Holiday Self-Care Checklist
This time of year can feel like one big checklist of things to get done.
I’ve compiled a “Take Care of Yourself” checklist to keep in mind.
1) Watch this TED talk on practicing emotional hygiene: https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene?language=en#t-1447.
2) Focus on what you can control vs letting anxiety take over in anticipation of events you can’t control.
3) Sleep sleep sleep – Did I mention? Get enough sleep!
4) Maintain your exercise routine. Make time for regular exercise if you don’t have a regular routine (doesn’t include shopping).
5) Get outside more during daylight hours. These shorter days can wreak havoc on your mood. Consider using a lightbox or see your therapist for a few sessions 😉.
6) If you find yourself feeling particularly wound up and you are on medication, discuss with your doctor the benefits and appropriateness of an adjustment.
7) Everyone is busy, but do your best to maintain current social commitments and contacts.
8) Have realistic expectations of others. “Don’t believe everything you think” comes in handy here. You may “think” people should see a situation the same as you do, you may think others are as thoughtful as you, but often this isn’t the case.
9) Make and stick to a budget, whichever budget speaks to your situation; financial budget, time budget, exercise budget, alcohol consumption budget and/or eating budget. If you don’t put one down in writing ahead of time, then one doesn’t really exist and things can easily go off track. It takes just a few moments to organize. The sense of order you feel in your brain afterwards is well worth the time.
10) If you haven’t done this the rest of the year, take a few moments this holiday season to jot down morning intentions. Doing this sets your day on the desired path. If you are better with this in the evening, there is the benefit of a quick debriefing to release the day. These “two minute rituals” are an example of “emotional hygiene”. Similar to brushing your teeth, your mind benefits from regular “cleaning”.