There’s lots of talk about self-care, so let’s start there. What is self-care really, anyway? Self-care, simply put, is the act of doing things for yourself with the intention of “recharging.” Just as we plug in our cell phones to recharge after being used all day, we need to do things for ourselves to replenish. These self-care activities vary depending on what our needs are.
So, why would you need self-care specifically after the holidays? Well, for starters during the holidays there is usually a lot of focus on others. From gift giving to hosting parties, it’s likely that at some point your needs were on the back burner. Then, there’s the buildup to the big event, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, or any other winter celebration. Often there’s anticipation for the special day. And then, it’s over. This can lead to feelings of disappointment, only heightened by things perhaps not going as expected, with a quick transition of having to resume ‘regular’ life— school, work, responsibilities.
With this in mind, we can do things to purposely take care of ourselves. Keep reading for some post-holiday, self-care ideas…
1. REST. Rest is important all the time. During the holidays, we may have socialized more than normal, stayed up later than usual, and let resting take a back burner.
Get plenty of sleep
Try a meditation
Take a warm bath
Cuddle with a loved one or pet
2. STRETCH. During the holidays you may have traveled—spending long hours sitting. Maybe you were putting gifts together, cooking, or hosting. You may have been over working yourself or stuck in an uncomfortable position.
Do some stretching exercises
Go for a walk
Do your favorite workout
3. ORGANIZE. Along the same theme, your space may be cluttered from new gifts. Maybe you need to clean up from having people over. Our space can reflect our mood, so make time to make your space your own again.
Clean up your room
Put away gifts
Get rid of or donate items in your home you’re no longer using
Update your calendar or planner
4. UNPLUG. Social Media likely has lots of pictures of holiday celebrations right now. Remember social media is a highlight reel. Most people aren’t posting the food that was overcooked, or the argument that they got into with a relative. It’s ok if your holiday wasn’t “perfect.” Unplug from social media.
Turn off notifications
Unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy
Spend an hour doing something that doesn’t involve electronics
Spend time with someone without using your phone (or any other device)
5. CONNECT. Often during the holidays, we are spending time with lots of people (some of which we might not want to see). Once the holidays are over, make an effort to stay connected with the people in your life that you enjoy being around.
Plan an activity with a friend that you can look forward to
Call someone on the phone or FaceTime
Maybe you really enjoyed getting holiday mail—send someone a card!
Grab a drink or meal with someone
6. REFLECT. Now that the holidays are over, check in with yourself about how you’re feeling. What did you enjoy? What might you change next time?
Look at pictures
Write down things you are grateful for
Make new goals
Bonus: Consider therapy