18 Simple and Fun Holiday Self Care Tips (You’ve not tried!)
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Is there such thing as simple and fun holiday self-care tips? I don’t know about you, but the holidays really stress me out.
There isn’t much simple or fun about them! We’re forced to run from one family to the next. And in-between, we try to manage our own household and somehow find time for ourselves. And when that doesn’t happen, we lose our cool. Yet, no one seems to realize the hoops you’re jumping through to keep it- holiday expectations and your cool, together. Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission based upon your purchase, which does not affect the price you pay. It is my intent to provide affiliate links that you might find useful! As an introvert, I need my own time, but there’s none to spare. There has to be a way to recharge our batteries while finding quality family time. Outside of just holding our family up at home and skipping the holidays all together, what options are there? With this ultimate guide, you will find the answer to this question! I think you will see that many of these winter self care tips can be carried out alone or with your family and can be done regardless of activity level.
Get Out for a Walk or Jog
Some of you may be asking yourself right now “that’s in Ben’s simple and fun holiday self-care tips post?” Well, yes. We all have varying activity levels. There are lots of people who enjoy getting out of the house together. Take a stroll around the block. Focus on breathing in the cold winter air and rid yourself of any anxious feelings. Personally, I hate the winter. But, I love breathing in the cold air. It wakes you up and makes you feel very liberated. If your family is not keen on going for a walk, take your dog or go alone. Taking some time for yourself in this way can be of tremendous benefit to recharge your batteries. Remember, at the end of the day, you’ll be crammed into another family member’s house shoulder to shoulder. Use your time wisely!
Take a Warm Bath
Now, I don’t necessarily recommend you do this with your family. That might get weird real fast. But stress can easily be relieved through submerging your body in warm water. If you really want to spoil yourself add some Epsom salt. This will really help loosen your muscles and relax you. Following a long brisk walk, I guarantee you that your mood will improve following a bath. I’m not too keen on baths. I’m over six foot tall, so it’s difficult for me to fit in the tub. However, my wife takes baths about every other day to de-stress. This is definitely her favorite winter self care tip she shares with friends. She makes them super-hot and stays in there for only about 10 minutes before she crawls into bed for the night. She retains the heat in bed making a cocoon of warmth for the cold winter night.
Treat Yourself to Coffee or Hot Cocoa
At least once per week, my wife and I make a drive out to get coffee. To tell you the truth, I’m not sure if this is so much about coffee as it is time together away from the kids. Whether you prefer to go alone or with others, getting coffee or hot chocolate can be the perfect escape. It doesn’t have to be a long trip, and it can give you a great mood lift. This is a simple and fun holiday self-care tip and has a great return!
Rock out to Uplifting Music
It’s easy to listen to depressing music. Everyone is guilty of that when they’re feeling lousy. To assure that you really boost your mood for the holidays, force yourself to listen to uplifting music. Sing along to it if you have to. If you have kids, try dancing with them while singing. The more engaged you are with the music, the more your mood will change. My daughter loves Nirvana- much like me. This isn’t the most uplifting and happy music, but when the music starts, we both have a blast jumping around to it.
Watch Your Holiday Favorite
The Christmas Story airs for 24 hours straight. Do you look forward to watching it a dozen times? Maybe that’s not your favorite, but there are tons of great Christmas movies. Whether you’re festive or not, sitting back and watching a movie is a great way to take a break. It is mind numbing, your family can be involved, and often times you can pig out on snacks. If you want to make an interesting twist to this, spend the holidays watching horror movies. Slasher films are best, but a haunting or possession movie can be a great second. Strangely there are holiday movies for these too. Obviously, if you have kids, you might have to wait for this part until after they’ve gone to bed. And though this isn’t a slasher film, for any winter self care tips article I have to mention Die Hard. Yipee ki yay!
