Self Care is Essential (Especially During the Holidays)
Published Nov 26, 2018, Updated Oct 26, 2021
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Self care has almost become a buzzword in the health community and while I’m happy that it’s getting more attention, I have mixed feelings about it. Self care is essential for each and every one of us, but self care doesn’t need to be trendy. It’s not about treating yourself to a fancy green smoothie, a luxurious spa day or having the perfect bathtub set up with candles and eucalyptus. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes self care does look like that, but it’s not about the Instagram shot.
It’s about what your body needs to bring your best self into this world.
It’s about taking care of ourselves so we can be our best (for us) and for everyone around us. True self care takes conscious thought and some self reflection. Asking yourself, “What do I really need in this moment. . . what will serve me best right now?”
I think this is especially important to keep in mind throughout the holiday season. Stress tends to peak from Halloween to New Years as our to-do lists become a mile long and our calendars fill up. And this is on top of our normal, everyday obligations. So naturally I see the holidays as a time to really lean in to self care and start incorporating more daily practices that have you feeling loved, relaxed and bit more balanced. Starting now means that you’ll be able to carry these habits through to the new year. Carve out some time for y-o-u right now and the next few months won’t feel quite as overwhelming… promise.
Self care looks different for everyone, but I thought it’d be helpful to share some of my favorite ways I care for myself. Just remember that what I do for my self care might look totally different from what you do for self care so take these as ideas, not as a to-do list. And as always, I would love to hear how you practice self care. Leave a comment and let me know!
Journaling. I find when I’m feeling the most drained, stressed, anxious, exhausted (#allthefeels) journaling helps immensely. I brain dump on paper to get my swirling thoughts out and remind myself of who I am and what I bring to this world. I especially love my 5 Minute Journal which helps me really focus on gratitude and all the things I have to be thankful for in my life.
Reading. I love escaping in a good book! I often tell myself I “don’t have time” to read but when I step back and realize what I actually spend my time on *cough Instagram cough*, I realize I have plenty of time to read. Last November I bought a Kindle Paperwhite before our trip to Israel so it’s been almost a full year and guess what? Until last month I hadn’t read a single book on it. Needless to say, I realized that I really need to start reading again so I purchased Girl Wash Your Face and flew through it (such a good read) and now I’m reading Push by Chalene Johnson. I’ve actually found that I can read from my Kindle while walking on the treadmill and it’s been a game-changer.
Quality time. There’s really no replacement for good ol’ human interaction. True human interaction… not through a screen. I make it a point to set aside time during the week for quality time with Isaac and quality time with my girlfriends. I am a better person after I hang with my people!
Unplugging. I truly love what I do and feel so lucky that this is my job…but as an influencer sometimes I feel like I’m always “on” and constantly having to share. That said, I think it’s really important for me to set boundaries around technology and disconnect from my work at times. Last week Isaac and I went to see a Aziz Anaziz perform and as part of the event we were required to put our phones in a little pouch (called a Yondr pouch) that was locked during the show. It was actually amazing and made for an experience where everyone in the audience was truly present and not pulling their phone out to check a notification or take a photo. It’s moments like this where I realize how truly distracting technology can be and how our phones can often create this scenario where we’re not really enjoying the present moment. And don’t get me started social media because I feel like the comparison trap goes to another level during the holidays and fuels the urge to buy buy buy. Just another reason to disconnect and focus on being grateful for what you have in life and making real life connections and memories.
Moving. I feel my best when I move my body. This looks different depending on the day. Sometimes it’s a treadmill walk, sometimes it’s a strength session at the gym. When I set aside time to move, my body feels amazing and my mind is clearer. Lately I’ve started a new challenge to get in 10,000 steps every day. I know this might not seem like a ton to some people, but it’s a doable goal for me. When it comes to moving — set a goal that’s a bit challenging but doable and stick with it. I bet you’ll be surprised by good it makes you feel.
Meditating or yoga. This kind of goes hand and hand with moving more if you think of yoga as a workout, but I find the mental benefits of yoga (and meditation) are even more powerful than the physical benefits. I’m somewhat of a newbie when it comes to meditating so I still use an app to guide me and I usually don’t meditate for more than a few minutes, but every little bit helps. Even deep breathing can be so beneficial.
Evening elixir. I know this sounds so bougie, but as part of my evening routine I’ve been closing the kitchen after dinner and making myself something hot to drink — either herbal tea or a Four Sigmatic mushroom elixir. The drinks are something I look forward to every night. They’re relaxing and they keep me from snacking after dinner. My current favs are the regular reishi, the reishi hot cocoa, the reishi chai and the golden milk latte. If I’m going to have tea I really like this candy cane lane tea that’s a decaf green tea with peppermint and spices and ginger aid which is great for digestion.
Saying no. This one is kind of tough, but it can be so liberating once you start doing it. I love this Zen Habits article about saying no so that you can say yes to things you really want to do. I feel like this one is especially important around the holidays. You don’t HAVE to commit yourself to things you don’t want to do! Just find a nice way to politely decline. Your friends and family will understand.
Does self care look like a bubble bath or a massage some days? Sure, but it’s not the whole picture. Anyone can practice self care wherever they are, whenever they need. Self care is not an indulgence, it’s essential. What does self care look like for you?