Top Ways to Practice Self Care During the Holidays

When’s the last time you took yourself out on a date? Have you had any time out with your friends, sans kids?

To me, Thanksgiving marked the official beginning of the busy season.  As much as I enjoy the festivities, it can get overwhelming to have holiday after holiday as well as gifts to buy, parties to plan (especially with my kids birthdays being in December and January), and vacations to plan.  There is going to be a good chunk of time where my kids have off of school over the next couple months too and if I don’t take time for myself, I may very well lose my marbles.

 

So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite things to do to give myself some ‘me time’ without needing too much planning ahead of time and without breaking the bank.

1.  Mani/Pedi or Massage - It’s an oldie, but goodie.  Getting my nails done isn’t something I do often, and sometimes if I just want some nail polish on, I’ll even do my own nails, but the best thing, by far of going to a nail salon is just knowing that I’m taking care of myself and that I have some peace and quiet where I literally can’t do anything else!  Sometimes I don’t even want to get a manicure, I just want the massage, so I’ll go for that instead.  They are both a good treat!

2.  Go for a 10-15 minute walk - Now that it’s not that hot anymore it’s a great time to take advantage of the brisk weather.  When the weather is warm you really can only walk in the morning (when it’s too crazy with school) or at night time (when I’m too tired to do anything).  But now that it’s getting cooler I love that I can go for a quick walk any time during the day and I don’t get too sweaty or wiped out.  I can just enjoy some fresh air and listen to a class, podcast or one of my favorite Pandora stations.

3.   Go to a Coffee Shop or for Ice Cream- I’ve begun to really enjoy going to Coffee Bean alone and getting a treat for myself.  Asking to get it in a glass mug tops it off because it feels more settling and relaxing, especially if I sit in one of those comfy chairs.  Another fun treat, although better for warmer days, is getting a juice or a freeze at Pressed Juicery.

4.  Listen to Music - I actually really enjoy music, but the problem is I rarely remember to put some on.  When I do, though, it really does have a positive effect on my mood.

 spa candles
 
 popcorn movie night
 

6.  Go to a Movie - Ever thought of going to a movie on your own? I have although I’ve never actually done it cuz it just sounded so weird.  But I think it would be fun to make a date with myself and go to a movie.  A chick flick or a comedy that my husband isn’t interested would fit the bill.

7.  Do any of the above activities with a friend - Doing something that feels nice is a good form of self-care and sometimes it’s better to be able to do so on your own.  But other times, it’s even more satisfying to make plans with a friend.  Dinner, movie, coffee, walk.  Consider a friend who needs a break too and invite her out for a date.

8.  Tell your husband you’ve made plans - This one is important because sometimes we  imagine doing all these things for ourself but when it comes down to it, we feel guilty or get caught up in chores and to-do lists.  We make ourselves out to be irreplaceable (we are in many areas) to the extent that we have to put the kids to sleep, pack the lunches, put away dinner, make dinner, and the list goes on.   But do we HAVE to?  I’d say no.

The truth is, with some open communication and better understanding of what we need,       we can take some of the pressure off ourselves and let someone else take over.  Maybe it means getting a babysitter.  Recently, whenever my husband and I go on a date night, I ask the babysitter to pre-bag snacks for the kids lunches.  It’s been AMAZING and it’s such a small thing, but it’s so helpful!  

Maybe it means letting your husband do bedtime while you go out for a tea or take a walk on the strand.  It’s OKAY if the don’t brush their teeth that night.  It’s OKAY if you let your husband fold the laundry (or sort it or whatever helps you).  It’s OKAY to let him give the kids a bath even if the bathroom ends up being messier when he’s done (I am guilty of getting annoyed about this ALL the time).

The point is, let some of it go and let others take over and allow things NOT to be the way you think they should be for some of the lighter things.

These are some of my top ways of relaxing and giving myself some much needed attention and love.  How do you make sure not to go crazy during a busy season? What forms of relaxation do you use?