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How do you care for yourself during the holiday season? Is it even possible to squeeze out some self care during the season of merriment, gift giving and spending time with loved ones? The holidays for some can be extremely stressful and overwhelming so I’d like to share some of my self-care tips for surviving the holidays.

First, let me say that I absolutely recognize the privilege that I have of being a single person with no children and no undue familial or religious pressure to perform during this time. Lots of folks who read this blog have little ones to care for and other family obligations that can sometimes require them to give more of themselves. I also recognize that this time of year is not a merry and bright time for many. The holidays can be extremely tough on your mental and emotional health, and taking care of yourself during this time is crucial. I also know that being single can bring pressure and stress to those of us who desire a partner. So , with this post I hope that these self care tips will be helpful for all of us.

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Self-Care Tip 1: LOG OFF

Ok, before you close your browser and roll your eyes, here me out. We’re so connected to our phones and other devices and consuming so much information on a daily basis that we (myself included) don’t know when to put the phone down. Part of my career is being online and checking social media, so no one understands how hard logging off can be better than me, ok? However, social media can paint of picture of perfection sometimes that can me one feel less than. As I said in the intro, the holidays are not always a good time for everyone, and browsing Instagram or Twitter for hours can have us thinking you’re missing out or “should” be doing more.

So, I like to give myself time limits on every social app, two hours max per day. And when the time is up, I log off and go find something else to do. Is it always easy? Nope. But does it work for me? Absolutely! So this holiday season, give yourself a break from scrolling. While enjoying your screen free time, read your favorite book or watch a good movie and cozy up with some stylish pajamas.

Self-Care Tip 2: Give A Little More

No, I’m not talking about gift giving, we’ll get to that later. Volunteering and charity work are great ways to take your mind off your situation and focus on someone else. The holidays are a great time to find local organizations to donate time and money to to help those in need. Food banks, toy drives and serving holiday dinners are some of the ways that I’ve volunteered in my community. Each time I left feeling blessed that I could help out, even if it was for a couple of hours. Research local charities and organizations or check out the volunteer opportunities through United Way.

Self-Care Tip 3: Give a Little LESS

I don’t know about you but buying gifts at the holidays is extremely stressful. It can be especially so when you have more than two or three people to buy for. Some people absolutely love the frenzy of going to the stores for the best bargains and buying all that they can for their loved ones. But let’s be real for a minute. The economy is in disarray and it seems that everyone is looking to save their coin. So this is what I’d suggest if you’re giving gifts. Do a good old fashion name draw, and whosever name you choose, that’s who gets the gifts. Now, again, I know with children this can be difficult because kids love gifts. Some parents I know decided on one big gift and 2 or 3 small ones. Regardless, times are tough all around and taking some of the stress off of yourself with giving multiple gifts is and give a little less instead.

Self-Care Tip 4: Saying NO

We’ve all heard the saying, “NO is a complete sentence”. The holiday season can be a tough time to enforce your personal boundaries, however, as a part of self-care it is so necessary. Again, I recognize my privilege of not having the pressure that lots of people have during this season. However, this can give others the impression that I should take on more because of my SINK (Single Income No Kids) lifestyle. Saying NO, saying I don’t have the capacity or I simply don’t want to is sufficient to maintaining your mental and emotional health during the holidays.

For me, learning to say NO doesn’t come from a place of meanness or selfishness, it’s simply about protecting my peace.

I hope that these self care tips for surviving the holidays will be helpful to you in some way. And most of all, I hope that you enjoy this season and that the new year will bring all the blessingas and goodness your way.

Happy Holidays- Lydia Marie

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