During Christmas, our focus is on others, as it should be since it is the season of giving. However, we need to make sure that we also take some time for some self-care, as well. Many people suffer from holiday depression and stress at Christmastime and this is especially true this year with bans on social gatherings. Depression can be largely predicted by social isolation, and we have had plenty of that this year. So what can we do to care for ourselves while we are isolated?
Refocus on Jesus
With Santa, shopping, decorating, and baking, it can be easy to forget that Christmas is actually about Jesus. Therefore, we have to be intentional about remembering that He is the reason for the season. One good way to do this is with an Advent Bible Reading plan. I have been reading one chapter of Luke a day since December 1 so that by Christmas Eve, I will have read the story of HIs birth, ministry, death, and resurrection. If you do not have time to read all of Luke before Christmas, here are a few key scriptures:
- Luke 1:26-38
- Luke 2:1-20
- Matthew 2:1-12
There are also plenty of devotionals on the Bible app that you can try. Just search for plans using the term ‘Christmas’ and you will surely find one that you want to read.
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to do something nice for yourself. I always get myself at least one pair of Christmas pajamas, every year. I also pick out something I would like and buy it during Black Friday. But this does not have to involve buying yourself things, it could be doing something for yourself, like having a spa day. Here are some ideas:
- Put on your favorite Christmas playlist. Who doesn’t feel better after listening to music, especially Christmas carols?
- Get some aromatherapy going by simmering your own homemade organic potpourri. Your house will be filled with Christmas scents and bonus: it works as a humidifier. Get some recipes here.
- Relax in the bathtub with your own homemade Candy Cane Bath Bombs. Click here for the instructions. To learn more about the toxins in store-bought bath bombs, click here.
- Allow some indulgences of your favorite Christmas dishes, just don’t go overboard!
- Plan some fun things for yourself, like a Christmas movie marathon.
Stay on Track with Your Fitness Goals
It can be very tempting to fall out of your fitness routine during the holidays. Vacation from work or for holidays does not equal a vacation from your workout! Try to stick as closely to your routine as you can during the holidays. If you can’t do your normal routine, just make sure that you find a way to move your body and get some sustained physical activity in some way. It can be going for a walk or run, weather permitting. Shoveling snow, if it doesn’t. Climbing stairs, or a YouTube video at-home workout. Just stay active, especially since you are allowing yourself some indulgences.
See Related: Fall Fitness Tips
Reflect and Set Goals for the New Year
This has been a difficult year, without question. However, it has also been a year of new opportunities. A lot of us have found ourselves with a lot of extra time on our hands. If that includes you, you may have finally had the time to do something that you would not have otherwise had time for. What were your successes? Is there anything that you didn’t do that you now wish you would have? Make it a goal for next year and plan your action steps.
Rejoice in the Present
If we spend too much time looking back and too much time looking ahead, we miss out on the right now. What do you have right now that you can be thankful for? Your health? The health of your loved ones? Time with your family? A nice Christmas dinner to enjoy? A present to open on Christmas morning? There is always so much to be grateful for. Taking time to notice those things will take your focus away from what you are missing out on.
See Related: 5 Things that Bring Me Joy
See Related: 7 Ways to Experience Joy in Your Everyday Life
Remember, the best gift we can ever have is Jesus. He is the best Friend we will ever have and promises to always be there. Oh, what comfort!
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Robyn Jones is a Proverbs 31 Woman in training, and blogger from Above Rubies or Pearls. She inspires other women by sharing God’s message of our true worth as His daughters. You can subscribe to Above Rubies or Pearls here.