How to Take Care of YOURSELF This Holiday Season

By Brittany Hawes on December 17, 2017

The holiday season is the season of giving. It is the time of the year where we get together with friends and family and are grateful for their company. We buy gifts for the people that are close to our hearts and be glad that they are near us. We party, we drink, we laugh, we travel and we celebrate being alive and being together as another new year approaches.

Although the holiday season is a time of cheer, it can also be a time of incredible stress. There’s so much to do! Packing up and hitting the road can be stressful for students as they prepare to drive or fly for hours to visit family members. Some students might be introducing their significant other to their families for the first time and feel stressed out because they don’t know how their family will react. Others may be struggling to buy gifts for their family members, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend, coworkers, and others.

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Many people have yet to head to the stores to start tackling their holiday shopping list, maybe because of the dread of facing down the throngs of other shoppers hustling about the mall. There are office parties to attend, cards to send, relatives to call… It can all be a bit overwhelming.

Amid all of the rushing, it’s important to still make time for yourself. Even if it’s the season of giving, you won’t feel in a very “giving mood” if you’re not happy and taking care of yourself. In order for you to get the most of your holiday experience, I’ve come up with 5 ideas on how to take care of yourself during the holidays that will make sure that you and everyone around you are in for a good time.

1. Give what you can.

It’s super easy to get carried away when you’re out shopping for the perfect presents for your loved ones. Spend what you can but don’t go overboard when you’re shopping. Create a budget that will allow you to buy those closest to you the perfect present and still have money to pay bills, afford rent, and any other fixed expenses you may have in the future.

Also, don’t feel the need to buy presents for every single person you know. This will drain your bank account quicker than anything else this holiday season. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but give presents to those who you truly love and wish to give presents to. For distant friends and acquaintances, consider getting a card or a small stocking-stuffer. You can’t buy gifts for everyone, so don’t feel guilty for not doing so.

2. Don’t overdo the partying.

As much as you may want to go to every party you’re invited to, partying too much can be draining. Music, dancing, good food, and drinks are all a lot of fun every so often but waking up with a hangover at 2 p.m. every day can sap away your energy. Instead of going to a party every night, give yourself time to recharge for a day or two or you’ll wind up feeling exhausted instead of cheery this holiday season.

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3. Eat and drink wisely.

Now, I’m not telling you to not enjoy food this holiday season. That’s crazy. I fully support stuffing your face for every holiday and not feeling an ounce of guilt while doing so. Enjoying good food with family and friends is a big part of celebrating during the holiday season. But … I don’t think it’s wise to go back for thirds, fourths, or fifths in one sitting. Just because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean that grease, fat, alcohol and other unhealthy components of holiday dining are going to take a vacation and not affect your health. Enjoy the food but don’t overdo it, especially if you have high cholesterol or other health problems that could be affected by food and drinks.

4. Don’t be a people-pleaser. Do what you want!

Sometimes, people are going to try and force you to believe that they know what’s best for you. Those same people are going to suggest you do such-and-such or go to a place of their suggestion or buy this person a certain gift or bring a certain dish to the office holiday party. It may even be groups of people suggesting/telling you that you should do these things.

Tune those people out! This is your life and your holiday to celebrate however you please! Don’t do anything just to appease another person in your life. Make decisions for yourself and stick to them. If you don’t want to go to a party, you don’t have to go. The people who love you will respect you decisions and not try to make you feel guilty about them.

5. Be grateful.

You’re here, you’re alive, and you’re able to celebrate the holidays! Just taking a second to be grateful for the things we sometimes take for granted will lower your stress levels and really put the reason for the season into perspective.

I hope that all of you will remember to take care of yourself this holiday season! Happy holidays, everyone!

Hi there! My name's Britt and I'm a senior majoring in English major at Florida State University. I have these crazy, big dreams of traveling the entire world and writing novels in my spare time. I love music, food, and the Japanese culture. I plan on teaching English in Japan upon graduation from Florida State. My first YA novel, Twisted, was published by Deep Sea Publishing Company in 2014. It won a Readers' Favorite Book Award that same year. Alongside schoolwork, I'm working hard on the second book in the Twisted series as well as a number of other novels.

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