Post-holiday Self Soothing Care Practices
Sleep. One of the most common complaints about this time of year is feeling more tired than normal. If you live in colder climates, this makes sense for many reasons, including lack of sunlight/vitamin D. If you’re feeling tired, sleep. Sounds simple, but it’s so easy to stay up later than we want, to guilt ourselves into not taking a nap, and to under-prioritize one of the most essential human needs. This time of year (and really, any time) make sleep a top priority. Get to bed earlier and take naps when you feel tired. No guilt allowed.
Get outside. It’s been proven (again and again) that spending time in nature is beneficial to humans. Makes sense — we are mammals, after all. I get it though — when the sky is grey and the air is cold, or worse, cold and rainy, the last thing you feel like doing is getting out in the elements. But if you can commit to even 15-20 minutes outside a day, your mood and energy levels will thank you for it. Dress for comfort and warmth to maximize your enjoyment outdoors in cold or wet weather.
Connect with someone close. Ever have one of those phone calls (or lunch dates) with a good friend where you walk away feeling like your cup has been refilled? Be intentional now about making that kind of connection experience happen. Schedule a call or a couple of hours out with a good friend or family member whose presence always makes you feel good.
Journal. Getting it — whatever “it” may be — out of your head and onto paper is a tried and true way to feel lighter in your mind and body. Journal in the way that feels best for you and fits into your life — experiment with writing first thing in the morning (like The Artist’s Way’s “Morning Pages”) or just before bed, or both!
Move mindfully. Moving your body literally moves energy, and often, emotions, through your body. Find movement practices that call to you — whether it’s walking, yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, swimming, a stretching routine, or something else that works with your body’s abilities.
Less is more – slow it down. Give yourself permission (if possible — and it’s usually possible) to do less during this time. Pare down your to-dos and slow down the speed with which you normally move through your day.
Seek beauty. When the world feels grey, seek out color — literally and figuratively. Brighten up your outfit with something colorful; visit your local art museum; take up painting for fun; watch an artistic film; paint your nails; embellish your look with fun jewelry.
Find the funny. Laughter truly is the best medicine. Get some laughs during a game night with good friends, by watching a funny movie, or reading essays or a book by a popular humorist (David Sedaris is always a hoot).
Allow, forgive, nurture, love. Let these be the words that guide you through this season. Allow yourself to slow down/grieve/cry/sleep/do whatever it is that you feel like doing to get through. Forgive yourself for not doing the things you think you “should” be doing during this time. Nurture yourself by giving into your needs and desires when possible. Love yourself by talking lovingly to yourself and about yourself.