The holiday season can be “the most wonderful time of year”, but it can also be incredibly stressful, making self-care a must! Let’s jump in, bestie. I’ve got you!
As Christ followers, we know the importance of grounding ourselves in the message “Jesus is the reason for the season!” But there is a conflicting heart-tug we often face that brings a pressure to make sure everything is perfect for those around us. It’s important to remember that taking care of ourselves is just as important as taking care of others.
One way to take care of ourselves during the holidays is simply prioritizing rest. It can be tempting to stay up late wrapping presents or baking cookies, but getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. The Word tells us in Psalm 127:2, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Set Healthy Boundaries
Another way to prioritize self-care is to set (and maintain) healthy boundaries. It’s okay to say no to certain events or activities if you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s even okay to say no to gatherings with family/friends, annual traditions, or the office Christmas party if you know you are not in a place to celebrate authentically. Protecting your energy (and your sanity) will be well worth it in the long run. Remember, it’s better to have quality time with loved ones than to try to do everything and end up feeling stressed and exhausted.
Get Intentional Movement/Exercise
Exercise is one that can be extremely difficult in the cold, busy winter months. Trying to find pockets of time to exercise during the holiday season feels laughable! It’s easy to fall out of our normal routines when life gets busy. Self-care in the form of physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and improve our overall well-being.
Whether it’s going for a walk or doing some intentional stretching and breath work, taking time to move our bodies can make a big difference. I have been enjoying doing the ISO stretch low-impact workout videos through the FasterWay to Fat Loss program. I am able to do these in the comfort of my own living room and start my day by checking “exercise” off of my to-do list. The act of checking that box each day has even proven beneficial for my mental health and influences the rest of my choices each day.
Guard Your Quiet Time
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t forget to guard your daily quiet time like your life depends on it… Because it does!
Taking time to connect with God during the holiday season has obvious benefits, but if we truly desire to get through each day in one piece, this is one practice that needs to be priority. We know that oxygen and food/water are essential to physical survival. In the same way, studying the Word, abiding in His Presence, cultivating Biblical wisdom, and communing with Him in prayer are essential to spiritual survival. And we know that our spiritual survival has eternal significance!
For more information on a morning-routine, check out this post here.
I know this is all easier said than done. It truly is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but taking a few minutes each day to pray, read the Bible, or reflect on the true meaning of Christmas can help us stay grounded and focused on what really matters. We know the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour, we know he comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. If we truly believe these things, mustn’t we consider that one of the greatest strategies of Satan and his army just might be to use distraction and busyness to keep us just unfocused enough to miss the glory of God around us?
As you navigate this holiday season, remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish. You deserve it, and your loved ones will appreciate a happy and healthy you! After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. So be sure that you’re slowing down enough to have your own cup filled to overflowing every now and then.