Self-Care: A Priority During the Holidays
Colleen Moran, MPH MS
Wisconsin Population Health Service Fellow
Wisconsin Division of Public Health
To address this topic for my blog post, I have been compiling a list of best practices for self-care. Some are specifically meant to apply to the holiday season, but I think most carry over nicely into reminders we can use 365 days a year. Below is what I have found through my research to be the most commonly prescribed self-care practices. Enjoy!
- Do things in moderation. “This is the time of the year where it is easy to over-indulge. We find it easy to neglect healthy eating. Sleeping patterns may be altered as we have more activity in our days. We can over spend on gifts for those on our lists. The list of things that seem to trap us in extravagance may differ from person to person, however, it is common to be swept up into excessive behavior. Aristotle wisely stated, “all things in moderation.” This is an excellent gauge for us to recall.[I]
- Give up expectations. "The holidays . . . can set us up for unrealistic expectations. It almost seems a "magical" time of year and we dream of the perfect holiday. Many people struggle with depression and high anxiety over the holidays. The crisis hotlines have an increase in calls. Domestic violence rises . . . Past experiences, the loss of loved ones, the loss of a job or financial diffuculty all seems ot heighten during this time of year. One of the best ways to take care of yourself during this emotionally trying time, is to give up your expectations . . . As you relinquish these ideas, you are able to open yourself up to experiencing greater joy in teh reality of the moment. Let go of false illusions and celebrate the moment. Wherever you are in your life this year, take care of yourself first. Practice self-love abdundantly." [vi]