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The Importance of Prioritizing the “Me” in Merry Thumbnail

The Importance of Prioritizing the “Me” in Merry

Eight Self-Care Strategies to Help you Navigate the Holiday Season

 Holidays are filled with family, friends and making memories. While most of us eagerly anticipate the arrival of the holiday season, some of us fear the “most wonderful time of the year”. What is supposed to be a joyous time, quickly turns into a stressful time full of unrealistic expectations, financial pressures and excessive commitments. Instead of feeling the holiday cheer, many of us end up feeling the holiday fear of financial burdens, burn-out and downright exhaustion. We typically spend the months of November and December socializing, stressing, spending more, and sleeping less. So, what can we do about it?

Set aside some time for self-care. Self-care is vital year-round, but during a time filled with office parties, family events and gift-giving, it can be difficult to carve out time to focus on yourself. Whether you know you tend to over-extend yourself during the holiday season, or just need an extra dose of self-care, read below for eight self-care strategies to help you navigate the upcoming months:

Eight Self-Care Strategies to Help you Navigate the Holiday Season

Slow Down:

Focusing on yourself can make you feel selfish, guilty, or even irresponsible. Give yourself permission to do this. Try to carve out time intentionally to just be you. Slow down, find what brings you joy and focus on it throughout the day.

Practice Gratitude:

Sometimes we are so busy that we miss the blessings around us. Maybe it’s the half-hour nap that your kids let you sneak in, or a friendly neighbor helping you shovel snow. Around the holidays, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with what we “have to get done” that we don’t notice the positivity around us. A great way to practice gratitude is to take note of these glimmers throughout the day, whether in a journal or the notes section in your phone. 


Whatever you normally do, keep doing it! Whether it’s taking nightly walks after dinner, yoga, or an intense workout, exercise is one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp, clear, and keep the stress at bay.

Respecting your Budget:

Take the time to allocate a budget for holiday gifts, events and other expenses. Once you have that number in mind, respect it. If you splurge now, you will pay more later, and later comes a lot sooner than you think. 


Make room for holiday magic by not jam-packing each evening and weekend with planned activities. Not having plans can be a great way to unwind and allow the unexpected joys of the holiday season to shine through.


There are so many opportunities to give back to people and organizations in need. Pick something close to your heart and find a way to contribute – whether that’s through donated items, money, or time.

Release your Expectations: 

For some reason, we really like to beat ourselves up at the end of the year for all the things we’ve done and left undone. It takes courage to give up the idea of a perfect holiday. We all want the Norman Rockwell holiday, but this type of unrealistic expectation can be quite damaging. Work on relinquishing these ideas, and opening yourself up to experiencing the joy in each moment. Focus on the right now. Let go of false illusions and celebrate the present moments. 

Learn to Say “No”:

The word “no” holds an incredible amount of freedom! Learn the importance of setting boundaries. Ask yourself, what do I want to gain from these next two months? What do I value most? How can I create the holiday season I want?

When you decide to practice self-care this holiday season, know that by taking care of yourself, you are taking care of those around you! What do you do to foster your own self-care? Pick from the list above, or add in your own ideas. Take 10 minutes a day to create a space to be more physically and emotionally available to your loved ones this holiday season.