We made it. In fact, it may feel to many of us that the holidays have been here for quite a while now.

For as joy-filled and light this season may be for most, the season of giving also brings with it a certain amount of stress and pressure (especially this time around).

Yes, along with the carols, cookies, and gifts, the holiday season has a reputation for being harried, frazzled, and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, with the right strategy you can get through the holidays and not only enjoy them, but come out the other side feeling rested and well — really! Below we’re sharing five ways to focus on self-care during the holiday season:

#1 – Enjoy the season:

Sounds simple, yes, but actually enjoying the holidays can be harder than expected when we’re focused on ticking off all the boxes and creating a joyful experience for everyone else around us. Often, we put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve holiday perfection that we go through the motions without actually enjoying anything. Think back to your favorite holiday experiences as a child and what stands out likely isn’t gifts or glitz, but quality time spent connecting with family and friends. Instead of pressuring yourself, try to relax and allow yourself to revel in the delights of the season. Indulge in a treat or two (if you want), connect with the ones around you. And if the holidays aren’t your thing — that’s ok too! Do what feels best and ditch the pressure and perfection.

#2 – Opt outdoors:

Make a point to get fresh air daily to reset and refresh. This is especially important if you find yourself hit with the winter blues, a result of the short days, dark nights, and cold weather. Be sure to get plenty of natural light exposure and fresh, crisp air to counter those festive nights and appreciate the gorgeous winter scenery happening outside your door. A brisk morning walk is a great way to revel in the outdoors, or make a project of it and head to your local public land to forage for natural materials to make a wreath!

#3 – Embrace alone time (or schedule it):

Instead of shoving your wellness aside, something that can easily lead to frazzled nerves and could even make you more susceptible to sniffles and sneezes, make time for just you. Whether it’s drawing an evening bath, taking yourself out for coffee or simply indulging in a good book, intentional alone time can be the perfect way to recharge during the holiday season.

#4 – Get some sleep:

We all know that sleep is essential, but despite that knowledge, few of us are actually pros at getting quality Z’s. Rather than allowing your battery to drain completely, be sure to prioritize sleep this time of year. If achieving a solid sleep schedule proves difficult, try our tips for sleeping better to improve your quality of sleep throughout the holidays and beyond.

#5 – Get moving:

Like sleep and eating well, exercise often takes a backseat throughout the month of December in favor of seasonal priorities, but just like the two former, the latter is essential for maintaining wellbeing throughout the month and all year ‘round. Along with fresh air and sunlight, moving regularly can help ward off wintertime sadness, and on a lighter note, exercise can help clear your mind of holiday-induced stress. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, flow with a virtual yoga class, or if there’s snow on the ground, go skiing! However you like to move, make time to sweat to help yourself feel your holiday best.

Remember, if you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of everybody else? By focusing on self-care, even just a little, you’ll be better equipped to take on – and actually enjoy – the holidays this year!

How are you caring for yourself during the holiday season? Share with our community by tagging us on social with @AvocadoMattress and #AvocadoGreenMagazine

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