10 Ways to Treat Yo Self During the (Super Stressful) Holidays

How to practice self-care during the holidays
Shutterstock/Victoria_Fox

We're all familiar with those cheery carols about the holidays being the most wonderful time of the year. While that's mostly true, it's also the most stressful. We're running around -- often to the blaring overtones of said cheery carols -- to family engagements, work parties, breakfast with Santa, and every store known to man ... and guess what? In the middle of all of that, we've left absolutely no time for ourselves.

Don't leave numero uno in the dust this holiday season. It's time to practice the oxygen mask rule, people. We can't possibly expect ourselves to pull off the main event of the year for our families without putting a little "oxygen" for ourselves into the mix first. 

More from CafeMom: 11 Texts From Women Losing Their Minds This Holiday Season 

That's right. Let's all vow to do a little something for ourselves during this busy time of year. And yes, of course, that can absolutely be interpreted to mean, let's buy ourselves a little bitty gift in order to get everything off to a truly magical start. Of course, it can also mean just giving ourselves the gift of downtime and dedicated time just for ourselves.

Unfortunately, we can't somehow wave a magic wand and make our infinitely long to-do lists any shorter, but here are a couple (totally doable) ideas for making a little "me time" amidst the holiday chaos.

  • Give yourself some aromatherapy

    1

    When you're on the run and preoccupied with all the things you're going to get for other people, it's easy to forget to treat yo'self, too.

    But candle subscription box Vellabox can handle that -- it's a monthly delivery service that brings you a different, gorgeous-smelling candle every month, all crafted in small batches by American artisans, for $10 a month. 

    Snowy day, cozy couch, and hot chocolate not included.

    Candle Subscription, $10 a month; at Vellabox

    CafeMom readers can get $5 off using the code THESTIR at checkout.

  • Remember to chill

    2

    Between all of the baking, shopping, visiting family, and million other things you have to do, self-care can seem impossible. But there's a rarely used word we save on such occasions of feeling overwhelmed -- say it with us now -- a simple, apologetic "no."

    So skip the PTO holiday social, stay home if you need to, and no judgments if you want to binge-watch Stranger Things after the kids go to bed. You deserve it. 

    Netflix sweatshirt, $23.99; at Etsy

  • Indulge a little

    3

    Maybe it's on your Netflix night -- or maybe some other night(s). But you really should step away from the Christmas cookies and enjoy a more grown-up treat. May we recommend a glass of red wine and some dark chocolate? (Remember: Both are good for your heart -- as if you need an excuse!)

    Compartes x Dimes 100 Gift Set, $65; at Winc

    More from CafeMom: 10 Steps for Fighting Off That Winter Funk

  • Color yourself calm

    4

    Have you heard that coloring can calm you down? Even Duchess Kate Middleton is a fan of adult coloring books, so do as a future queen does and color between (or outside of) the lines. Your kid's Mickey Mouse coloring book won't cut it; get your own.

    Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, $15.95; at MoMA Store

  • Put down your cell phone

    5

    You're keeping up with (and liking!) all your friends' posts from Facebook and Instagram. You're making to-do lists on your phone, answering calls, texting plans, and doing some online shopping. But don't forget to get some time away from the screen, too.

    Apps like Moment can help ease your way into digitally detoxing yourself this winter by logging how much screen time you're getting. 

  • Get a manicure

    6

    Beauty maintenance can feel like a full-time obligation, and what mom has time to get a manicure on the reg?

    Take that dread feeling away by carving out time to pamper you. Sure, that may mean buying cookies instead of baking them for a get-together, but hey, sacrifice. 

    More from CafeMom: The Color of Your Nail Polish Might Say a Lot About Your Sex Life

  • DIY a fun project of your choice

    7

    We know you want your kids have the best holiday possible. But it's your holiday, too.

    Do a project that makes you happy (in addition to those macaroni ornaments and popcorn strings you're doing with the kids). If you're crafty, tackling an easy, fun, and colorful DIY project that you've chosen, like making these delish-looking donut ornaments, might just make you feel more sane. (Do them when your kids are in bed or at a playdate!)

  • Pamper your skin

    8

    TBH, the first thing to go for us when we're busy is our nightly beauty ritual. But if you're not taking care of yourself -- especially when you're stressed and the air is winter-dry -- it will literally be written all over your face. So show your skin some love with a mask that does the work while you're catching some zzz's.

    Camu Camu Power C Sleeping Mask, $62; at Peter Thomas Roth

  • Get in touch with your spiritual side

    9

    In case you hadn't noticed, crystals are having a moment. And whether or not you believe in their healing properties -- amethyst is said to promote enlightenment, reduce stress, and encourage restful sleep -- you have to admit they're just gorgeous to look at.

    Consider this a talisman against all of the stress you'll face this holiday season.

    Amethyst Necklace, $120; at Uncommon Goods

    More from CafeMom: 9 Foods to Boost Your Mood All Winter

  • Get a good night's sleep

    10

    Santa's got it easy and only has to really work a single night a year. Since we're no Saint Nick, it's important to remember to pace yourself. And that all starts with a good night's sleep on dreamy, crisp sheets.

    Supima Cotton Sheets, $120; at Casper

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