Happy Tuesday guys!
Are you feeling that holiday craze yet? The holidays are such a weird time of year–they’re SO much fun, but incredibly overwhelming at the same time! Our schedules are messed up, healthy eating goes by the wayside–we trade our normal workout routines for holiday parties and gift exchanges–then we wonder why we feel stressed and exhausted? ?
If we’re being honest, I wrote this post to benefit me just as much you–I need these reminders, so I know you need them too. I wrote out my list and then took to Instagram to add your tips, too–you guys always give the best advice!
If you’re feeling like your head is already spinning this season–here are my self care tips, and yours–to keeping your sanity ?
1. Know that removing yourself is OK
Sometimes we can’t avoid certain family members who share off-putting points of view, but you can control how involved you are in the conversation. Reader Sarah offered a great reminder in that, “If you need to leave a conversation, room, event because it’s too much–do it! It’s okay!” You need to prioritize your own well-being, and there’s nothing wrong with politely excusing yourself from a situation. (Oh darn–is that your boss calling again!? You probably need to take that “call”…)
2. Download the Headspace app
This was such a popular suggestion from you guys over on Instagram and I have to agree–I freaking LOVE the Headspace app–but perhaps my favorite part about it are the sleep meditations–which is perfect for those who have trouble falling asleep because their brain is going 100 miles per minute. It’s not just for sleep though–it’s perfect for when you have just a 5 minute or 10 minute break in the middle of the day. They also have sessions targeted at certain issues–like managing anxiety, grief, navigating change, or coping with cravings!
3. Keep your freezer and pantry well stocked
When I haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile are when things really start to spiral for me. It’s a vicious cycle–if I don’t have time, I eat crappy food, which makes me feel even crappier, and before I know it, it’s been two weeks before I’ve had a vegetable.
This is why it’s so important to have a well-stocked freezer–Trader Joe’s frozen staples are the best, along with bags of frozen spinach and berries so I can whip up a smoothie.
I also always try to prioritize enough fat and protein at every meal. I make sure to have nut butter on hand (I love TJ’s no sugar added peanut butter with flax seed) because has BOTH of these. For protein, I’ll always add a scoop or two of Vital Proteins collagen peptides to my smoothie not only just for the protein, but because it helps my joints (I can definitely tell a difference in my knees when I work out when I’m taking this and when I’m not–not that I’ve actually made it to the gym lately ?) and it also helps your hair grow faster and thicker, makes your nails stronger, and is good for your skin! (Read my whole guide on collagen protein over here!)
I especially love their collagen creamer in addition to the regular, unflavored peptides.
The creamer comes in coconut, vanilla, and mocha flavor and contains as much protein as an egg, and a dose of healthy fat in addition to collagen protein. Sometimes when I know I won’t even have time for a smoothie, I do half and half–one scoop collagen peptides, one scoop collagen protein. (Note: the peptides have a LOT more protein, so if you want it solely for the hair skin and nail benefits, go with the unflavored. If you want it for the protein, fat, and non-dairy creamer taste, go with the creamer. I love both because I have different uses for both of them).
Overall, prioritizing a healthy diet and making sure to work veggies, healthy fat, and protein in at every meal will keep you going longer and help stabilize blood sugar (spiking blood sugar will only contribute to more stress).
The best hack:
froth your collagen peptides or creamer in with a little milk in a milk frother (I use coconut milk, it doesn’t get that foamy but that’s okay)–it’s the easiest way to mix it up and makes it into a smooth and tasty latte! It’s also super easy to shake up in a protein shaker (I have this one from Amazon.)
Basically, moral of the story is get SOMETHING in your stomach–don’t skip meals!
4. Re-commit to being organized
This applies to ALL areas of your life–whether it be keeping your home organized, or juggling tons of projects at work and in your personal life. Have a plan and stick to it. The times when you’re tempted to throw routine and organization out the window are the times you need it most!
I love reader Paisleigh’s suggestion of committing to 10 minutes a day to pick up a designated area of your house. At the end of the week, that’s over an hour you’ve spent cleaning, and that can make a big difference in keeping your space tidy.
In terms of prioritizing tasks on your to-do list, you should give this post a read where I share my best hacks to tackling your to-do’s.
5. Pre-block off time on your calendar to avoid over-scheduling
I’ve started doing this on weekends because if you DON’T have something that screams “DON’T OVER-SCHEDULE”–you wind up with zero free weekends for two months straight. Remember saying “yes” to everything means saying “no” to your mental health and your relationships with the people you love most.
Reader Renae says, “I know I can’t say yes to everything, and that’s okay!” and she’s absolutely right! You have got to stop saying “yes” to everything just because you happen to be free.
As reader Sarah so wisely put it, “Saying no is better than creating resentment, especially with family.”
Always remember to prioritize the relationships that are most important to you first. That means maybe saying no to a few dinners, happy hours, holiday parties, potlucks–and whatever to have much needed one on one time with your spouse, or just staying home alone on Friday night so you can have some time to unwind.
You are the only one who is in charge of keeping yourself sane–so take it seriously. Nobody else is going to do it for you!
Here’s what you do–set aside some time to really look at your calendar–do you see any free days/weekends? GREAT. Book the rest of them up right now. Write BUSY on them, or whatever you need to do to clue yourself in that that is your “relax” time.
If your calendar is already bleeding and you can’t even FIND any time to do this, take a hard look at it. Which parties did you just say “yes” to because you felt bad? Stop doing that. Apologize and cancel. You can even be brutally honest and say you’ve overcommitted yourself for the holidays and you just need to take a step back to breathe. If the host of the party doesn’t understand that, they shouldn’t be in your life anyway. Good riddance to them!
See outfit details in this post
6. Have a few go-to self care rituals
I can’t tell you how many of you guys responded and said “BATH TIME IS SO IMPORTANT!” which is so funny–I never take baths, but perhaps I need to start?! I love reader Katie’s suggestion of adding Lavender oil to the tub–I actually do this in the shower to create a “steam room” effect and it is LOVELY.
I also love what Marissa suggested:
“Find a thing that makes you happy, and even if you only have five minutes per day, do it daily.” This could be anything from lettering, drawing, knitting, writing–whatever! For me personally, I love reading, so anytime I can schedule to sneak in a few minutes of a good book–that’s a huge win for me.
For others, it’s working out, or doing yoga! Reader Maille (who is also a personal trainer, see her blog here!) recommends foam rolling– “it’s an awesome way to release some of the tension that builds up in our bodies! You can foam roll nearly any part of your body, but my personal favorite is rolling from the bra line to just above your shoulder blades. Feels so amazing for the back, especially since so many of us carry tension there!”
Whatever your “rituals” are–figure out what relaxes you and DO THEM. It’s easier to have a few “relaxing routines” in your back pocket so when you do get a free minute, you aren’t tempted to just use them to check off another item on your to-do list instead of taking a few minutes for yourself. For example, if you have 10 minutes, do a face mask (I love this one and this one!), if you have 45–go on a walk through the park. Whatever you need to feel sane!