How to: Maintain a Self-Care Routine During the Holiday Season

How to maintain a self-care routine during the holiday season - A Side of Fabulous blog

This week we are all up in planning and organizing for the holiday season. This time of year can easily bring OH-SO-MUCH stress, and it doesn't have to. With a little advance thought, planning, and organization, you can breeze on through and into the new year!

The schedule:

During the holidays it's so easy to let self-care go, or even give up entirely until after the holidays are over.

However, it's vital that we still take care of ourselves and with a little planning, you can indulge in both cake and care.

Make a list of your favorite self-care ideas.

Take a few moments to think of all the things that make you feel great. What makes you feel good, indulgent, decadent, or supremely cared for? What are the things you'd do to feel fabulous if you had zero responsibilities and all the time in the world? What are the small, quick things that are guaranteed to instantly give you a boost? What do you secretly enjoy doing but wouldn't dare tell anyone?

Write it all down.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Go for an early walk. Enjoy the sunrise.
  • Take a nap.
  • Want to go to bed early, but it makes you feel too old to do so? Do it anyway.
  • Make yourself a decadent meal. Even if it's for only you. Here's one of my favorite decadent meals. Yes, I make it for only me, and I eat the leftovers like a queen for lunch the next couple of days. Prosecco optional but invited.
  • Find a sumptuous hand and foot cream. Slather it on while watching your favorite movie or tv show.
  • Make a real breakfast. This feels extra special during the week when we usually just grab and go. This quick French toast is one of my go-tos. Stuffed French toast when I want to be extra indulgent.
  • Take 5 minutes and stretch.
  • Go out and get or give yourself a manicure and/or pedicure.
  • Make some tea. Eat it with biscotti while reading your favorite book or magazine.
  • Write in a journal. Don’t overthink or edit as you go. Simply free-form let all your thoughts spill out onto the page.
  • Burn some incense, and take a few minutes to breathe in the scent.
  • Take a bath. Light a candle. Drink tea or wine while you read a book.
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show.
  • Get your sheets ironed. (Note: You don't have to do this yourself...find a local laundry service to do it for you. #investment) Then shave your legs. Go to bed. Freshly shaved legs in freshly pressed sheets is one of the best feelings and best sleeps evah.
  • Two words: body butter. Take a long shower or bath then cover your entire body in the stuff, and wrap up in a super-fluffy robe.
  • Listen to your favorite music. Only listen, no multi-tasking. Let it clear off the cobwebs and take you on a stroll down memory lane.
  • What is that restaurant you've wanted to go to but haven't? Go there.
  • Go to a movie in the middle of the day. There are usually so few people in the theater that it feels like you're having your own private screening.
  • What is something you hate to do? Outsource it just once to see how it feels to have it taken care of by someone else. If you enjoy that and it's in the budget, keep doing so. Using a laundry service for my clothes is one of my favorite investments. #seeabovetofreshpressedsheets
  • What's that exercise class or other thing that sounds fun, but you've never done it? Do it.

If these things don't float your boat, no harm no foul. These are merely a jumping off point. You do you.

Schedule self-care time in the calendar.

You can schedule specific plans from the list or just open blocks of time when you'll choose something from the list.

Or both!

Maybe you'll even use that block of time to revel in doing absolutely nothing.

What you do in these time slots isn't important. What is important is that you schedule time to do things that will restore and revive you. Taking time for you will help you maintain energy through the season.

Meal plan and prep for the daily meals.

It's really easy to allow lots of parties and rushed meals on shopping trips to derail healthy eating. However, there's no need to deprive yourself either.

At the beginning of each week, take note of what meals aren't going to be taken over by parties, dates, and other occasions. Plan and prep for those meals. This will allow you to 1) avoid fast food if you want to do so and 2) counterbalance the indulgent parties.

(Need help meal planning? Gotcha covered.)

Be gentle with yourself.


This is the most important step. Not being kind to ourselves adds unneeded pressure, and who wants that?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t stick to the calendar. The calendar/list is a tool to make things easier, but it’s not your drill sergeant.

Take time to enjoy the season, and know that it’s OK to say “no” to something if you need a breather.

How do you take supreme care of yourself during the holiday season? Share with us in the comments below!

Melinda Massie - A Side of Fabulous

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