At this point in the holiday season, the Passion Lilie team is feeling a confounding mix of exhaustion, exhilaration, existential dread, joy, and a million other emotions. So much labor goes into making the holidays special: the mental and physical toll of choosing the perfect gifts for loved ones, decorating, traveling to see family, and dressing up for more social events than we attend in the rest of the year combined. We’re grateful to spend time with the people we cherish most, and…we’re tired. We know that a lack of sleep, financial stress, unrealistic expectations, grief, and anxiety about the year ahead can weigh heavily on so many people during this time of year.
When we start feeling ourselves going through the holiday motions – feeling stressed about things that should be joyful – that’s when we know it’s time for a holiday self-care break. Self-care means something different for everyone and your definition of self-care may evolve through different life phases. Whatever holiday self-care means to you, it should be an intentional practice to preserve your physical, mental, and emotional health. Holiday self-care will help you avoid burnout and stress so that you live your holidays to the fullest.
Read on for some of our favorite holiday self-care tips for whatever phase of life you find yourself in this season.
Pamper yourself (or someone you love) at home.
Self-care practices can be traced back to ancient times, with Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese civilizations focusing on wellness and self-care rituals. They took time for meditation, bathing, massages, and herbal remedies. These practices remain some of the most common self-care exercises and are often the ones that come to mind at the mention of self-care.
If this form of self-care is what rejuvenates and energizes your spirit, Passion Lilie has everything you need to turn your home into a spa for a little while. In the craziness of the season, make time to slow down. Take a break from social media, meditate, draw a bath, or relax with a warm drink. Our luxe bath bombs are a relaxing, healing option to help make the most of your downtime. One of our favorite bath bombs, Head Relief, helps relieve congestion with an aroma of citrus and spice from peppermint, clove, and lemon essential oils. It’s the perfect antidote to a hectic winter day.
Another shop favorite is bars of soap made by Bayou Soap Co. Each huge hunk of soap smells heavenly; you can’t go wrong when choosing the perfect scent. They’re handmade in New Orleans from high-quality ingredients and scented with essential and fragrance oils. Our customers love that they’re big enough to be cut into smaller pieces and used as needed.
Fun fact: “Soapmaster General” William Terry, the creator of Bayou Soaps, is also a Grammy Award-winning saxophone player and musician!
After a relaxing soak, be sure to moisturize your skin to protect against the wintry weather. Our Shea Butter Lotion is handmade by women in Ghana. It’s made with pure, unrefined shea butter, which has natural, therapeutic properties that moisturize and restore the natural beauty of the skin.
A home spa session is certainly not a one-size-fits-all holiday self-care solution, but it can be a good one if carving out some time each day to relax in the tub is your jam. It also makes an easy, luxurious gift for someone you know who might be struggling through the holiday season. Grab a basket and add fizzy bath bombs, yummy soaps, and healing shea butter for a thoughtful holiday self-care kit.
Exercise and Nutritious Foods
One important form of self-care that’s often neglected during the holidays is how we treat our bodies. Chaotic schedules and an abundance of seasonal goodies can disrupt the natural rhythms of our bodies, sending our systems into a tailspin. I know that my body thrives on whole foods and that I need to maintain my sleep schedule at all costs. For me, self-care means carefully guarding the time I dedicate to sleep, exercise, and preparing nutritious meals for myself and my family.
During the holidays, it’s especially important to move our bodies to release endorphins and manage the stress and anxiety of having to deal with certain family members and carry the weight of holiday obligations. Incorporating daily exercise – especially if you can manage getting outside to do it – will be an instant mood boost. Moving can help disconnect from daily stressors, improve cognitive function and creativity, and allow you to focus on your own well-being. Connecting with nature is an added bonus if your winter weather allows it, but a living room dance party to your favorite playlist works just as well.
Pro-tip: Blocking out time in your day for exercise is not just a way to practice holiday self-care; taking a walk is also an excellent opportunity to excuse yourself from a dinner table that’s getting just a little too political. Protecting your mental health is holiday self-care, too!
Hold Your Boundaries
Boundaries are crucial to maintaining your peace of mind during the holidays. They help us define how we allow ourselves to be treated and how the actions of others affect us. It may take trial and error over the years, but the first step is to identify your own wants, needs, and triggers. When you can identify the things, people, or situations that cause you stress, you’re more equipped to respond to them in a healthy way or avoid them altogether.
Once you’ve established your boundaries, make sure to clearly communicate them to those in your circle. Whether you need to delegate meal-prepping duties or preserve quiet time, letting your loved ones know how to support you is an important part of boundary setting.
Don’t be afraid to turn down invitations in order to maintain your mental health – prioritizing the way you spend your time is a key component in setting and holding your boundaries. Having an arsenal of self-care tools at the ready for days when you just need to say no and make space for yourself is an excellent way to set yourself up for success. Keep books, bath bombs, movies, playlists, or an art project on standby to help when you need to slow down and take a self-care break.
For many people, the holidays can be a lonely time. It’s easy to see friends’ highlight reels on social media and feel left out of the holiday magic and festivities. Some years are harder than others, especially when you’re experiencing loss or loneliness. If you’re struggling this season, try giving your time, talent, or treasure to people who need it. Volunteering will help orient your thoughts toward others and give you something to keep busy. Making homemade gifts and treats is another way to occupy your mind and hands and bring joy to others. The warm feeling of giving back is holiday self-care at its finest.
We hope these holiday self-care ideas help to make the season merry and bright for you. Let us know in the comments if you have other tips!