The holidays are often filled with visits to and from friends, family, and loved ones, both near and far. And while it is wonderful to see so many people you care about, it can be a lot to handle, too. That’s why it is important to be mindful during this busy season to make sure that you’re taking time for yourself. I’ve put together this list to help you discover ways to recenter yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the season to take care of yourself.
Meditate right when you wake up.
That’s right. Before the coffee, before you check your phone, meditate. Meditation can help you organize your thoughts and just be with yourself before you head out into the world or a home full of guests. These moments of serenity can then be called up later in the day when things are getting a wild around the house or at work. Focus on your breathing, be aware of your body, and just be.
Be in Nature.
Head outside and get some fresh air and observe the beauty of the world around you. Taking a walk around the block or to the store to pick something up is a great time to unwind and recenter yourself. If there is a dog to walk, you may even be doing someone (especially the dog!) a favor by getting them out of the house, too.
If you are someone who needs a lot of time to yourself on any given day, chances are very good that you’ll definitely need some alone time during the holidays. If this sounds like you, do your best to communicate with your guests or your hosts ahead of time that you like to take some time and just be alone. Let them know that it isn’t a reflection on them, but it is just part of your routine that you cherish and desire. You’ll be surprised at how warmly people receive that message.
Write in a journal.
This doesn’t have to be page after page of your thoughts (though those are fine, too). But when you take a few minutes to commit words to paper about the day's’ activities, ups and downs, and other musings, you’re not only getting some time alone, but you’re also committing your thoughts to paper, which can be incredibly therapeutic and empowering, especially during the holiday season. Not sure what to write about? Start out by writing down something that you’re thankful for every day, and see where it takes you.
Do something for someone else.
This may seem to run counter to “Take time for yourself,” but helping others is a wonderful way to reflect on your year and spend some time with yourself. Whether you’re volunteering, writing a letter to an old friend you’ve lost touch with, or shoveling the snow from an elderly neighbor’s walkway before they wake up, doing something nice for someone for its own sake is incredibly gratifying, and at the end of the day, you’ll feel like you’ve really made a difference in someone’s day.
No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, take time to be with yourself, even if you’ve got a million people buzzing around you. By being mindful of the time you need to be a better you, you’ll improve your interactions with those you surround yourself with over the holidays. Taking time for yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself this year.