The holidays are upon us. It’s cold out there and people are running around trying to get everything done. How are you feeling? Does this time of year bring you joy and excitement? Or do you feel stressed, overwhelmed with busy schedules, family drama and overeating?

For many people, the holiday season creates added pressure from the expectations put on us from family, friends and advertisements. Not only are we encouraged to spend, spend, spend, but the commercials and advertisements also show happy families and friends enjoying their time together. Not everyone belongs to family or friend groups where everyone gets along and treats each other with respect. Not only do many people feel uncomfortable (and often avoid) holiday get-togethers, but they also feel bad that they don’t have this in their life. Many people are also reminded of loved ones that are no longer in their lives, leading to feelings of sadness and grief.

Whether you are someone who struggles to enjoy the holiday season or you are someone who loves this time of year, it is important to take good care of yourself.

Follow the ten self-care tips below to help you make it through to the New Year.

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Eat healthy meals and avoid overeating at parties. Fill up on fruits and vegetables and avoid standing near the dessert table.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol use. Drink water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Exercise for stress management. If you struggle to find time in your schedule for this, park in the furthest spot at the mall and walk an extra 10 minutes while you are there.
  • Schedule time for you. Not every minute needs to be filled with shopping, cooking, cleaning and visiting.
  • Say “no” when your schedule is too busy.
  • Plan to spend time with positive people and limit time with those who are toxic. Consider volunteering to be around people who care.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. It’s not worth it to overspend now and struggle with finances in the new year.
  • Be realistic about your expectations regarding how others will behave. Don’t expect Aunt Sally and cousin Joe to get along if they fight every year at the holiday dinner.
  • Take pressure off of yourself. It is more important for your mental health to follow the above steps than it is to try to be perfect and get everything done. Prioritize, delegate and give yourself a break.

I hope these tips help to make this time of year more enjoyable and less stressful for you. I thank you for allowing me to share this with you and for allowing me to share in your journey to a healthier, happier You. As always, I wish you peace and Serenity.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Alisa