12 Holiday self care ideas to make taking care of yourself through the holidays a priority! Reduce holiday stress with a Self Care Day… or 12!
With the overwhelm of the holiday season upon us, it’s really important to make time to take care of yourself.
What is supposed to be the happiest time of the year can often become the most stressful!
The shopping, wrapping, baking, hosting, and socializing can quickly make us feel like we’re drowning in good intentions.
So I wanted to share some simple holiday self care ideas with you! To remind and inspire you to add ‘Take Time for Myself’ to your never-ending to-do list.
We’ll call it the 12 Days of Christmas Self Care!
For best results, spread these ideas out over 12 different days. But if time is of the essence, feel free to combine them onto one or two major self care days.
Okay, let’s dive in!
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12 Holiday Self Care Ideas
1. Just say no
Saying no to something you don’t want to do is like the ultimate form of self care.
When someone asks you for time, money, or energy that you simply can’t spare, just say no.
Make a polite excuse, or simply say “I can’t. I’m sorry.”
There are obviously many obligations and responsibilities that you just can’t refuse. But there are many that you can.
You don’t need to help or save everybody!
2. Read a holiday book
Christmas books can sometimes be cheesy, but here are a few that I’ve really enjoyed:
- Last Christmas in Paris
- Skipping Christmas
- A Christmas by the Sea
- Seven Days of Us
- Christmas by Accident
If you don’t have time for an entire novel, even reading a children’s holiday book can be oddly comforting.
Or flip through a holiday magazine or Christmas catalog. (I love the LTD catalog!)
The idea is just to reserve some quiet time to feel festive. And maybe even branch out a little by reading something you never have before.
3. Go for a walk outside
Yes, even if you live somewhere cold. Maybe even especially if you live somewhere cold!
You could even go when it’s dark, and walk somewhere that you can enjoy Christmas lights.
Feel free to take a friend or family member. Self care doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do something alone!
Many of us in cold climates forget that we can enjoy the outdoors in the winter.
If you dress properly (ie. wear a lot of layers) you won’t freeze.
A walk in the fresh air will energize your body, and even make you sleep better!
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4. Take a nap
Speaking of sleep, indulge yourself with a nice holiday nap.
If you’re like me, napping is not a part of your regular lifestyle. But the Christmas season often means staying up late at gatherings, or shopping for and wrapping gifts.
Schedule in some time to lay down, even for just 20 minutes. It’s okay if you don’t fall asleep, just resting your eyes will make you feel more peaceful.
5. Schedule quality time
Plan a date with a friend, family member, or your significant other.
Pick just one person who lifts you up, and whose company you always enjoy.
This one-on-one time is often neglected in our busy lives.
Spend a couple hours with your favorite person, catching up and doing something fun.
6. Do something creative
As adults, we have fewer opportunities to express ourselves creatively.
No more menus you can color on at restaurants, or group crafts at school.
Try doing something creative, just for the heck of it!
Preferably not a fancy Pinterest craft that will make you feel lacking in your crafting abilities though.
(Unless you have rock star crafting skills. Then by all means, go ahead.)
Here are a few ideas to inspire your creativity:
- Cook or bake a new recipe (or your favorite recipe)
- Draw or paint
- Do an easy Christmas craft
- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Color in a coloring book (even a kiddie one from the dollar store)
7. Have a movie night
Pick your favorite holiday movie, and just watch it.
Don’t do anything else while you’re watching it. No scrolling around on the internet, or polishing your nails, or folding laundry.
The self care element comes in when you indulgently let yourself STOP multitasking for 2 hours.
I know it can be difficult for our ever-shrinking attention spans, but please try it. It’s actually wonderful!
Related: The 35 BEST Christmas Movies
8. Put together a self care kit
What is it you most need or like when you have a bad day?
Put those items together in a box, and have it handy when Future You is badly in need of some self care.
A few ideas for your self care kit:
- A candle
- Small gift card to your favorite coffee shop
- Favorite DVD
- Bath bomb
- Face mask
- Coloring book
- Encouraging cards or notes from loved ones
9. Treat yo’self
Give yourself a Christmas gift, and get a pedicure, manicure, blowout, or massage.
You’ll be going to extra gatherings because it’s the holiday season, and it will feel so nice to have pretty nails or a nice hairstyle to make yourself feel good.
10. Try a new exercise
Many gyms offer a free class or 3 day trial pass, so try something new!
People often stop exercising during the holiday season. They think they’ll just wait til the new year to ‘get back in shape,’ but why get out of shape at all?
You need the stress-relieving benefits of exercise even more around Christmas.
So find a friend, and try that barre, Zumba, or yoga class you’ve always wondered about.
11. Put away your phone
For an entire evening, stay off your devices.
That means no social media, or texting, or shopping. This type of short social media break can really help you feel more focused, and centered on your own life instead of others’.
As tempting as it might be to share how your self care day is going, just save it for tomorrow.
Your evening will be much more memorable (and enjoyable) this way.
Just let your brain wander, instead of using distractions as a crutch.
12. Reflect on the year
Think back over the past year since last holiday season. Make note of how you’ve grown, and all of your accomplishments.
Even small ones, like if you started making your bed every day. Or you started cooking at home more, instead of eating out.
We tend to quickly skim by our accomplishments, in a race to constantly improve ourselves.
But if you look back at an entire year, you’re sure to have made awesome progress in some area of your life.
Feel free to write these things down, and look at them again next Christmas.
How will you practice holiday self care?
I hope these holiday self care ideas have inspired you to create some time for yourself during the busy Christmas season.
You really can reduce holiday stress when you take breaks! You’ll be able to approach all your Christmas tasks and responsibilities from a more rested frame of mind.
For more self care ideas, and to learn about the 5 different types of self care, check out this post!
Hopefully you can now see the importance of self care during the holidays. Which self care idea will you try first?
Be sure to also check out:
- How to Make Your House Smell Like Christmas
- 5 Ways to Stay Sane During the Holiday Season
- 75 Winter Bucket List Ideas to Help You Enjoy the Season More