With the festive holiday season quickly approaching, remember to take care of and check in with – you – despite the hustle and bustle of the Christmas frenzy. It’s so necessary and important to remember to schedule time for yourself as a way for you to recharge, reconnect and spiritually tune-up your energies, so that you can be fully present in mind, body and soul. However, I know this is easier said than done; I totally get it, especially when you have last minute gifts to buy, a festive dinner party to plan, arrange the annual family portraits; in addition to finding the time to plan your fabulous, holiday outfits including hair and makeup. In recent years I’ve learned the importance of letting go of the reigns if even for a couple of hours, stepping back, learning to say NO with love and allowing myself to indulge in some much-needed mind, body and soul self-care activities.
Mel’s Top 5 Holiday Self-Care Activities
Self-Care Activity #1.
In the last week of November set aside some time to plan out the upcoming holiday festivities that you and your family normally participate in or are considering adding to your existing family traditions. I am completely obsessed with the Kate Spade Agenda sold at Chapters, which is a perfect planning and organizing resource that will ensure you are on point with your festive, holiday schedule and all things self-care related. However, if you’re not an agenda type of gal your laptop, mobile or iPad will suffice. Once you have slotted in all the important dates and have confirmed them, make sure you immediately schedule in your self-care activity days right after. Trust me, you will thank yourself for having taken the time to do this now because once December 1st rolls around its pretty much go, go, go for one straight month. Once you are comfortable with the dates and times you have scheduled in for your self-care days notify your spouse, friends, family, kids, co-workers who ever you feel it necessary to tell. By doing so, you have firmly set boundaries with your loved ones and you also eliminate intrusive, anxiety inducing dilemmas that could have been avoided had you taken the time to plan and organize your schedule with purpose and intention.
Self-Care Activity #2.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need and covet my quiet time in the mornings before I can productively start my day and with the holiday season fast approaching stealing away an additional 30 minutes for meditation and prayer does wonders for my energy, focus and clarity as I move forward with the remainder of my day, more specifically during the holiday season. I encourage you all to try and carve out an additional 15 – 30 minutes if you can to just sit in silence, admire the beauty and energy of the holiday season and simply enjoy spending that time with yourself in complete silence and solitude. You can also mix up your morning self-care activity with a lovely early morning walk. I like to take early morning walks, while soaking up the fresh, brisk, Wintry air from time to time as it is a great way to renew your mind, while allowing your inner spirit to receive whatever messages of inspiration or personal resolutions the universe may have for you. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, just enough to allow you to charge-up, focus on any task ahead of you, while gaining the clarity and inner peace you will no doubt need and rely upon when dealing with and confronted by the infamous holiday drama that we are all privy to experiencing.
Self-Care Activity #3.
At the end of the day when I get home from all of the hectic busyness of visiting friends and family, exchanging gifts, meticulously prepping and decorating my home to receive family and friends for dinner, walking through at least a dozen department stores helping my friend choose the perfect gift for her in-laws, I eagerly look forward to turning down the lights in my bathroom, setting my iPod to my favorite, soothing jazz playlist (holiday classics of course) and indulging myself in a luxurious, spa bath or hot shower utilizing my favorite bath oils, while allowing my body to release whatever tension or stress I may have accumulated throughout the day. An additional indulgence to add to this self-care activity is mixing your bath with aromatic bath salts and essential oils, such Lavender or Almond oil which will leave you feeling like you just spent the day at the spa and it also helps you to sleep peacefully.
Self-Care Activity #4
Remember to laugh, sing your favorite carols even if you can’t remember all of the word (raises hand) and don’t sweat the small stuff – like freaking out over the fact that your cat decided to jump in your tree for a short nap (true story). When I was going through a very dark and lonely period in my life, laughter and precious silly moments spent with family and friends is the one thing that gave me hope that perhaps the New Year will be much different from the one I am currently in. Watch a holiday classic, such as Home Alone (the first one), the Elf starring Will Ferrell (love that movie) or something glamorous and classic, such as White Christmas (Rose Mary Clooney looked amazing in that signature Edith Head black, velvet gown). The point is, do something that brings joy to your spirit and that induces and stimulates positive energy within and around you.
Self-Care Activity #5
Gift yourself something special in appreciation of the wonderful woman you are. It doesn’t have to be pricey or over the top glamorous, however it should be something personal and authentically resonates with the essence of who you were divinely created to be; celebrate the best of who you are, while nurturing the new and old wounds of holidays past. I learned this from mama bear – my mother. She is one strong woman, who raised two children on her own while putting herself through nursing school. Now that she is entering her golden years I’ve noticed that she treats herself every holiday season to one unique gift. She is very fond of Pandora and loves to collect beautiful charms for her bracelet; each charm as you know has a personal meaning; thus, the charms on her bracelet represents each family member or memorable occasion in her life. You don’t necessarily have to buy yourself jewelry. It could be any item that you feel best represents you as a person and the energy you feel when you are wearing it or perhaps when you are looking at it, like a beautiful photo frame or art piece for your office.
Well ladies, there you have it. My Top 5 Self-Care Activity Tips for the holiday season. Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or unattainable. It ought to be something you do for yourself routinely not just during the festive, holiday season. If you notice, which I am sure you have, each of the 5 recommendations are doable if you take the time to invest in renewing and reconnecting with your inner spirit and the essence of you were divinely created to be.
Feel free to leave a comment on some of your favorite self-care activities or routines.
Melissa .T. Jarred is a certified Toronto Image Consultant and Personal Stylist who works with women expeiencing life transitions who feel deep within their soul that it is time to not only up-level and overhaul their entire life, but to also revamp their image and personal style to authentically align and reflect with the new changes that are emerging in your life.