The Just-For-You Holiday Checklist to Revive your Mind + Body
The holidays can sometimes feel hectic, and coupled with cold season, shopping stressors, and a busy life, it can be easy to find yourself pushed past your limits before you even know it. Self-care during the holidays might be few and far between, but I’ve learned through many years of mistaking holiday cheer for genuine peace and happiness that self care should be at the top of your to-do list if you want to soak up the true spirit and joy of the holidays. At Aligned One Wellness, my goal is to help people connect with their mind, body, and soul to bring peace and comfort, so I’ve collected a list of my tried-and-true suggestions to get out of your busy mind and in tune with your body through simple and effective forms of self care during the holidays.
Morning Yoga or Movement
Whether you spend five minutes stretching out your stress or an hour or more sweating it out, taking a moment to move your body, especially first thing in the morning, can work wonders for your physical and mental health. There are two key benefits to daily movement - the physical benefit of sweating, strength training, and getting your heart rate going, as it is a proven way to relieve tension and stress within your body. Additionally, taking time to move your body in whatever form works best for you means that you are setting intentional time aside for yourself. Especially during the chaos of family time and travel over the holidays, these minutes and moments of peace will make a difference in your day.
If there’s only one takeaway from this blog, let it be this; taking time for yourself is the first and most important step to self care. Especially during a cozy Canadian winter, taking a relaxing bath is a great way to wind down from a long day. I like using muscle tension relieving salt soaks, as they help heal and relax your body and add a layer of luxury to your self care time. You can read a book, listen to your favourite podcast, or just enjoy some quiet time while caring for your body and resting so that you can tackle the most wonderful (and busiest) time of the year.
When I decided to start Aligned One Wellness, I wanted to bring the art and healing of registered massage therapy to people who wanted to connect more with their mind, body, and soul. There are so many reasons why massage can be beneficial to your body, such as injury recovery, alignment maintenance, pain relief, and staying balanced. Visiting a registered massage therapist is one way to take a rejuvenating break for self care during the holidays, but you could also try at-home massages with a loved one or self-massage like using a Gua Sha, an incredible (and affordable) tool known for reducing facial tension and tightness in your shoulders and neck, which can be a common symptom of burnout and busyness.
Night Time Routine
There are so many variations of what your night time routine could look like, but as you’ve already heard me say many times, it’s all about setting aside intentional time for yourself. A night time routine can involve taking the time to do things like skin care or a gua sha massage, or having relaxing bath with lit candles and a podcast, but it also doesn’t have to be intricate or time-consuming, as long as it’s achievable for you. Creating a routine has been proven to improve sleep. Doing the same thing before bed each night helps train your mind that it’s time to rest, and gives you an opportunity to calm your nervous system and soothe your mind before laying down. A solid night time routine is also the foundation to a great morning routine, so start with something small and you’ll see the changes pretty quickly.
Nourishing your body, no matter how busy you get, can help with your energy and ability to handle stress and chaos. Especially around the holidays, when food is front and center (and so are candies and sweets), it is important to remember that eating enough and eating well can help get rid of any hangry-induced tension. Make sure you allow yourself to enjoy the joyful and love-filled holiday foods, and focus on the comfort of sharing a meal and spending time with your loved ones. Otherwise, if you’re on the go and struggling to find the right nourishment, take a moment to yourself to eat with intention and enjoy the holiday season with a happy tummy and healthy, food-fuelled energy.
If all of this feels a little overwhelming to pack into your already busy holiday calendar, don’t worry. You don’t have to do all of these things for your body to feel cared for and calmer throughout the holidays. You can pick just one, and you don’t even have to do it every day if your lifestyle doesn’t allow for it. The point is to be intentional about saving time for yourself and not burning out, taking moments to connect to your body and mind so that the best parts of the holiday season (the family, the joy, the love, and the cookies) can be enjoyed to the fullest.