5 Ways To Take Care of You This Holiday Season

While the holiday season is filled with joy, family, and friends; for many of us, it can also come with some additional stressors. And, for those of us whose relationships with food are a consistent work in progress, it helps to go in with a plan to make sure you are giving your body the care it needs.

Self-care is necessary in all seasons of life. It helps us rest and reset in the midst of the chaos and busyness each day can bring.

I’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can incorporate self-care into your routine this holiday season. Investing in and care for yourself is essential for your mental, emotional and physical health.

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01. Schedule it.

Schedule your self-care routine like you would any other part of your day. Perhaps adding a bath to your to-do list (because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good list) or writing in your calendar “meditate from 7:00am-7:15am” will encourage you to be mindful of your time and honor your self and your body as you go through the holiday season.

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02. Feel the feels.

Take it all in and allow yourself to feel emotions that come up, even the tough ones. Taking just a moment, even if it’s in your head, to name the emotion and what triggered it can be helpful to discern fact from fiction and prevent suppressed emotions from making an appearance later.

Maybe you don’t know how to truly feel emotions or even the thought of that gives you anxiety - I hear you and I see you. I’d love to meet with you or refer you to one of my amazing therapy colleagues. Contact me and let’s get you set up with a free consultation call!

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03. Show yourself compassion.

Self-compassion is the name of the game. Finding the sweet spot where we can enjoy food in this ever-growing “diet-obsessed” culture can leave us feeling anything but compassion for ourselves. Leaning into any discomfort that surfaces and showing yourself self-compassion is essential. Practice positive self-talk. “I am strong”, “I am brave” or “I’m defined by so much more than what people see on the outside” are ways to speak compassionately to yourself.

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04. Dig into gratitude.

Putting aside a few minutes to write down things you are grateful for can be soothing and promote feelings of serenity in times that may be stressful. Get into a practice of writing down 5 things you’re thankful for at the end of each day. Here’s a gratitude journal I love and a book on gratitude that will rock your world.

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05. Commit to the present.

Being where our feet are will allow us to foster gratitude (see number 4) and practice self-compassion (hey number 3) without dwelling on the past or concerning ourselves with the future. In times of growth and change, it’s easy to want to fast forward to the future, but allow yourself to grow through what the present is teaching you.Taking several deep breaths in moments where it’s hard being in the present can help ground you.

The holiday season is too often filled with messaging like “How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain” or “Loss Holiday Weight Fast”. I have three words for articles like that - thank u, next! Messaging like that is going to make you feel shame, failure and guilt.

Practice the steps mentioned above this holiday season (and into 2019!) to give yourself the love and care you deserve!

Written by: Maddy Walters, MS, RD (DM Nutrition Associate)

Edited by: Dylan Murphy, RD, LDN