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Image of an older couple decorating a Christmas tree.

Holiday Season Self-Care

"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." - Jack Kornfield

In general, the winter holidays are a special time of year that bring people together through family traditions, recalling old memories, and creating new ones. This time of year can also be overstimulating without adequate time for intentional self-care. Holiday stress is draining both mentally and physically and can lead to an increased risk of injury or sickness. Use these tips to stay healthy this winter so you can enjoy all that the holiday season brings.

First, permit yourself to do only what you can reasonably manage, and encourage others to do the same. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and let those close to you contribute if they offer. Be honest about any limitations or needs, such as keeping a daily routine. Sticking with normal habits will help prevent the holidays from becoming too tiring or disruptive.

Be sure to plan downtime between events. You should also resist the pressure to attend everything to which you are invited. If you wish to see friends but don’t want to go to a big to-do, host a small and quiet informal get-together with just a few in the daytime instead. If you are typically the primary planner or cook for family gatherings, ask for help from your younger relatives. Teaching them how to orchestrate your family rituals will be meaningful for all of you and reduce the amount of effort that falls solely on you.

Above all, give yourself the physical and emotional space for the self-care that we all need and deserve. You will appreciate it!