I don't know about you, but the holidays in my house can be an emotional roller coaster and prioritizing self-care is not only a want but a need in my very intense, hyper, Portuguese family.
Don't get me wrong, I love them to pieces. But the mixture of politics, loud voices that sometimes sound angry when it's not meant to, and just the hectic schedule of driving from house to house can be tough for ME to handle, let alone my significant other, who wasn't born into this crazy. So for us, self-care is crucial for maintaining a healthy and happy relationship, and it's especially important during the holiday season when there are so many extra demands on our time and energy.
So if you're looking for ten self-care tips to help you and your partner survive the holidays like a boss couple... I gotchu.
Self Care Tip #1: Set boundaries and stick to them like glue.
The holiday season can be a minefield of over commitment and obligations, so couples need to set boundaries and stick to them like glue. This means saying no to events and activities that don't align with your values or don't interest you.
It also means limiting how much time and money you're willing to spend on holiday activities and gifts. By setting and respecting boundaries, you'll be able to avoid the burnout and resentment that can arise when you overextend yourself.
Self Care Tip #2: Take time for yourselves, and don't feel guilty about it.
The holiday season is all about spending time with loved ones, but it's also important to carve out some time for yourselves as a couple.
This could mean going on a wacky date night, taking a long walk while listening to your favourite podcast, or simply enjoying a quiet evening at home together.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it brings you both joy and allows you to connect on a deeper level... And don't feel guilty about it – you deserve it!
@flowjoco What’s on your bucket list? #couplegoals #coupleschallenge ♬ Canyons - Official Sound Studio
Self Care Tip #3: Practice mindfulness and gratitude, even if it feels cheesy.
The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time, so it's important to stay present and focused to avoid getting overwhelmed. One way to do this is through mindfulness, which involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings in the moment without judging them.
Another way is to practice gratitude, which involves focusing on what you're grateful for in your life.
By incorporating mindfulness and gratitude into your daily routine, you can stay grounded and focused during the holiday season, even if it initially feels cheesy.
Self Care Tip #4: Take care of your physical health, even if it means saying no to that extra piece of the pie.
Okay I can't even write that without feeling the snark rise up in me. Eat the damn pie.. but at the very least take a mini walk after and get a TON of sleep. Also, just a small reminder to watch your alcohol intake, not only because alcohol + heightened emotions don't mix, but sometimes it won't quite hit right and it may cause you to struggle for days after. (Everyone over 35... amiright?)
You can always just watch this and laugh your calories away..
All in all, by taking care of your physical health, you'll be better equipped to handle the stresses of the holiday season, so do what you want with the pie, but at least keep it balanced.
Self Care Tip #5: Prioritize your mental health, even if it feels selfish.
The holiday season can be a challenging time for many people, and it's important to prioritize your mental health to avoid getting overwhelmed. This means recognizing when you're feeling stressed or anxious and taking steps to address those feelings.
It could mean getting in that extra call to your therapist or counsellor before Christmas break, or practicing relaxation techniques, or simply taking time to unwind and recharge with some fun self care activities.
If things get heated in a family setting, I try to force myself out of "deer caught in a headlight mode" and step out of the room for a bit to take a breath, recharge and remind myself that I actually love those people in there - but sometimes I don't like them.
Sometimes those extra moments can really help you regroup and change the vibe in the room when you get back.
Self Care Tip #6: Set aside time for self-reflection, even if it feels weird.
The holiday season is a time of reflection and introspection, and couples need to set aside time for self-reflection in order to gain clarity and perspective.
With New Years around the corner, you can't help but think what's to come -- why not talk it as a couple or at least take the time out for yourself to figure out what you want by asking yourself...
- What am I grateful for this year?
- What are the bucket list moments I'm excited to experience next year?
- What things should I get figured out before the end of next year?
- What do I want less of next year?
This could mean journaling, meditating, or simply taking some time to think about your goals and aspirations for the coming year. By allowing for self-reflection, together and apart, you and your partner can gain insight into yourselves and your relationship and develop a deeper understanding of what's truly important to you.
Though it feels weird at first, self-reflection can be incredibly beneficial during the holiday season.
Self Care Tip #7: Be honest and open with each other, even if it's uncomfortable.
My Gawd, Christmas brings out some FUNKY feelings, heightened emotions and S-T-R-E-S-S, and couples need to be honest and open with each other to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts.
Your partner may have sugarcoated his childhood Christmas' to impress you, or you might have done the same, which means you could be entering into some SERIOUS awkwardness come Christmas time.
How can you make this less uncomfortable? You've got a little work ahead of you, my dear reader, but I promise it's worth it. By Communicating openly and honestly about your needs, wants, and expectations and being willing to listen to your partner's perspective, you can create a deeper level of trust and understanding in your relationship. You two deserve to do that for each other.
Self Care Tip #8: Seek support from friends and family, even if it means reaching out to someone you haven't talked to.
The holiday season can be lonely and isolating for many people, especially if you're far from your loved ones. If you're feeling lonely or overwhelmed, and your partner isn't being very supportive, let me be the one to tell you that you MUST reach out to friends and family for support. This could mean talking to a trusted friend, joining a support group, or simply spending time with people who understand and care about you.
By seeking support from others, you can combat feelings of isolation and loneliness during the holiday season because this holiday can be rough if you're going at it alone.
@tresekabuya Don’t do it alone! Get the help you need to navigate through the holidays! #fyp #foryoupage #mentalhealth #safespace #blackcounselor #boundaries #healing #trauma #socialworker #copingskills #stress #help #peace #holiday ♬ original sound - Latrese Kabuya
Self Care Tip #9: Engage in activities that bring you joy, even if they're not holiday-related.
The holiday season is a time of giving and generosity, but it's important to remember to take care of yourself. This means engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, whether volunteering, pursuing a hobby, or simply spending time with loved ones. This can be as a couple OR individually.
Want to finish Ruth Bader Ginsberg cross stitch while binging Drag Race? Have at it!
Want to bake that mac and cheese casserole you saw on that Netflix show -- I got you!
By doing things that make you both happy together or individually, you can recharge your batteries and feel more positive and energized during the holiday season, even if they're not holiday-related.
Protip: Before the holiday is upon maybe get a list together of all the things you've been meaning to do and save it for that week off!
Self Care Tip #10: Make self-care a priority, even if it means saying no to a holiday party.
I get it.. the holiday season can be a hectic and stressful time, but it's also an opportunity for couples to prioritize their self-care and nurture their relationship. This means setting aside time for yourself and your partner to recharge and reconnect, and making sure that you're taking care of your physical and mental health. That way, you and your partner can thrive during the holiday season and enter the new year feeling happy, healthy, and fulfilled, even if it means saying no to a holiday party or three.