During the holidays, we get less sunlight which can negatively affect our mood and trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and let’s not forget the stress of Christmas shopping, birthdays, family dinners, and COVID-19. This holiday season, try to practice self-care, as it’s essential to create some time for yourself during these stressful times and remember, it’s more than just sitting by a warm fire and enjoying your favorite hot drink. The Health Fitness Revolution team has compiled a list of 10 of our favorite self-care activities for you to partake in this holiday:
Just by working out, you are able to boost your brain health, mental health, and physical health- that’s an awesome combo of self-care right there! Exercising can help your brain learn faster, improve your memory, and help with your cognitive ability. As for your mental health, it’s a stress reliever and can reduce depression and anxiety. On top of these, you’ll look good and feel good!
Especially being in the middle of a pandemic, we can often feel suffocated, whether it’s from being indoors all day or just needing some space. Going out for some fresh air can help clear your lungs, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, can give you more energy, increase focus, and can help you get that sense of peace you might not get from being indoors.
Having gratitude is linked to having better sleep, better heart health, and strengthening relationships. All of these contribute to a healthier immune system, which is one less thing for you to stress about. Along with that, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, making the holidays a little lonelier for some of us, but with having some gratitude, you’re able to think about all the things you are grateful for and think positively, which increases your mood and makes you feel happy!
The air outside is dry and freezing, causing our skin to be dry, which often leads to insecurities. Make sure you’re keeping your skin moisturized, i.e, body lotion, lip balm, and most of importantly- water! Don’t forget to protect your skin with SPF and if you need to, treat yourself to a professional facial. This can help you feel beautiful and refreshed!
Did you know that personal hygiene can affect your self-esteem and mental health? Poor hygiene is typically associated with being unmotivated and feeling sluggish, which is often found in those who have poor mental health. Take care of yourself and make sure to set time aside to showering, brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and taking off any makeup. Doing so can prevent any diseases you can get from not doing so and making you look good, thus making you feel good.
Lack of sleep can make us moody, forgetful, and unfocused! And guess what? The risk of you attaining chronic diseases increases, the less sleep you get. It’s even more important now that it’s cold and we all just want some rest. Set an alarm on when to go to bed and sleep for at least 7 hours. This will reduce all the symptoms listed as well as decrease your dark circles and make you feel less lazy. It will even help you feel more relaxed and give you energy throughout the day.
A healthy diet is an important aspect of self-care. But it’s not about losing weight, it’s about the nutritional content you are putting into your body. Make sure to include the recommended amount and types of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body healthily functioning throughout the day. A well-balanced diet and even taking vitamin supplements are able to promote your overall health and keep you feeling healthy. During holiday dinners, you can opt-in for healthier ways to make the food, for example, using left-over vegetable water for the gravy.
This self-care activity not only builds your self-esteem but can give you a sense of purpose. Volunteering is a way to give back to the community, it’s especially needed during the holiday season, and it also gives back to you. In this way, you are able to build new relationships, find happiness, and learn new skills, which enhances your brain activity. Volunteering can also help you re-evaluate yourself in how you care for yourself and how you are compassionate towards others, often encouraging self-love and caring for others.
Listening to music and dancing
Need to blow off some steam or de-stress? Listen to music and dance it off! Sometimes all we need is to move around how we want and when we want, to relieve some stress, and let ourselves go for a bit. You’re getting fit, you’re unloading unwanted feelings, and you get to do it listening to something you like. You can even dance to holiday music.
Focusing on you
Remember that your feelings matter and you should pay attention to them. Often we stress about things or other people and it makes us feel unmotivated or unhappy. If holiday shopping or going out feels too stressful and doesn’t make you feel right, you don’t need to do it, focus on you. Sit back, relax, and focus on self-care!