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Tag Archives: holiday self-care

For many people, the holiday season can be an absolute whirlwind. You move from commitment to commitment—work parties, holiday shopping, meal prep, volunteer activities—all while trying to juggle your normal work and family life. It can be a lot.

Sometimes the holiday season is so chaotic and stressful, you scarcely enjoy it, but instead end up feeling like you need a break to recuperate. That’s a shame because, at their core, the holidays are meant to be a time of togetherness, family, friendship, and kindness…and all of that gets diminished when we’re running around, feeling busy and stressed.

I don’t necessarily suggest canceling all your plans and having a quiet holiday season (although, if that’s what you need to do, who am I to stop you?). What I do suggest is slowing down from time to time, tuning in with how you’re feeling, and practicing a little self-care.

If self-care seems indulgent, you might be exactly the type of person who needs it most! Besides, if you don’t take care of yourself, your fuel tank will run dry and you won’t be able to effectively care for anyone else.

Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time consuming. Instead, it can be taken in 5-minute intervals. Here are 10 ideas for 5-minute self-care:

1. Try a breathing exercise

If you don’t have a go-to breathing exercise try this one from my blog OR download the Headspace app.

2. Stretch

You can stretch at your desk, while you’re waiting for the turkey to cook, or even in bed before you get up in the morning.

3. Make yourself a hot chocolate

Don’t forget the whipped cream!

4. Indulge in a 5-minute dessert

You’d be surprised what you can whip together in just a few minutes. Bonus: Several quick dessert recipes are kid-friendly, so you can also provide a little entertainment for little ones.

5. Have a foot soak

Maybe you don’t have time for an all-out bath, but you probably have a few minutes for a relaxing foot soak. Fill a tub or a basin with hot water, add some Epsom salts and/or essential oils, and give your feet a little pampering!

6. Read a few pages of a book

It’s helpful to download an eBook app on your phone so you’ll always have quick access to a book.

7. Doodle

Let your mind wander for a few minutes as you sketch with a pencil, pen, colored pencils…whatever you have handy.

8. Journal

Jot down whatever’s on your mind in a notebook. Or, choose a writing prompt (like these), set a timer, and write.

9. Walk around the block

Enjoy the scenery and appreciate your neighborhood.

10. Dance!

Take a 5-minute dance break. You never know, the whole family may want to join in!

Self-care is possible in brief intervals. The real trick is remembering to pause and having a quick self-care activity at the ready.

Wishing you a relaxing, fun, and joyful holiday season!




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slow down amid holiday craziness

Tis the season…of a thousand little tasks! Between holiday get-togethers, cooking, decorating, and shopping for presents, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed by the holiday busyness. It’s too bad that the season of joy, family, and camaraderie can also be the season of stress, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In between the hustle and bustle, you can find small ways to slow down and relax if you know how. These tiny breaks are necessary for your emotional and physical wellbeing, your relationships (personal and professional), and your mental clarity. Slowing down can help defuse stressful situations or allow you to step back and have a greater presence of mind when you’re faced with a problem.

Here are 8 ways to slow down amid holiday craziness:

1. Pause, breathe, re-center

You’ve probably heard this before, but allowing yourself time and space to just breathe can reduce stress and help you see the bigger picture. Try different “quick relaxation” techniques like counting to ten, focusing on your breath, or taking a short walk.

2. Stay active

When you’re busy running errands and rushing to get work done before your holiday commitments, you may feel too exhausted to hit the treadmill or attend that yoga class. The truth is, physical activity won’t deplete you, but will help energize you and keep you healthier and happier in the long-term. Don’t neglect your fitness, even if it means buying a pre-packaged dessert for the potluck instead of making one from scratch. Your health comes first!

3. Read for pleasure

Instead of zoning out in front of the TV after a long day, try stimulating your brain in a different way by reading or listening to a book. It’s a great way to relax and spend a little time away from the ever-present screen.

4. Take a walk

When was the last time you simply went for a walk without any destination or distraction? I challenge you to leave your cell phone at home, bundle up, and start walking. Let your mind wander wherever it wants to go, breathe easy, and let yourself relax. You maybe surprised by how energized you feel afterward.

5. Enjoy time with friends

Pick a no-stress activity and enjoy it with friends! Your friends deserve a break from holiday headaches just as much as you do, so why not unwind together? Hit up a coffee shop or a happy hour, wander around a conservatory, or park yourselves at a local library and read books side-by-side. No need to do anything too elaborate—in fact, the simpler the better.

6. Cherish mealtime

How many times have you scarfed down lunch at your desk? Or eaten dinner in your car? How many times have you cleaned your plate without truly thinking about what was on it?

In our modern world, we have gotten away from making meals the center of our lives. Cheryl Johnson, founder of Box Lunch Lifestyle, challenges us to spend just fifteen minutes each day doing nothing but eating our lunch, appreciating it, and sitting quietly (followed by 15 minutes of “you time”). This time allows us to decompress and be mindful of the food that is nourishing our bodies.

7. Don’t worry about perfection

Though it’s easier said than done, one way to slow down the constant thrumming in our heads is to realize that you don’t have to always achieve perfection. You don’t need the perfect tree; you don’t need to make the perfect holiday meal; you don’t need to buy the perfect gift. Cut yourself some slack and don’t stress if you fall short of perfection. Your honest effort is enough.

8. Ask for help (and accept it)

The entire holiday season does not rest on your shoulders. If you need help, ask for it! Host a potluck, for instance, instead of cooking an entire meal on your own. Hire a cleaning crew instead of stressing about tidying up your house. ASK what others want as gifts (or ask for their Amazon wish list!) instead of trying to guess. Delegation and assistance do not make you any less of a holiday warrior—just an efficient one.


My sincere wish for you is that you will enjoy this holiday season instead of stressing about it. Take some time for yourself amid all the hustle and bustle. Pencil it into your schedule if you need to. You shouldn’t have to survive the holidays…you should enjoy and savor them like a cup of gourmet hot cocoa.

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