A Modern Day Guide to Therapeutic Lifestyle Design and Healing Chronic Stress from the Inside Out!

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area

Christina Pandolfo, MS, OTR/L, NC

thetherapeuticfoodie@gmail.com

Self-Care Throughout the Holidays and Beyond

Self-Care Throughout the Holidays and Beyond

The Holidays are here, and no matter what you celebrate, hopefully you are enjoying yourself and having a stress-free and joyful time. Unfortunately, for many people, feeling frazzled and rushing around are a part of what some people call ‘holiday madness’. It doesn’t have to be this way! I want to share some of my favorite self-care principles to help you ground and nurture yourself in order to help reduce any holiday -related stress you may be experiencing. It is also a great foundation to build from to help set the stage for bringing a personalized self-care program into the new year.

1. Love Yourself

What does loving yourself have to do with self-care? Everything! When you love yourself you take better care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. When you love yourself and take better care of yourself, you have MORE love and energy to give to others. Loving yourself enough to take better care of yourself is the foundation for your self-care plan. When you focus on yourself more everyday you are choosing self-love; which means you are choosing to create a healthy life. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

2. Create a Self-Care Plan

How do you take care of yourself each day? The small daily things you can do each day will help to make a big impact over time. Creating a daily self-care plan or routine helps to set the tone for the day and allows you some time to focus on yourself and your health. If possible you can try to wake up a bit earlier than normal (like 15-20 minutes) to carve out some space to begin a nourishing self-care routine.

This can include:

  • Light stretching, yoga, and other exercise
  • Walking outdoors or being in nature (very helpful and grounding for highly sensitive people)
  • Meditation
  • Eating a nourishing breakfast slowly

A self-care routine at night can include calming activities such as:

  • Meditation
  • Calming herbal tea such as chamomile tea
  • Writing in a journal
  • Taking a relaxing epsom salt bath
  • Avoiding over-stimulating shows and electronics like your iPhone, computer, etc.

3. Nourish Your Body

Yes, I know it’s the holidays, and sugary snacks and treats can be abundant. What if though, you can guarantee yourself at least one nourishing meal a day? My number one piece of advice for my new clients that are transitioning into a healthier lifestyle: eat breakfast. Eating increased protein at breakfast can help to keep you full and reduce cravings later in the day!

Here are a handful of examples of nutrient-dense breakfasts all along the whole foods spectrum (including some Paleo, Vegetarian and Vegan options):

  • Gluten-Free Oatmeal or Quinoa with ghee, topped with cinnamon, almonds, walnuts, blueberries/berries
  • Smoothie Variations (in colder weather you can add a bit of ginger or turmeric to make them more warming to your body).
  • Frittata or Egg Muffins with vegetables of your choice
  • Smoked Salmon with Eggs and vegetables of your choice
  • Eggs with sautéed veggies in olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee (can rotate spinach, kale, broccoli, whatever you would like!)

(These are just a few examples of breakfasts you can have; I soon will be doing a post about nutrient-dense breakfasts!)

4. Balance Your Time

Saying ‘NO’ to certain people or invitations during the holidays can be an important and powerful part of self-care. Are you feeling overextended or overwhelmed with your holiday invites and activities?  It is OK to politely refuse any invites or activities if deciding to go will create more stress for you. If you force yourself to go, you may just end up feeling overwhelmed and resentful!

Here are some other ideas besides saying “NO” to help you balance your time over the holidays:

  • Schedule your self-care into your day. It is easy to get wrapped up in projects and other people and ignore your own needs!
  • Creating a workable ‘To-Do’ list can give you more of a sense of control over your time and things that need to get done. After creating a to-do list, just pick 2-3 items that need to get done that day, so you will not overwhelm yourself.
  • Leave in plenty of time for your work commute or wherever you may be going, in order to avoid rushing, which can contribute to feeling overwhelmed.

Hope these self-care tips can help you experience less holiday – related stress this season!

As I wrap up this post, I have just one question. What can you do to take care of yourself today?

See you next week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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