The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful time of the year. Whether stress is positive or negative, our bodies still respond to that stress. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize your own self care during this season. If we don’t pause to preserve ourselves, we can get lost in the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer, which can, in turn, make us start to lose the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas was never intended to be stressful or focused on present giving. It’s supposed to be a time to slow down, reflect on the important things in our lives, and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is supposed to be a time to rejoice and share joy, which is exactly what we want for you.
So, how can you prioritize holiday self care in such hectic times? Here are some of our personal self care tips:
Pray/Meditate in the Morning and Evening:
Although we should be doing this year-round, try and make extra time in the morning to pray or meditate on the day ahead of you. Spending just 5-minutes to collect ourselves and reflect on our present state, thoughts, and feelings can help us get in control of everything else that can throw us off-guard.
Family members can be agitating, finances can be stretched thin, and it can feel like there’s not enough time in the day. Praying on these feelings to God and allowing him to provide you with an answer will make the day feel much less stressful. If possible, try and do the same thing before you go to bed. Spiritual cleansing is one of the best self-care options available to you.
Move and Exercise:
The sweets are abounding, fatty alcoholic beverages are everywhere, and people are cooped up inside, sitting around for the majority of the days (as the sun sets so, so early). While winter is the time to hibernate, your body still needs some exercise. Exercising helps us rejuvenate our bodies, sleep better, and even feel happier (hello endorphins!).
Make time to exercise, even if it’s the day before Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t feel like you have the time. Wake up early and do a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout right at home. There are even 8 minute work out apps that will lead you through the paces.
Take Hot Baths:
Humans have been taking hot baths since the beginning of time. Bathing in hot water has been a sign of spiritual cleansing, as it can help our bodies seep out the toxins and everything that we hold in our skin and our blood throughout the day. If you have an extra 30-minutes at night, instead of watching TV or drinking wine, get in the bathtub with a bath bomb and a good book.
Sit back and allow the hot water to cleanse your body. You will feel instantly relaxed, and it will even help you sleep better when you go to bed.
Practice Saying No:
The holiday parties, happy hours, galas, and luncheons can be overkill. The month of December can be packed with party after party, which means casual drinking, desserts, and staying up late. Understand it’s perfectly acceptable for you to say NO, especially if you really don’t want to do it. You don’t have to say yes to every single thing to which you are invited. It’s important to build in rest days for your mind, as well as your physical body.
It’s not being selfish; it’s being practical.
Do What You Love:
Maybe you love to cook, maybe you love to exercise, or maybe you love to craft. Whatever it is, do more of it during the holidays. If you love to cook, offer to do some of the holiday cooking so you don’t get stuck doing the things you hate. Be honest about what makes you happy, and do more of what you love. It’s especially important when stress levels rise.
Did you know that giving back, volunteering, and helping others actually makes us happier? It’s an essential part of our human nature, as we need to be grateful and help others to truly feel a sense of elation. Therefore, make some time to volunteer, donate, or do whatever else is offered through your local church. It may sound stressful, but at the end of the day, it will make you happier and more fulfilled when you lay down to go to bed at night.
Here at Worship Times, we’re a full-service digital marketing team that specializes in helping churches of all sizes and denominations. We want you to be able to reach your congregation and help them navigate these often stressful times. Here are a few tips for making it a reality.