Self-Care For The Festive Season

Written by Mel

Self-Care Tips for a Stress-Free Festive Season

Prioritising self-care during the festive season can be tricky, but if you’d like some tips to be kind to yourself these holidays, we are here to help! This post will help you:


• Understand the importance of self-care 
• Share some easy to adopt self-care strategies 

Oh ho the festive season is upon us once again

If you are like me and scratching your head to say, “where on earth did 2023 go?” you are not alone. One word that continuously comes up in conversations with my clients, friends and family is “busy”.


You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” a lot and for most people the image of a bubble bath and glass of wine comes to mind. If you put self-care into google 4.5 million hits, come up, so it seems many people are interested in working out how to look after themselves.  

Here at Be Kind Holistic Health we believe that self-care is a year-round routine that we need to establish for our home and work lives. In fact, we love this concept so much we run workshops for community groups and organisations on how to get self-care right for you, your family and your teams.

The great news is that you can start anytime any day. You know what they say no time like the present.


The Importance of Self-Care During the Festive Season


With the cost of living increasing, interest rates skyrocketing and all the events occurring across the world leading into this festive season many of us are already overwhelmed, burnt-out and stressed out. With the festive season comes the added pressure of social events, family gatherings, facing the crowds at the shops among tired kids, Christmas concerts and all the other “things”. 


Self-Care Strategies

Here are some general ideas that you may like to consider incorporating into your plan of self-care action. 


1. Setting Boundaries: Eeekkk! She said the B word. Yep, you bet I did. The thing with boundaries is most people see them as the great wall of China or some kind of fortress you must build that no one can get inside of. The truth is that boundaries can start small. A brick fence doesn’t just magically appear, you lay one brick at a time. So, think about how you can set some boundaries with your friends and family. That could look like saying “no I can’t make it to your last-minute gingerbread house bake off during witching hour in the middle of the week” (if you know you know) or it could sound like “thank you for the invite, we have plans that day already”. Both of these works! Ultimately remember you are not responsible for the other persons reaction to your boundary. 


2. Practice Mindfulness: Did you know mindfulness has scientific backing. When we practice regularly it actually creates new neural pathways in the brain! The really cool thing is there are so many ways to do it. So depending on how best you learn there’s a strategy for you. Some of my favourites include: Box breathing (in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4 and repeat as much as you need), guided meditations (heaps of apps out there or YouTube), grounding activities (5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste), drawing or painting. 


3. Physical Self-Care: This is the big-ticket item. During the festive season some of us have a few more late nights, drink a little more than other times or during the year and eat like we’re Santa Claus. Here’s the thing, sleep regulates everything in our body. Getting a good 8 hours sleep and maintaining a sleep routine is really important. Getting back to routine after a late night is also important. Similarly eating a balanced diet gives us good gut bacteria which impacts mood and wellbeing. Also, moving our bodies releases all the good chemicals in our brains and helps to alleviate stress. 


4. "Me Time": Here’s a novel concept I want you to try. Instead of trying to squeeze in some self-care time around the “busy”, plan it first. Take out your phone, wall calendar, diary whatever it is you use right now and block out some time in your coming weeks that is for you. Lock it in as if it was a very important appointment that you cannot miss. Now everything else in your week gets planned around that. If you want to do it daily even better. This isn’t time for housework, gardening, laundry etc, all those things already get done. This is specifically time for you. Take a nap, read a book, sit in the sun, find some ways to fill up your cup. 


5. Digital Detox: Most of us spend way too much time on our screens. How about instead of doom scrolling, you use that time to do something creative, write a handwritten note, play a card game, or, when was the last time you learnt something new. Even if it’s for 30 minutes or less a day, it will help with overstimulation and comparison. 


6. Gratitude Practice: This is my actual favourite self-care activity ever. The practice of Gratitude is scientifically backed to have so many benefits. In our house we have a daily practice where we all sit down for dinner and each say our favourite part of the day. You can practice by writing down three things that you are thankful for everyday, take photos to look back at these or even use a gratitude app. I use the one linked at the bottom of this page. 


Simplify and Delegate

Despite what social media tells us, our homes do not need to look like it just stepped out of a Christmas storybook, our kid’s teachers don’t need hand crafted personalised gifts, we don’t need to be slaving in the kitchen cooking 5 course meals or 6 different types of shortbread. You also don’t have to do everything on your own. Get your partner, loved ones and kids involved in taking on something off your plate.

Really think about what is most important to you this festive season and prioritise that. If you’re not sure how to prioritise try applying the rule of 7 “will this matter in 7 seconds, 7 minutes, 7 hours, 7 days, 7 months or 7 years from now”.

Connect with Loved Ones

Post COVID so many people are still feeling disconnected from our communities and loved ones. Thanks to technology there are many ways we can connect virtually with our loved ones.
Remember it’s quality over quantity. 20 minutes of focussed quality time with people that fill up our cup is more meaningful and beneficial than spending hours of time with people who drain the life out of us or take but don’t give back. 


Put away the devices and phones and dedicate some time to really listening and engaging. Why not make it a game and the first person to pick up their phone or device must do a funny dance, tell a joke, buy a round of drinks or clean up the kitchen on their own. 


The festive season doesn’t have to leave you even more burnt out and struggling to keep your head above the “busy”. You can take back control and look after you as well as your family by engaging in meaningful self-care. Make a plan of how you can engage in self-care and share it with people you know will keep you accountable to it.

This could be the best thing you do for yourself this year. 

Tell me your experiences of surviving the festive season? What’s your favourite self-care activity?

Gratitude app