Don’t let the end of the year fool you into being stressed and overwhelmed. Farah Harris, a psychotherapist and workplace belonging and well-being expert, has exclusively shared with us a few of her top tips to help maintain self-care during the holidays.
Keep reading for look at some ideas to help us all be well mentally, emotionally and physically.
Set and Maintain Boundaries
“Often we do not think of boundary-setting as part of our self-care, but it plays a significant role in our well-being. Healthy boundaries are for our protection. They help us keep the good things in and the bad stuff out. Knowing your limits is essential in helping you effectively communicate what you can and cannot do and what you will and will not accept. We are often stressed out because our boundary line has been crossed.”
Don’t Over Commit
“Do you feel stressed when you glance at your calendar? During the holidays, we tend to spread ourselves thin by saying ‘yes’ to everything. If you’re over-scheduled with activities, learn to say ‘no.’ It’s a complete sentence. Sometimes we over-commit because we think we are superhuman and can do it all. Other times it may be due to people-pleasing. Whatever the reason, try to minimize stress by not over-scheduling and committing to more things than you have time for.”
“Who said that everything had to be homemade? Start a new tradition. Get your holiday meal catered. This can decrease stress related to grocery shopping and meal prep. Use the time you would have spent in the kitchen to do other things you enjoy. Maybe even take a nap. Leave the cooking to someone else so you can be fully present and not fatigued.”
Image: Carol Yepes for Getty
Use Your Support Team
“Making the time to talk with friends and family can be critical to your success at home and work; it can even improve your health. Stress can weaken one’s immune system; however, individuals with strong support systems can better manage stress and have more aggressive immune responses to illnesses than those without such support. A quick venting session, or a friendly affirmation, maybe what you need to compose yourself and move forward.”
Have an Escape Plan
“Not every get-together is joyous! There may be some events or people you would instead not attend or be around. However, there are some people and events you cannot avoid. In this case, to protect your peace, be proactive. For all the introverts don’t feel the need to speak to everyone in the room. At a networking or family event, decide on two to three people you would like to talk to, and then head out. If there’s a person you don’t want to engage with, plan your exit. Try getting to the location earlier and leaving before they show up.”
Check Your Checkbook
“Holidays are often a season of giving, but that doesn’t mean that all we give has to be financial. Our financial well-being is equally important as our emotional well-being. Create a budget and find other ways to be generous that won’t negatively impact your wallet.”