the year, you are going to need to show yourself some love.
Ahead are 31 holiday self-care ideas (one to represent each day) to ensure that you remain your best self, and most importantly have a damn good time;
Side note: The activities do not have to be done on specific days. The idea is to practice them throughout the holiday season, every chance you get.
31 Days of Self-care
Make a holiday playlist
Music has a way of brightening up your mood and making you feel like you are on top of the world. Make a playlist comprising of your favorite songs or ones that bring out your holiday spirit. Listen to it every day, and most importantly, sing and dance like no one is watching.
De-clutter your space
De-cluttering will not only save you time and space, but it has also been linked to stress reduction and improvement of your overall well-being. Having a clearer and organized space will lead to clarity and peace of mind, allowing you to focus and concentrate on things that matter and or ones that are really important to you.
As you get rid of your physical clutter, also remember to unplug and reduce digital clutter once in a while by seeing the world through your eyes and not through screens. Use this time to do something useful away from the internet and also pay attention to other people and happenings around you.
Spend time with people whose company you enjoy
Make an effort of spending time with the people you care about. This will not only boost your mood but it will also nurture your relationships, leading to stronger bonds. Spending physical time with people is also an opportunity to make new memories through fun shared experience.
Mindfulness: Be present
To raise self-awareness, make the practice of mindful exercises a part of your routine. Being present in the moment helps you reduce stress, and also puts you in a better position to understand, cope and deal with your emotions in a healthy way.
Create a vision board
A vision board is a visual representation of your dreams and aspirations through pictures and words of affirmation. Their main purpose is to serve as a source of motivation and inspiration towards the conscious pursuit, and eventually achievement of your goals.
The plan is to reduce stress as much as you can. Make a budget, write a shopping list and start your shopping early to avoid last minute rush. This will give you enough time to shop around to get the most value out of your money, because you will get the exact things that you need without having to scramble for the last item in the store.
Stick to your budget and avoid impulse buying. You might feel like you are missing out on some holiday deals, but remember that the holidays goes by so fast, and you will eventually have to be accountable for your spending, sooner rather than later. You do not want to start the New Year in debt. A good idea may be to budget for the extras as well in #7. This way, you will have room to splurge, within your means.
Get enough sleep
I do not play when it comes to sleep. Some days I take this too far, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that a good nap is highly recommended. Enough sleep improves your productivity and enhances concentration. If you are working out, sleep will not only maximize your performance but it also supports weight loss.
Watch your favorite holiday movie
Get into the holiday spirit by watching your favorite holiday movie, and believe in the magic that comes with this time of the year.
Drop a toxic habit
Get rid of a toxic habit/trait that is hindering your utmost productivity. The habit does not have to be something that you do physically or verbally, it may even be a particular mindset or a certain belief system. Strive to be the best version of yourself by being open to positive change.
Meditation increases your focus and brings your concentration to the present moment. This reduces stress, allowing you to make better decisions and do the things that are important to you and ones that align with your dreams and passions.
When was the last time you did something for the first time? Do something you’ve never done before, learn a new skill or try a new genre of music/books. Who knows, you might end up loving it and making a tradition out of it.
Spend time outdoors
Take a walk or sit under the stars. Let your mind wander while you are at it. You can do this activity with someone or by yourself. Either way, the point is to enjoy the ambiance and attune with nature.
Journal: Write your heart away
Journaling will help you keep track of your thoughts and emotions. This not only leads to self-discovery but it also improves your communication skills thus allowing you to be able to express yourself confidently.
Buy yourself some flowers
Do not wait for someone else to buy you flowers. Personally I am really invested in flowers; for one, because I just love decorating my space with flowers, and also because I use them for certain flat lays (they make everything beautiful). However, the latter use came as a result of the first one. Additionally, studies have linked the presence of flowers to stress reduction, so why not make that bouquet order a thing?
Letting go is a way of getting rid of emotional clutter. Let go of emotional baggage, forgive yourself and others where need be, and instead take your experiences and mistakes as lessons. You will feel so much lighter after this, and you will be able to see things from a different and clearer perspective.
Care for your body
Self-care is about showing yourself love. Take care of your body and physical health by eating healthy, stick to a workout/ yoga routine, care for your skin, and just do activities that make you a better you. And remember that beauty starts from the inside.
Enjoy some “me” time
Invest and delight in your time in solitude. Spending time alone leads to self-awareness like you have never imagined, enabling you to know what you want, and equipping you with creativity on how to chase your goals head on. Learning to make major life decisions without outside influences is also an upside to ‘me time’.
Get yourself a gift
When you celebrate a life achievement or anniversary, people shower you with gifts. In fact, you expect them to gift you. But what about those personal achievements and milestones that no one else, other than you, is aware of? If you work hard, you should definitely reward yourself. The gift will act as a reminder that you are independent, worthy and deserving of good things.
Work on your goals
Yes, it is the holidays, but if you still haven’t achieved some of your goals, you got work to do. There is always something you can do, no matter how small, that will contribute towards achieving your goals. You can also take these 31 days to tick something off your bucket list.
Perform a random act of kindness
Studies have proven that doing random acts of kindness is not only beneficial to the recipient, but also to the giver. Try this and it will leave you feeling happier, calmer and full of love.
Life is about ‘scratch my back, I scratch yours’. However, it is easy to get caught up in helping or doing things for other people so much that you end up forgetting about yourself. Say no to people so that you can say yes to yourself. This act of confidence enables you to earn the respect you deserve from yourself and others, by taking control of your life.
Re-create a holiday tradition
Pay a tribute to your inner child by bringing back something you used to do as a kid. This year do more than just going through your old holiday photos, and add another goofy picture to your collection.
Eat like your life depends on it
If you have been limiting your servings, for one reason or the other, take this as the cheat day of the year. Indulge your sweet tooth, eat your favorite meals, and for God’s sake do not count the calories.
Talk to someone
It is important to find someone you trust, with whom to have a heart to heart. There is power in deep conversation; sometimes you’ve got 99 problems, and a good talk with a trusted companion solves about 90 of them.
Do a DIY project
You can kill two birds with one stone by creating a vision/mood board. My favorite DIY projects are home décor and jewelry. I find DIY projects quite invaluable, especially during the holidays because you not only save money (they make perfect customized gifts) but you can also make money out of them.
The old adage “laughter is the best medicine” may be dismissed as a cliché. While it may not cure your physical illnesses, it works wonders for your mental health. So, reach out for your favorite sitcom (I’m tempted to recommend Friends) and crack a rib or two.
Have a lazy Sunday
“I want to be with someone who dreams of doing everything in life, and nothing on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”
Be that person for yourself. After a long week of hard work, take a Sunday off; call it Self-Care Sunday, and just sit on your bed, pull up a blankie, watch a movie/ listen to music while you sip a cup of your favorite hot drink.
Treat yourself to a spa day
You have probably come across those quotes that say “Self-care is not always about bubble baths, manicures and all other luxurious treats…” well, occasionally, it is about these things. With an at-home spa day, you go all in (because you can afford the whole package); do a facial, treat yourself to a mani-pedi, and take that bubble bath too.
Last, but certainly not least, remember to say thank you. Be grateful for the year, for how far you have come, for the lessons, and for anything else that happened this year. If you’ve had a tough year, I am sorry, but look deeper, for the positive side of it all, and resolve to kick ass in the New Year.
I hope that these self-care ideas bring fun, meaning, content and gratitude to your overall holiday experience. Until next time, it is Happy Holidays from House of Kesar!
You might also like: 31 Self-Care Tips to Help YOU be the Best Version of Yourself