Friday, November 11, 2022

Self care during the holiday season ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday 

Well, there's no denying it.  It's that time of year again. As much as I love Thanksgiving and Christmastime, if I'm not careful it can get very stressful.  I always find myself rushing around and feeling envious of others who seem to be enjoying the season more.  Time seems to fly for me, while others are doing something festive and amazing every day...or so it seems. Sometimes too much planning can make things even more chaotic and that's the complete opposite of what I am trying to achieve.  My main goal this year (as it is every year...I keep trying!) is to keep things simple.  Simple gifts, simple décor, simple living. Be present every day. What do we really NEED anyway? Not much.  Except each other.  And maybe some good pie : ) 

Here are 5 things I'm doing this month to keep my stress levels down....

Reading and listening to audio books - I've leaned from past mistakes that I have to take time for myself or else I will burn out.  Reading and listening to books it a great way to take me out of a stressful mood.  I love cozying up at night with my book and a cup of tea, and just escaping life for a little while. I also like to put earbuds in, hit play on my audio book, and bake something delicious. Books settle my busy mind and that's so important during holiday time so I don't obsess over every little thing. I just finished "The Couple Next Door" and I really enjoyed it.  Now I'm searching for winter and holiday themed books.  Any recommendations? 

Limit social media - Have you ever looked down at your phone, started scrolling, only to realize that an hour or TWO have passed??  This happens to me more often that I'd like to admit.  As much as I love Instagram (and I do!) because I love connecting with my friends and seeing what wonderful things they are up to, Instagram also has a way of making me feel really bad.  It's so easy to fall into a "comparison trap." Social media tells us what we should be doing, eating, decorating, buying... and so on.  How can I keep up with all that? Especially during the busiest time of the year.  It's exhausting.  Lately I've been leaving my phone in another room at night while I watch TV.  It's shocking how many times I go to reach for it during a commercial or a lull in a show. I want to get out of that habit.  I find I am enjoying my shows even more because I am not distracted. (have you been watching the new season of  The Crown yet? I'm loving it!)  On the flip side, blogging I love.  Reading & writing blogs is so enjoyable and relaxing.  I wish more people would bring back the simple art of blogging instead of searching for instant gratification of social media.  I'm not saying I'm going to abandon it completely, I'm just cutting back a little and it's making a big difference in my mental health. 

Taking walks - Let's be clear about one thing.  I hate exercise.  My husband for example, loves to workout.  That's his self care.  He works out everyday.  Sometimes twice a day.  He's the guy that searches for a gym on vacation so he can workout.  That's him and that's ok.  That's not me.  I do, however, love to walk. Getting outside and breathing in fresh air is an amazing reset for me, especially when I'm stressed.  I like to do it only in the morning (don't ask my why).  I take coffee with me, so let's not call this a power walk by any means, but more like a walking meditation if that makes sense.  I like to go down by the ocean and walk along the shore. I listen to music, a podcast, or my current book.  It reminds me that I don't have to be working, or doing laundry, or cleaning, or taking care of people every second of the day.  Sometimes I can just be alone and enjoy a nice walk by myself.  

Planning ahead - Remember that saying from elementary school "proper preparation prevents poor play"  That's me in a nutshell! One of the most stressful things for me is shopping!  Its the thing I hate most. Not gift giving. Shopping. I hate that all the holiday emphasis is on it.  Once I have all my gifts at home ready to wrap is when I can finally relax.  These days my shopping always starts at home.  Online has made things a lot easier for people like me, however I do sort of miss the the old days of "browsing" at the mall.  That no longer exists for people, which is kind of sad.  There is too much rush around it. Too much aggravation and too much fear.  Added to the fact that the news tells us that there is basically a shortage on everything so we better get stuff NOW.  So far this year I'm doing well.  I said I was going to start shopping early and I actually did. Checking things off a to-do list is one of the most satisfying  things in the world! : ) I remember when I was a kid my Dad would shop for my mother's Christmas gift on Christmas eve! Can you imagine? He did it every year.  He loved it.  It was his little tradition.  Just thinking about being that last minute has me breaking out in hives! The main thing I did for myself in this category this year is I let go of searching for the perfect present.  I've found over the years that people are so grateful no matter what they get.  The pressure to be perfect lies on me.  I'm no longer doing that and shopping with my heart instead.  

Getting more sleep - This is a big one.  During the holidays I always lack sleep.  I stay up late wrapping gifts, baking, writing cards, etc. because "I don't have enough time during the day."  I end up looking and feeling like a zombie.  Not a festive look.  I decided if it, whatever "it" happens to be that day, doesn't get done before bed time, then it's not getting done that day. I cannot sacrifice my sleep.  There will be time tomorrow. Things always have a way of working themselves out and getting done.  I've pushed sleep and getting rest to the top of my priority list over the holiday season.  I think its the most important thing I can do for myself. 

Some honorable mentions....

Hallmark Christmas movies, peppermint mocha coffee from Dunkin Donuts, and new makeup are also things that make me happy, relieve stress, and help me enjoy the busy holiday season! 

Thanks for visiting me today and listening to this pep talk to myself as I prepare for the holidays.  I want the bring back the simple days of Christmas.  Bake some cookies, visit some friends, get some rest, and enjoy every lovely minute. 

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  

Stay cozy!!! xoxoxo 


  1. Good for you on simplifying. For me the Christmas season runs from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after New Years. It is the time of year that we SLOW way down. We play a lot of cards and board games. Christmas movies run almost continuously on the TV. Christmas music is on every time we jump in the Jeep. An afternoon writing Christmas cards and enjoying cocoa. We go to look at Christmas lights and attend the Christmas parade. Baking takes center stage. Weekend naps are a must just like reading while wrapped in a warm blanket. It's all of the simple joys that make this time of year special to me.

  2. the rabbit hole of the internet is endless and I am guilty of falling down it. I try to have a space in each day where I sit and rest. I find I am much better off taking care of the physical demand. I also start shopping and planning in late October so December is enjoyable and stress free.