Get Yourself a Journal
If you’ve read much of my material or signed up for our newsletter (and I recommend you do to get our free eBook interviewing 6 mental health professionals!), you have learned by this point that I’m big on journaling. It’s a great escape for anyone because of the insight it builds. Journaling does not have to be the traditional “diary” or writing about your day. You can go through specific exercises like those outlined in in the Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook. This book is compiled of fantastic exercises and methods to improve your insight and wellbeing. It’s also developed by a mental health professional. And as one myself, I cannot over-emphasize the importance of journaling. Try this free Anxiety Pocket eBook to catch a glimpse of some introductory support.
Shovel The Driveway
This next activity may not seem like a simple and fun holiday self care tip. Let me explain. This isn’t the most fun you can have during the holidays, but it’s a terrific way to escape and burn off your holiday stress. And let’s face it, doing so will likely make your significant other happy. Whether you make this a family event or do it alone, you will come out of the cold feeling refreshed. And with your significant other happy, you can kick your feet up without guilt. Shoveling falls into the same field as walking or jogging- it helps you manage anxieties and can release those feel good endorphins. When you are stressed out, physical activity is one of the best winter self-care tips there are!
Anger and frustration are common when you’re stressed out. Whether the stress is related to the holidays, anxieties about family, or anything else, snowball fights are perfect to release your inner anger! Let your rage loose without having to worry about hurting someone else. Remember, these are simple and fun holiday self care tips. They are not completely non-violent. Besides, a little rage release can be therapeutic! If your family wants to join in, even better! Kids love snowball fights, and it’s not something you age out of. Even if it’s just you, the neighborhood kids may need a good pummeling. In fact, the neighborhood boy around the corner doesn’t have to know you got satisfaction out of that head shot, because he let the dog go to the bathroom in your yard.
Build a Snowman
With the added benefit of being outside, detaching yourself from stressors by building a snowman lends an uncommon way to practice mindfulness. There is also an element of creativity in how you make him. This may be one simple and fun holiday self-care tip that you should do with your family. Being the only one in your yard rolling big snowballs may get a lot of looks. A nice alternative might be making a snow fort.
Guided Meditation and Mindfulness
Speaking of mindfulness, meditation is right up that alley. There are many who practice meditation while practicing yoga or even listening to a guided meditation. There are also many mindfulness tips that I highly recommend, which you can check out here (I bet many you’ve not tried!). If you’ve tried the free ebook above, I can bet that you’ll love the Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook. I have really appreciated the insight and calm that mindfulness brings. Through this workbook, my colleague Heather breaks down how to disconnect and organize your mind, practice mindfulness exercises, grounding exercises, visualization, and self-care. Mindfulness is an ever developing technique that will become more important the more you use it. Do not underestimate its power!
Adult or not, sledding is fun. Wantonly casting yourself down a hill grasping onto a sheet of plastic might be the best thing about winter. You don’t need a great sled or any real equipment. I’ve seen folks go sledding on tubes, trash can lids, their own behind, and about anything else they can scrounge up. If sledding isn’t enough, add in another fun holiday self-care tip like coffee or hot chocolate. Heck, even adding some Irish cream to the mix may make it more exciting. The opportunity with sledding is that your kids can join. You also can sit back and watch sipping on your drink.
Eat Your Favorite Food
For some, eating their favorite food can release a significant amount of endorphins. There are times when my wife loves chocolate more than anything. Food has a well-established place in our lives especially during difficult times. When someone is grieving, it’s common to give them food. Why? Because when we’re hurting, we often forget to take care of ourselves. You can easily make this a family event. Give everyone their separate part to complete, whether it’s the main course, side, or just setting the table. If you have a favorite food, make it. Seek it out. Indulging in your favorite food is perfectly OK.
Take a Timeout Helping Others
Volunteering can be one of the greatest feelings in the world- especially around the holidays. When you can give back and help someone less fortunate, your mind will give you (a different set) of feel good neurotransmitters. Your family can volunteer with you as well. There are tons of places you can volunteer- churches, shelters, and soup kitchens to name a few. Even if you are in the helping profession, you can find another avenue to give back. I fully believe you’ll find this simple and fun holiday self care tit fulfilling. Not long ago, I stepped in to help out with a kid’s food service. Though it was only an hour of my time, I felt so inspired leaving there. Putting others first in your spare time may seem counter intuitive to self-care, but it’s absolutely not. Try it and you’ll see!
