The holidays can be stressful for all of us. Between the shopping, baking, year-end activities, and family events, it can be downright exhausting. Plus, the holidays have a tendency to bring out the melancholy in people. It can be hard to be without loved ones, to worry about missed opportunities, and to ponder unfulfilled life goals. While self-care is important all year-round, the holidays stretch many of us to our breaking points. Luckily, there are plenty of little ways to squeeze some "me time" into your already crammed schedule.
1. Yoga: The holidays are all about rushing to get everything done, eating too much, and getting stressed out. Stop. Head up to your local gym and take an evening yoga class. Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax. Focus on slowing down and taking care of you, even if its only for an hour. Namaste.
2. Blowout: Sometimes feeling good is tied to looking good. When you've wrestled with one bad hair day after another, head to your salon for a blowout. Hair blow-drying services are the a great option for salon treatments. If you can't have your own personal stylist in the bathroom with your each morning, this is the next best thing.
3. New Lipstick: Most people avoid the makeup counters when they hit the mall. There just isn't enough time. You need to get in, get out, and get on with your day. Do the opposite. Make a beeline for the lady selling lipstick and let her pick out a new color for you. Go for the expensive brand. Spending $20, $30, or even $40 a tube is totally worth it, especially if that fabulous new color lifts your spirits.
4. Facial: There is something totally zen about reclining in a chair while someone silently cleans your pores with warm steam. You feel refreshed, clean, and oh-so-relaxed. Plus, as an added bonus, your skin may have been looking a little haggard with all the running around and stress you've been dealing with.
5. Latte: The arrival (onslaught?) of pumpkin lattes may signal the start of fall, but white chocolate peppermint lattes officially ring in the holiday season. Grab one for a little pick-me-up treat. Don't worry about the calories or the cost. It is all minimal in the grand scheme of things. Enjoy the special treat and chalk it up to self-care.
6. Massage: A relaxing massage -- either solo or with a partner -- is a great way to indulge in a little holiday self-care. The plus side is that it only takes an hour to soothe those tired muscles and just simply relax. Studies show that a massage can release endorphins and other hormones that can enhance mood and reduce irritability.
7. Brow Wax: How can you feel good about yourself if your brows are not on fleek. The best part about a brow wax is that you can just run into your favorite salon on a moment's notice. No preplanning required.
8. Flowers: Skip the poinsettias and paperwhites. Send yourself a dozen roses and enjoy the heck out of them. While roses are never cheap, they cost half as much this time of year versus on Valentine's Day.
9. Nap: Even if you don't have chestnuts roasting on an open fire, you can still enjoy a nice nap. Curl up on the couch with a fuzzy blanket and catch some Z's. Twenty minutes may work for a power nap, but this is self-care. Stay down and out for the count for as long as you need.
The key to self-care during the holidays is to take little breaks over the season to catch your breath, de-stress, and unwind.