How to Prioritize Self-Care During the Holidays

Woman wrapping holiday gifts.

Between buying gifts, attending and hosting events, travel, family gatherings, cooking, cleaning, and trying not to sabotage your healthy habits, “the most wonderful time of year” can also be the most stressful. 

While making time for self care during the holidays may be easier said than done, these tips and strategies can help you maximize your “me time” and recharge your energy.

1. Schedule at least 1 evening or block of time a week for self care

Keep it simple and doable. Choose relaxing activities that bring you peace and joy.

Pro tip: create a calendar event and set an alarm so you don’t miss this appointment with yourself.


2. When there’s chaos or you’re feeling overwhelmed, pause and breathe deeply

Clear your mind and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly, hold at the top, then breathe out slowly. This simple breathing technique calms your nervous system, sends nutrients to your brain, and helps you recalibrate.


3. Practice gratitude

Think of at least 5 things you’re grateful for. Keep focusing on those feelings of gratitude and joy. As simple as it sounds, the act of feeling grateful raises your vibration and helps you rise above the nuances of daily life.

a woman sitting in silence with her hands over her chest, breathing and relaxing

4. Meditate

If you haven’t already incorporated meditation into your routine, now is a great time to start. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. The practice of meditation can simply be clearing your mind, focusing on your breath, and connecting with your higher self. Look up some guided meditation tutorials on YouTube, or just play instrumental music that relaxes and elevates your consciousness.


5. Connect with yourself

If you’re easily annoyed or short with those around you, step aside and go within so you can examine what’s behind these feelings. Are you sleep deprived, or maybe just at wits end? Do you need to take a break from that crowd or situation? Do you have too much on your plate? Do you need to communicate your feelings with people so they understand the way you’re feeling? Give yourself time, space, and grace.


6. Set realistic expectations -- of yourself and others

For most of us, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Don’t let that overwhelm you. Make a list with 3 categories: the things you “must” do, the things you “should” do, and the things you “might” do when you find that extra time or inspiration. Revisit and readjust this list often to ensure you’re getting your priorities done, and not stressing about the rest.


7. Disconnect from social media.

The holiday season can be stressful enough without the constant inundation of opinions, distractions, and comparisons. Do yourself a favor and schedule weekly breaks from online media and screen time. You can set time limits on your phone, set a weekly alarm, or do an outdoor activity that forces you to leave your phone behind.

When you’re with family and friends, put your phone down and be present in the moment. Make real memories, tell real stories, and set the intention to connect with each person you interact with. Your relationships and mental health will thank you!


8. Have a list of go-to activities that help you relax and recharge

Try walking in nature, going to the gym, treating yourself to a KOAPRO Massage, listening to music, dancing, or taking a bath. Whether you have 2 minutes or 20, having a list available helps take the guesswork out of these mini-breaks so you can focus on you.


9. Quality sleep

It sounds obvious, but most of us don’t sleep enough - or as deeply as we should. Stress, racing thoughts, chronic pain, blue light and other hormone disruptors can throw off our sleep cycles and cause a domino effect of sleep deprivation, fatigue, brain fog, and stress. An hour or two before bedtime, turn off all electronics and bright lights, create a cozy environment, and start winding down for the night. A consistent sleep routine trains your body to power down when you want it to and get in the right state for restful sleep. 


10. Enjoy the treats, but maintain a balanced diet.

Even though the holidays present more food and drink choices, try to consume quality when you can. Increase your nutrient intake in between festivities, drink more water, and be mindful of what you put in your body. 


11. Make time to move your body.

Exercising doesn't have to be time consuming. Even if you do a 10 minute HIIT bodyweight circuit, walk or run around the block, or run around with the kids, daily movement is vital to your wellbeing, mood, and overall energy. 


12. Bodywork

We all know that stress breeds tension, which leads to pain, dysfunction, and even injuries. When we don’t release that tension, it gets worse and can cause all kinds of discomfort. The best way to treat your body to relaxation, rejuvenation, and wellness is with the KOAPRO Fascia Massage Tools

All it takes is a few minutes to release tension and restore the myofascial tissue. Doing so helps improve your total body circulation, nerve function, lymphatic drainage, muscle performance and recovery, and SO much of your cellular health.

Remember to enjoy the holidays and find your bliss in every moment. Just as an airline’s safety precautions say to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others, you need to take care of yourself and prioritize your needs.

Self care isn’t selfish; it’s physical and mental health. The healthier and more grounded you are, the better equipped you are to be there for others.

Happy holidays!