Prioritizing self-care during the holidays


Prioritizing self-care during the holidaysIt comes as no surprise that stress, fatigue and even depression are often heightened during the winter holiday season. Regardless of your religion – or whether you’re religious at all – it can be an exhausting and challenging time.

During the holidays, other people’s needs are flying at you from all angles. Your boss may have extra work for you to finish before taking time off; social demands are high with many parties to attend; and family is asking for extra attention, especially if your extended family is making an appearance. With everyone else demanding so much from you, it can be easy to forget or minimize your own needs. This is where the importance of self-care comes in.

Self-care is just that – spending a little extra time or effort engaging in caring behaviours for you and you alone. There are probably lots of things you already do that fit into this category, whether it’s enjoying a long bath, listening to your favourite podcast, or going for a jog. Self-care can be anything that nourishes your mind, body or spirit.

Self-care during the holidays

  • Keep up healthy behaviours – The holidays are a time when rich foods and alcoholic drinks are plentiful. If you spend a lot of time during the year focusing on exercise and healthy eating, don’t abandon these during the holidays. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a treat – but be mindful and keep up your good habits between the cinnamon cookies and sips of eggnog.
  • Pamper yourself – Book a treatment that will relax and rejuvenate you, like a massage or a day at the spa. If you’re on a budget, give yourself an at-home facial or a DIY manicure.
  • Spend time alone – Of course being around loved ones can be a cherished aspect of the holidays. But overdoing it can drain your energy. Take a solo walk in the snow, or decline one of the many party invitations you’re sure to get.
  • Quiet your mind – Take time to slow your mind and relax. Activities like meditation are especially beneficial during periods of high stress.

Most importantly, recognize that just like your children, parents, friends and partners – you have needs. Remind yourself of this small but important fact each day to ensure that you tend to all aspects of what’s important. 

If the holidays are getting to be too much, and you’re noticing a higher than usual level of emotional or mental distress, talk to one of our counsellors. Visit or call 1 866 833-7690 for more information.



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