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The gift of you: 7 self-care tips

NOV 07, 2018
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‘Tis the season of giving — from buying presents to making home-cooked meals to spending quality time with loved ones. But this time of year can also be stressful — and stress can take a toll on your health.

 

That’s why self-care is essential. Without proper self-care, you’re more likely to experience burnout, fatigue, and illness. And no one wants to feel that way over the holidays.

 

So, now’s the time to put yourself at the top of your wish list. Try these self-care tips to reduce seasonal stress.

 

1. Stay active

Maintaining your workout routine — especially in the winter — can do wonders for your health. Daily exercise can boost your immune system, which can help prevent illnesses like the flu and common cold. Exercising can also help improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

 

2. Eat healthy

Keep your spirits burning bright through the holidays by sticking with healthy eating habits. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are always a good choice. And if you need some healthy eating inspiration, check out our Food for Health blog.

 

3. Get some good rest

Life can feel overwhelming when you’re not getting enough rest. You’ll want to get 8 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. And take breaks throughout the day when you need them.

 

4. Spend time and money wisely

Your time and money are valuable. Running out of either can put a damper on all the planned festivities. You can avoid this by creating a holiday budget — and sticking to it. And don’t be afraid to ask people what they want instead of spending hours searching for the perfect gifts.

 

5. Let go of perfection

This time of year comes with great expectations. But trying to make everything perfect is a recipe for stress-induced burnout. Remember, your house doesn’t need to be spotless. Not everything has to be made from scratch. Give yourself a break and ask for help when you need it.

 

6. Do something nice for yourself
While we’re so busy giving to others, it’s important to take a moment and treat ourselves too. So, go ahead and relax on the couch with a nice cup of tea, read a good book, or get a massage.

 

7. Ask for help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. If you feel there’s too much on your plate, ask a partner or loved one to pitch in with your to-do list. You can also reach out to a professional for help — especially if you’re having trouble coping with holiday stress.

 

When holiday stress takes a serious toll

Even when practicing self-care, holiday stress can still overwhelm us. And this stress can sometimes trigger more serious issues — or make existing mental health conditions like depression worse.

 

It’s not uncommon to need extra support this time of year. If you need help, we’re here for you. Visit kp.org/mentalhealth for more information on how to get care.

 

TOPICSmental healthMental Health and WellnessStressStress Management