The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be a hectic time. All of the moving pieces during this time of year — from meeting up with loved ones, buying gifts, hosting gatherings, and more — can result in holiday-induced stress and burnout.
In addition to being mindful of others’ needs, it’s equally important to stay aware of your own needs so you can close this year on a financially and emotionally healthy note. Here are six self-care tips that can help you maintain balance.
1. Meditate for 10 minutes
When you’re burned-out or stressed, the immediate feeling of it can be hard to manage. Regardless of what scenarios you come across this holiday, honor yourself by acknowledging and sitting with these feelings. Once you’ve given yourself time to respect how you feel, reconnecting with your breath can offer clarity to the situation.
2. Check-in with your finances
It’s difficult to know what your next move could be without knowing where you stand today. Ahead of the barrage of holiday shopping and tithing, reconnect with your finances from a birds-eye view.
Take a look at your pay stubs to ensure your HR or accounting department is calculating your wages, accurately. If the details of your income look correct, evaluate your monthly expenses to see if there’s any unnecessary baggage you can cut. Canceling an unused streaming subscription, for example, can be a small way to clean house.From here, you can calculate how much funds are left for discretionary spending over the holidays.
Breaking it down this way can help make each step a little less stressful. During this process, avoid judging your finances for where they are. Self-deprecating comments about money aren’t helpful — be kind to yourself — it’s the most important step in self-care.
Focus on your own goals
Self-care is about looking inward. Ask yourself what you value most in your life, and set financial goals that carry you toward that goal. You many have a major life goal, like buying your first home, for instance.
Visualize what your future home looks like — how many bedrooms and bathrooms, which city is this home in, what do you see yourself doing in your home (e.g. playing with your two dogs in the backyard, preparing home-cooked meals, swimming in a pool, etc.)?
Take this self-care idea to the next step by reaching out to a financial coach, to help you work out a tactical approach that takes your vision to reality.
4. Treat yourself
Give yourself permission to take a momentary break from the rigors of a tight budget and long-term financial planning. You’ve worked hard to get where you are today — and although there might’ve been some challenges along the way — acknowledging your own progress goes a long way.
This may include a small gift to yourself or simply allowing yourself to join friends for pre-holiday drinks at a local restaurant. Whatever a “treat” looks like for you, give yourself a chance to unwind and celebrate through the holidays.
5. Maintain your physical health
Staying healthy doesn’t have to wait until the new year. Keeping up with your physical wellness routines is scientifically proven to help you withstand stress.
Physical health isn’t just working out (although staying active is certain one way!) — it’s also:
- Getting a full night’s sleep
- Eating a balanced diet
- Staying hydrated throughout the day
- Wearing sunscreen
- Scheduling your annual physical check-up
The holidays are a busy time of year, but don’t lose sight of the importance of self-care in your day-to-day wellness routine.
6. Set healthy boundaries
The noise of the holidays may bring unwanted opinions from friends or family about where you “should” be in life — whether in regard to family planning, where you live, or your career. Keeping healthy boundaries about your choices and path in life empowers you to make moves that serve your goals, not others.
These self-care ideas can certainly be challenging, especially setting boundaries. For example, you may set boundaries about unannounced family members visiting your home, or saying “no” to a friend who always asks you to cover the check (but conveniently forgets to pay you back).
It can be hard to distance yourself from the desires of others, but doing so this holiday season helps you refocus your energy on priority #1 — you.