The holidays, while an exciting and festive time of year, can also leave many of us feeling drained of energy and run down. It gets dark out earlier, it is cold, we are busy running around from activity to activity; there are many ways in which this time of year can affect our health and moods. By cultivating and implementing a self-care plan, especially during this time of year, we can prevent ourselves from getting burnt out and allow ourselves to participate in and enjoy all the joys of the holiday season.
Make sure to download the printable Self-Care Plan handout below to get started!
What is a self-care plan?
Self-care involves taking necessary actions to improve and/or maintain our health and wellbeing. A self-care plan is an outline, preferably written, of ways that we plan to take care of ourselves (we are more likely to stick to a written plan). Self-care can take many forms: physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. While there tends to be overlap in these domains, sometimes it's helpful to come up with a few self-care activities that fall within each of these domains when organizing and creating your self-care plan.
How do I make one?
Before diving in and planning your self-care plan, I find it useful to take a moment to check in with where you are currently. Take a moment to check in with yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually
Find a quiet place, take a moment or two, maybe close the eyes. Take a scan of the physical body. Start from the crown of your head and work your way down towards the tips of your toes. Notice what is going on physically in your body. Are there areas that have been neglected or areas that might need more attention? Jot down where you are currently with your physical body, in terms of exercise, eating, sleep, etc.
That same awareness you are bringing towards the physical body, bring that awareness towards your mental and emotional energies. Notice where your mind wanders off to; notice what emotions you are currently experiencing or what emotions you have been experiencing lately. Notice if you are undergoing a period of intense stress; notice if you are going through a tough time emotionally.
Now that you have tuned in with where you are currently (try not to attach any labels or judgments to it), start to envision where you want to be, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Taking a look at where you are versus where you want to be, think about how you will get there. The things that you can do to help you get from where you currently are to where you want to be are the things you can include on your self-care plan.
Here are some ideas of what you might want to include on your self-care plan for this holiday season:
Move your body! Go for a walk; participate in regular exercise activities that you enjoy.
Get outside. Bundle up and get some fresh air.
Get some sunshine & consider a vitamin D supplement (reach out for specific recommendations).
Eat well. Consuming fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals can help keep those pesky winter colds at bay. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables can help boost our mood!
Prioritize rest. Get regular and adequate sleep.
Meditate. Even just five minutes a day has been shown to have immense benefits.
Journal. Begin a gratitude journal or a journaling practice to help center yourself before or after a hectic day.
Call a friend or a family member just to say hello.
Make your favorite warm beverage (hello hot chocolate!)
Make cookies with family and friends.
Snuggle up on the couch and watch your favorite movie.
Take a bubble bath.
Give yourself permission to slow down, to say no to things you really don't want to/don't have to do.
Take the night off from cooking to go to your favorite restaurant or order food in.
Give yourself unconditional permission to acknowledge and feel every emotion you are experiencing without judgment.
Revisit this plan in a few weeks and check in to see how well you are adhering to your plan. Feel free to change things that haven't been working and add in new things that you want to work on. Remember that no two self-care plans are the same, each is unique to you and your individual health goals and desires at the time. Watch how your self-care plan will change as the year progresses.
Need additional help with cultivating this self-care plan? Looking for a more personalized, structured approach to nutrition and wellness? Let's chat! Schedule a free 30 minute discovery call.
Be well and enjoy this holiday season!
Here's a downloadable self-care plan handout you can use to create your own individual self-care plan!