Festive Season Self-Care For Busy Women

The festive season is an exceptionally busy time of year, particularly for mothers and midlife women. Amidst the chaos of decorating, shopping, and planning, it’s easy to forget one essential element: self-care. In this article I explore WHY saying yes to self-care during the festive season is vital, and share 5 simple non-wellness-wankery self care practices I recommend.

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Why Festive Season Self-Care Matters

  1. You Matter: Self care is often promoted to women as a means for them to care better for others. ‘Take care of yourself so you can take care of others” . I get it, but I’m just gonna start by reminding you that self care means taking care of yourself, for yourself. Because YOU matter.
  2. Be Present:  Being present means fully enjoying the moment that you are in. You are calm and focused on what you’re doing without thinking about anything else. That’s when life is more real. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to be more present and enjoy all those precious festive moments.
  3. Festive Energy: Multiple social functions, lots of festive food, busier weekends, later nights – all of this can leave us feeling exhausted and lethargic. What’s more, many of us intentionally skip meals in order to ‘fit festive meals in” – and this isn’t great for our energy levels (or mood)! Solid self care strategies are needed if you want to continually show up and feel ‘festive’ rather than ‘grinchy’.
  4. Manage Stress: The demands of the holiday season can be overwhelming and the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be hectic AF. Its no wonder stress levels can reach an all time high! Self care strategies are crucial to helping you recharge your own batteries and manage stress more effectively.

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5 Festive Season Self-Care Practices I Recommend

  1. 3 Balanced Meals A Day: Don’t intentionally skip meals in order to ‘fit festive meals in’ or ‘make up for’ festive meals you’ve enjoyed. Try to eat regular, balanced meals throughout the day to keep your energy levels up and your appetite in check. You can make allowances based on what you expect if you’d like. Maybe get ahead of your veg intake if you know you’ll have a meal that’s light on veggies.
  2. Move Well, Move Often: Our bodies love to move and need to move. Go for a walk, stretch before bed, attend group exercise classes, park further away, do some follow along at home workout videos. If you’re feeling tired, don’t be a d*ck to yourself, adjust your workout intensity and/or shorten your sesh. Also, ditch the diet culture mindset that has you attempting to ‘burn off’ the food you’ve eaten or ‘earn’ the food you plan to eat. It doesn’t work like that. And it seriously doesn’t help you to think like that (or your children to hear you talk about exercise like that).
  3. Simplify “Me Time”: Scheduling some “me time” into your weekly routine can work freaken wonders! Morning walks in nature, taking yourself out for brunch, getting a pedicure – they all sound fab – but simpler options are great (and often more realistic) too! Mammas need to shift the mindset that ‘me time’ is something we can only do when we have buckets loads of ‘free time’ or, are away from our children. Deep breaths as you serve kids dinner, laying on the floor for 5mins whilst kids play, noise cancelling headphones whilst kids watch TV. Do what you can, when you can. It all adds up!
  4. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and lethargy. Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
  5. Practice Gratitude: Take a moment at the end of each week to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. This can help shift your focus to the positive aspects of the season. I actually love doing this as a family activity over dinner on Sundays – we all share our “Fav Thing From The Week or Weekend”.

If the festive season is rather hectic and overwhelming for you, or if you feel like your health and self care habits suffer at this time of year, I highly recommend reading this article which focuses on encouraging you to DIAL SH*T DOWN during uber busy times like this!!

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NB: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the mental load should NOT fall solely on Mothers, though I know it most often does. Parenting is a team sport. Dividing festive and childcare tasks (including the thinking, pre-planning and planning stages of the task) fairly with your partner/household/support team AND communicating openly about how you’re feeling, whats on your mind and what you need help with is crucial. Need help with this? You might like to check out the book FAIR PLAY by Eve Rodsky or check out the free resources available on The Mental Load Project website.

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READY TO SAY YES TO YOURSELF AND YOUR HEALTH? OUR YES-2-YOU PROGRAM IS A GREAT PLACE TO START (or re-start)!

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