Life is full of stress and stress filled events. Suffering a loss is one of the most stressful times in a persons life. Add on top of that the holidays and you have the makings of intense stress. When you are under a tremendous amount of stress, you need to take time for self care.
What is self care?
Self care is about enhancing your over all well-being. It is having time of intentional care for yourself, doing things you enjoy to help eliminate or reduce the source of stress. Self care helps to bring balance back into your life.
Four areas of life that can get out of balance are:
- Physical well being. It is a busy time of year so make sure you get enough sleep and exercise. Also watch your diet. There are many tempting treats to partake. Limit the amount you consume.
- Psychological/emotional well being. Take time to reflect and give yourself permission to feel your emotions. Write them in a journal. Allow time for grieving. Utilize your support system when things get to overwhelming.
- Spiritual well being. Through the hustle and bustle of the holidays we tend to forget the real reason for celebrating the season. Take time to attended church, pray and meditate. It is also a good time to reconnect with your own spirit by being mindful.
- Relational well being. This is the season for togetherness. And sometimes it can seem a little over kill. Prioritize your interactions with others by spending time with those closest to you. Limit time spent with those who drain your energy. Do not forget to cultivate a relationship with yourself. The only constant relationship you have is with yourself. Enjoy who you are and be gentle with yourself.
Create your self care plan.
When you find yourself getting overwhelmed and stressed by the holidays, have a list of things you can enjoy to bring you balance. Plan for different scenarios such as being tired, angry, sad and overburdened. You will also want to think about what can get in the way of your self care plan and how you can remove those barriers.
Below is a short list of things you can incorporate to your self care plan.
- Watch your favorite holiday movie.
- Read a book you have been wanting to read and haven’t had time for.
- Have a spa day. You can create a spa day at home with your favorite beauty items or visit a spa.
- Listen to music.
- Take a walk and enjoy the decorations.
- Write a letter to your departed loved one.
- Sing your favorite carols.
- Get silly, let loose and have some fun. Laugh.
- Make something, knit a scarf, make your own Christmas cards, bake, paint…whatever your favorite hobby may be.
- Enjoy time in quite reflection.
- Have a good cry.
- Say no.
- Honor your loved one by telling stories about them or donating to your favorite charity in their name.
- Try something new. Go somewhere you have not been, eat something you have never eaten, do something you have always wanted to do but never did.
- Take some time away just for yourself. If you are visiting family out of town, maybe you can take a day away to give yourself some space.
Whatever is on your self care plan, remember to breathe.
You are not alone, I am here to walk along side of you.
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