Make a Bullet Journal
These are the newest trend for personalizing your journal. There are myriad examples out there on how to create one. What’s awesome about making a bullet journal is the infinite customizations you can design. Not only is it therapeutic to relax through your creativity, it can also help you stay organized. I know many people who have listed their monthly budgets, appointments, reminders, and anything else needing attention. And since the craze of bullet journals, there are spinoffs. So if you don’t want to create a bullet journal, look for an alternative that still promotes your artistic creativity. Your family can join in by customizing their own, which can help teach kids responsibility by keeping track of appointments, allowance, and chores. Give it a shot!
Get out and Ice Fish
When I was a kid, my dad had taken me ice fishing. I can recall sitting in the shanty around a hole in the ice waiting for a fish to bite. Being out on the lake, tucked away inside- sheltered from the weather was surreal. The experience wasn’t so much about fishing as it was spending time together drinking hot chocolate. To this day, I couldn’t tell you if we caught anything. A major plus is that when you’re out on the lake, it’s unlikely the kids will get much cell phone reception. And if you simply want to go out alone, what better way to simply go off the grid?
Spend Time with Your Significant Other
How obvious is this one? How much do we actually try and take time to do this during the holidays? Plan yourselves a date night. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Remember, these are simple and fun holiday self care tips! But when you can keep your relationship intact and rouse up some romance, feelings of exuberance will overtake you. Going out to get coffee as I had mentioned earlier may be a good start, but it’s important to find something more substantial and out of the ordinary. My wife and I may go to a new restaurant or get drinks at the brewery. Heck, we have even just gone for a hike with the little one. There are plenty of free options if dinner or drinks are outside of your budget. To find a some options, simply ask google about free events or activities near you to fulfill this winter self care tip.
Make a Gingerbread House
This activity is suggested with caution. If you get frustrated very easily or are a perfectionist, your gingerbread house may end up smashed into the wall. Gingerbread houses are pretty difficult to make. But there’s a ton of ingenuity and creativity that can go into it. Kids also lovemaking these. If you can get through making one without giving up, the gingerbread house can serve as a great conversation started and guaranteed to get some laughs. My family and I had a gingerbread house making competition last year. We all had the same materials and had to make the best- most elaborate house we could. We laughed a lot and no one’s stood long enough to showoff. It was totally worth the time and escape from holiday stress.
Pinterest a New Recipe
Pinterest is a huge resource for food addicts. I mean that in an endearing way. And eating can be a great winter self care activity for you and your family. With infinite recipes at your fingertips, you’re sure to find one that fits with your family’s mood. Don’t feel that you have to stick to just baked goods, though! In my quick search, I had found pasta dishes, dinners,various sides, and treats. I even found a Christmas Cookie Pizza. What the heck is that? You can assign different parts of the process to your kids and significant other to make this a family activity. And when you’re done, obviously you’ll get to eat it. If you have another holiday stop coming up, you can also just take it with you as your dish to pass.
What are you waiting for?
These 18 simple and fun holiday self care tips are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a tremendous amount of winter self care activities that you can do alone or with your family. With the stress that you endure through the holidays, it’s so important to find a way to release it. When we don’t, what happens? Our families are affected. Our relationships degrade. We don’t function well at work or keep our mind clear. Embrace each day and do at least one thing for yourself. There is no way you can help and support someone else without keeping yourself mentally healthy. What are your plans to do that? You can use the amazingly effective Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook. It takes minimal time to practice and you’ll see incredible results. What are you waiting for? Take these winter self care tips and clear your head. While you’re at it, let me know which are your favorite. And last, but not least, save, share, or re-pin our content please! Take care, -Ben
First, thank you for reading The How to Social Worker- my alter ego. My name is Ben Barrett and am a clinical social worker and addictions counselor. My personal experiences with mental health have shaped my professional perspective. Through my struggles both personally and professionally, I hope you can improve your own quality of life.