Celebrate self-care during the holidays

The holiday season brings many joys, but they can be accompanied by stress: increased commitments, family expectations, forced gaiety, and temptations to over consume can wreak havoc on your wellbeing. In the midst of holiday chaos, taking time for self-care can be the greatest gift you give yourself. 

It can be helpful to regard this period between Thanksgiving and the New Year as a marathon, not a sprint: it’s okay to spread out commitments and to say “no” when you’re feeling overloaded. Sometimes, catching up with friends over hot chocolate and a stroll in the park brings a greater feeling of connection than shouted conversations at a large gathering.

Time in the out of doors can also have a real impact on your mood; research has shown a direct connection between spending time in nature and reduced levels of anxiety and depression. Even if you can’t keep to your regular exercise routine during the holidays, you can still take time for a walk outdoors with family or friends. And this exercise counts against any treats you might sneak off the break room table.

Those tables, laden with rich foods, are common at this time of year. And that’s okay — all things are fine in moderation. Try to alternate treats with healthier choices like a piece of fruit or something from the vegetable tray. And alternating a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage is a great way to stay hydrated and avoid overdoing it.

Gatherings — formal or informal — can be a wonderful opportunity to get together and catch up, but they can also be anxiety-provoking for some. In some cases, patients report feeling relief from their symptoms of social anxiety with the use of medical cannabis.

Between parties and shopping, it’s also easy to find yourself short on time to sleep, and when your head hits the pillow, it can begin to swim with the next day’s plans and to-do lists. Where sleep is elusive, some patients find that medical cannabis can help smooth the edges between anxious racing thoughts and restful sleep.

During this season of joy and merry-making, filling your cup with self-care is just as important as filling it with eggnog. It’s okay to maintain boundaries and to say “no.” The gift of a quiet evening at home can be one that keeps giving for days. However you choose to celebrate, all the best to you and those dear to you.