The final months of the year are often a whirlwind of activity and emotion—from preparing Thanksgiving dishes and baking holiday cookies to getting ready for family gatherings and searching for the perfect gifts. While the holidays are filled with celebration, they can bring their fair share of stress too.
It’s easy to let self-care take a back seat to the to-do lists of the season. But carving out some personal time to recharge, refocus, and reset can do wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.
We’ve put together a list of five simple self-care practices to help you ease anxiety and find more joy during this magical time of year.
- Ground yourself in a word. Pick a word you want to be guided by, one that you want to feel more of. Live with it for a day, a week, or as long as you need. Write your word on sticky notes, then put them up in places you’ll see—your car dashboard, your bathroom mirror, and your refrigerator door. Explore how a simple word can reframe your world and change your perspective.
- Write a short but specific thank you note to yourself. Jot down the unique gifts you give to the world each day simply by being you. And offer appreciation for the person you have chosen to become. Read your letter aloud, read it in silence, read it until you can own every word of it. Give yourself a few moments to celebrate all that you are.
- Take a mindfulness walk. It can be a short five minute walk or a leisurely neighborhood stroll. Get outside and pay attention to what you see, the sounds you hear, everything you feel in your body. Let the act of walking help you quiet your thoughts and experience the beauty around you.
- Schedule a “time-out” for five minutes in your day. Set an appointment in your phone or write it down in your planner. Take a time-out from your cell phone, television, computer, and radio. This is your permission to find silence, sit still, breathe deeply, and be fully present.
- Start a gratitude jar. Place a jar in a prominent spot and put a coin in it whenever you feel grateful. Even a penny will do! Each coin is a reminder to pause and give thanks for the gifts life offers, big and small. When the jar is full you can use the money to buy yourself a treat, surprise a friend, or make a donation to your favorite charity.
How will you give your mind and body the attention and care they need? While the holidays are a busy time, just a few intentional moments can help you find peace and calm throughout the season. Each practice here was inspired by activities in our guided journals and gift books. To discover more ideas to mix into your daily routine, visit our Self-Care Guide.