by Joanne Morant, Action Read Tutor-Learner Coordinator
The days get shorter and the sun hides behind the looming snow clouds. It is a busy time of year as we prepare for the holidays. During this time, like a lot of people I tend to socialize more, spend more, eat more, do more and sleep less. By the time January comes around I feel exhausted, and by the time February arrives the winter blahs have settled in.
Self-care doesn’t come naturally to me. I still insist on putting everything else before my own needs. I go into over-serving mode during the holidays to make sure everything is ready, and everyone has the “best holiday ever”.
So what steps do I need to take now to help me through the holidays and winter months until spring arrives?
Everyone has different ways and ideas to help with self-care. These are a few of mine for this holiday season!
- Get more sleep – 8 hours is my goal. Turn off the TV and sit quietly with a cup of herbal tea for a half hour before bed.
- Read – my pile of unread books seems to grow each month! Losing myself in a good book will take my mind off all the holiday preparation.
(Let's hope Joanne's pile of books isn't as big as the donation we received from the Retired Teachers this year!)
3. Make and stick to a budget – not the easiest for me. The best places I have found to shop during the holidays are the used book stores, second hand stores (so many interesting and unusual things I could spend hours just browsing), Christmas church bazaars and the grocery store. My sons have always appreciated a nice bottle of olive oil or specialty vinegar at this time of year and it doesn’t cost a lot.
4. Smile – the more I smile and laugh, the better I feel.
5. Bake – this always put me in the holiday spirit especially listening to music I enjoy. It feels great to share with others some tasty treats.
6. Un-schedule – so many people to see and things to do in a short period of time. Instead of rushing around here and there I will set some time aside in January to visit friends and family. There will be more time to spend together and less stress for everyone.
7. Ask for help – this year when my family gets together it will be pot-luck instead of preparing everything myself. What I always seem to forget is how much others like to cook, experiment with a new recipes and enjoy bringing a dish that they made to share. It is about being together during the holiday.
8. Finish a project (or start a new one) – it could be a craft or an art project. Mine is a needle point I began 3 years ago. Take time out to do something I enjoy!
Give yourself permission to engage in activities that make you feel happy and less stressed during the holidays. Make time to go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, volunteer or just sit down with a good book.
I am going to tape my list to the fridge and it will stay through January, February, March………
Miriam, Gabe and Deb showing us how to kick back by channeling their inner rock stars!