Tis The Season…For Self-Care! A message from the PIC Dads Matter Program

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During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, it’s easy to put your own needs in the backseat and forget that you also deserve to feel a little joy (and downtime!) during the season. For many, the holiday season means planning and taking care of others. There’s plenty of excitement from seeing family and friends, but also stress, travel, long lines, planning, preparation — and a range of emotions from positive to negative.

However, when you learn how to practice self-care during the holiday season it can also be restful and give you the energy you need to complete all of those holiday activities.

If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed (emotionally, physically, or mentally) by the stresses this time of the year brings on, below are 8 ways to practice self-care that may help you more fully appreciate and find meaning this holiday season. (David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd)

  • Schedule self-care activities (exercise, meditation, a hobby you enjoy) at the same time each days so they become routine.
  • Practice gratitude for people or events in your life.
  • Engage in deep breathing or other relaxation skills.
  • Call “time-outs” for yourself and check in on your feelings.
  • Readjust holiday goals so they are specific, attainable, and realistic.
  • Monitor your stress level. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, have a list of activities you can engage in to relax for a few minutes, such as taking a walk, reading, or watching a favorite TV show or movie.
  • Take notice of the smells, sounds, and sights of the holidays. Notice the difference between the holiday season and other times of the year.
  • Take care of your physical health. Although it may seem like a no-brainer, eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can have just as much of an effect on your mental and emotional health as it can on your physical health.

As flight attendants say as part of their safety preparations, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first! Enjoy the holidays and remember to take a little bit of time for yourself this season!

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