While taking part in self-care and self-love rituals year-round is critical to your overall wellbeing, we have to admit, the holiday season can be a bit more stressful and taxing than other times. But its Sagittarius Season and the holidays should really be a time for optimism and joy!
The following few rituals are some that I recommend incorporating into daily or weekly rituals. They help to maintain sanity, a strong sense of wellbeing, and mental clarity. Of course, some days will be better than others, but ensuring you tap in with yourself routinely, helps make the not so great days a bit more manageable.
There are some rituals that will benefit us year round, like:
Self-Care Ritual: Movement
Living in such a sedentary society, where sitting at a desk, watching tv or getting lost in our phones keeps us seated foe the majority of the day, studies show that excess sitting is attribute to conditions such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression. Movement helps to release stagnant energy and stimulate joints flood flow. Consistently incorporating movement into your lifestyle may help to:
- Reduce stress by increasing endorphin production,
- Lower blood pressure,
- Improve muscle and joint flexibility
- Improve immune and digestive systems
- and enhance your sex life (more endorphins and serotonin!)
For women, movement is especially important because it helps us get out of our heads and into the flow. Overthinking is such a normal part of our days, but it really is a masculine trait. Movement activities such as dancing or yoga help us free up energy in our hearts and hips to truly activate our feminine energy.
Self-Care Ritual: Drink Water & Stay Hydrated
Since your less likely to sweat as much with cooling temperatures, and with holiday options like hot cocoa, run & cream, egg nog, etc. it can be easy to neglect your daily water intake.
However, your body is still majority water, and ample water intake helps to keep you energized, maintain joint functionality, and improve your immune system and skin. Water is really one of the main ways to improve your overall health, whether its through drinking it, taking routine baths, or enjoying the ocean or a fresh water spring.
If you’re not a fan of plain water, try infusing it with seasonal fruits like citrus, passionfruit, or pears. Teas are also a great option. A couple of my favorite teas are:
- Ginger tea (just crush and boil fresh ginger). Ginger is amazing to improve digestion, circulation, and also helps to strengthen immunity.
- Mint tea (boil the water, then steep fresh mint leaves). With its antiviral and antibacterial properties, mint is great at helping to relieve symptoms from cold and flu.
- Hibiscus tea (boil water and steep hibiscus petals). Hibiscus is great year round but especially in the winter when skin tends to be a little more dull. Rich in vitamin C, while hibiscus helps soothe the throat, it also helps to promote hydration ideal for plump glowing skin.
And because I always love a sweet experience, they adding a bit of honey to warm water to delight your tastebuds.
Self-Care Ritual: Check In with Yourself
"How are you feeling" is not just a question we can ask others, but one we should ask ourselves, as well. Checkin in with yourself can help shift your focus into a positive mindset regardless of how calm or stressful your day tends to be. Some amazing ways to check in are through
Breathing lets us know we're alive.
Take a moment, close your eyes and take 2, 3 or 10 deep breaths. (Yes, you can try it now!) Notice how the breath moves through your entire body. Fell how alive you are!
Gratitude allows joy and lightheartedness to infuse moments, days, and your entire life. Gratitude can be such a simple yet beneficial flavor. If you’re not sure how to use it, start simply with saying "Thank you" when you wake up.
Gratitude is about removing the focus from what you don’t have or upsets you to what you do have.
In addition to these, here are some great self-care tips to help maintain your sanity especially through the holiday season
Holiday Self-Care Ritual: Take Care of Your Skin!
Cold winter weather and harsh winds can dry out and cause irritation to our skin. And let’s be honest, no matter what society says, we care what we look like and we want to fell comfortable in our bodies!!
- Drink your water! (yes, I’m going to keep saying this!)
- Take time for a facial. Whether its an at home facial or a professional one, carve some time out to treat your beautiful face, undisturbed!
- Give yourself a body scrub! Exfoliation is SO underrated. Spend some extra time in the shower to do a sugar or dead sea salt scrub. In circular motions, take time to treat and caress your body, sloughing off those dead, dry skin cells, revealing healthy glowing skin! Rinse and follow with a creamy and luxurious body butter to help seal in the moisture.
Holiday Self-Care Ritual: Communicate your needs
Listen, Saying NO is self-care!
It may not be possible to attend every holiday event or gathering you’re invited too without feeling stressed out or overwhelmed. Prioritize the ones you enjoy the most, and politely say “no, thank you” to the others. You can even send a nice holiday card with a handwritten note to the hosts, just to be extra sweet, but don’t feel bad about prioritizing yourself and saying no.
It was Karyn White who said it so eloquently, “I’m not your superwoman.” Ask for help! Asking for assistance doesn’t mean your any less capable. Having the confidence to share tasks helps to reduce holiday stress and means that when you show up, you show up as your best, lighthearted self.
Oftentimes, asking for help also requires the ability to release control. This can seem scary, but let me be the one to tell you: you weren’t meant to do it all alone. Try starting with simple requests that allow you more time to do the things you actually enjoy.
Holiday Self-Care Ritual: Do/Buy something for yourself
Gift yourself something too! Its so easy for us to buy or take time for others, but listen here, honey, you deserve something amazing too! So often, women buy for everyone else but it’s a good idea to remember that you deserve something beautiful as well.
This could be any number of things. It could be actually buying yourself something you really want, or going to get your nails done, a massage or a facial. Let’s not forget, time is also a gift! We can get so caught up in what to do or other people during the holidays that we forget ourselves. Taking time for yourself could include taking a ice bath, quiet reading time, or literally just laying on the bed with a DIY sheet mask on daydreaming! It all applies. Just make sure you take time out just for you. It really does make a big difference.
Holiday Self-Care Ritual: Connect!
That’s what this time is really for, isn’t it?
Connect with your partner.
Work as a team to spread out tasks, and be each other’s safe space to release frustrations and receive comfort. While you’re at it, make sure to cuddle up (and whatever else 😉)! Hugging releases oxytocin and serotonin, hormones that literally make us happier and more at ease.
Connect with your family
While the holidays are a time for family, it shouldn't be based on what you can give to family, but rather how you share with family.
- Exercise Together. When I was younger, after a big family meal, I remember my mother and aunts would go in the basement and do Tae-Bo! Even if you don’t have a DVD to pop a Tae-Bo tape in, sharing in activities with family is a great way to bond without feeling stressed with chores or anxiousness.
- Game time. Come away from the tv and play a board game or even a family scavenger hunt
- Service to the Community – this is an amazing way to teach children the value in helping and supporting others. In addition, it’s a great way to spend quality time together that you can feel good about.
After all, the holidays shouldn’t be about ruining your mental well-being or health. isn’t about ruining your health. Try incorporating some of these tips into a daily or seasonal ritual to help you enjoy the holidays a little more.
I know pressure from loved ones can seem heavy but living up to someone else’s expectation of yourself will leave you striving to fill a bottomless cup. Hold your head up and know that you’re the one who will have to feel and live with each decision, not others. Your well-being is a priority, don’t neglect it! When you give others no choice but to honor you, they’ll adjust accordingly!
Make this season, and EVERY season, YOUR SEASON!
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