- Toronto Psychotherapy Space
Make Self-Care a Priority Over the Holiday
The holidays have a way of amplifying things. Decorations are bigger and brighter,
social gatherings seem to multiply and yummy sweet treats seem to be available on
every table. On the other hand, calendars can get overbooked, budgets stretched and
holiday carols overplayed. Emotions too can be elevated. Waves of happiness and joy
can be quickly replaced with feelings of sadness and loss. Just look at all the songs
made about feeling blue this time of year. Elvis felt it, as did Joni Mitchell, George
Michael, and many others.
So while you celebrate this year, it’s important to schedule some time for a little self-
love. Don’t get lost in the festivities, because when you feel good, everyone around you
will feel good too! Here are a few ways we practice self-care during the holidays.
Respect Your Limits
It’s a busy time of year. Chances are you won’t be able to attend every festive function
or bake every family favourite, and, that’s ok. Take a moment to consider which events
are most important to you and rsvp accordingly. Manage your financial limit the same
Maintain Healthy Boundaries
If sitting next to your mother-in-law during the holiday feast is a known trigger, plan
ahead and make place settings so you are at the other end of the table. Healthy
boundaries help people cope with known areas of conflict. Not sure where to start,
check out last month’s blog post.
Meditate and Rest
Mindfulness can reduce stress levels, help us manage our emotions and reactions, and
keep us focused on the present. There are many apps you can easily download that
offer short, guided meditations on a variety of subjects to help you keep calm through
the holidays. Our favourites? Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.
Gratitude is a conscious, positive emotion expressed when feeling thankful. It boosts
positive emotions and encourages us to seek out and connect with what’s good in life.
Studies show that a single thoughtful appreciation leads to an immediate 10% increase
in happiness and a 35% reduction in depressive symptoms, and more when practiced
Get Enough Sleep
Holiday classics on the TV, late-minute shopping, and celebrating with family and
friends can make for late nights. Sleep may be the last thing on your mind, but an
essential part of self-care. It is proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, as well
as keep our immune system strong. Try to get 7 or 8 hours a night!
Find Ways To Help Others
Studies show that helping others can boost our mental health and well-being. It feels
good to make others happy. But, don’t overdo it. Give what you can. It doesn’t have to
be money, time is a much-needed commodity. Check in with the local food bank,
homeless shelter, or host a food drive in your community.
Make Room for Grief
The holidays are most hard on those who have lost someone important to them.
Remind yourself that it’s natural to feel sad and you don’t have to pretend to be
otherwise. Try and find a way to honour them in their absence. Take a moment to visit a
favourite place you shared, bake their favourite holiday treat, reflect on happy
memories, and include them in your holiday toast.
Be Kind To Yourself
Remember the “me” in merry! We can’t overstate the importance of self-care during the
festive season. Slip a little personal pampering into your schedule this month. Have
your hair cut, buy a new pair of shoes, give yourself a manicure, or meet a friend for a
chat and a chai latte. Find something just for you and indulge!
Ask for Help When You Need It
Something so simple, but hard to do, seeking help when you need it is perhaps the
most important tip of all. If you’re hosting a big feast, ask guests to bring a side dish or
some hors d’oeuvres. Tidying up around the house, get your family involved. And, if
you’re feeling like it’s difficult to cope then give us a call and we’ll match you with the
best therapist for your goals.
At TPS Therapy, we are a team of down-to-earth mental health therapists who offer
both online and in-person psychotherapy services to our Toronto community and
throughout Ontario. We take the time to match you with the best therapist based on
your goals. We also offer free 20-minute psychotherapy consultations. TPS Therapy
wishes you happy holidays.