Give Yourself the Gift of Self Compassion This Holiday Season

holiday gift

In case you haven’t heard Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends spinning tunes on the radio or seen the decked out evergreen firs around town yet, the holiday season is upon us. While the holidays are often a time when people are encouraged to spread joy and be generous to others, the intense pressure of “giving enough” and showing up for our families can really amount for a lousy holiday if we forget about our own self-care. Here are a few tips to help you toast to a healthy holiday season!

  1. It is perfectly okay if you don’t feel like being joyful this time of year. Maybe the holiday season reminds you of a painful event in your life or you don't have any family nearby to celebrate with — there’s no reason you should have to take a ride on the holly jolly trolly if you aren’t feeling up to it. Instead, spend some time nourishing you and doing something cathartic like reading a book, meeting a friend for coffee, going ice skating or watching a new movie.

  2. If you are purchasing holiday gifts, stick to a budget that makes sense for you and do not spend more than you can afford. Spending extra now when you truly cannot afford it may lead to resentment and financial hardship later. Consider giving the gift of your time, a heartfelt card or experiences that can be financed over time like concert tickets. By following a strict budget for holiday shopping, you can walk into the new year feeling more financially stable and confident!

  3. Holiday travel can be hectic. If you are traveling this holiday season — be gentle to yourself and come prepared with calming essentials. Calming essentials are go-to items that will help you stay calm and bring you peace amidst chaotic circumstances. Not sure where to start? Now is the time to start packing. Some recommendations may include: your water bottle, tea or hot chocolate mix, positively energizing tunes, essential oils, hand salve/lotion, a cozy scarf or blanket, a favorite photo album (electronic may be best for traveling), a you-approved selection of podcasts/audiobooks/books, and don’t forget your favorite snacks!

  4. Prioritize YOU-time. So often, we are expected to show up to holiday parties to socialize and be “on” which can be draining, even for extroverts. If you have a lot of social events that you anticipate will zap your energy, take some time to plan lots of YOU-time before and afterwards to recharge and recover. While it may sound trivial to schedule YOU-time, you will thank yourself later and be glad you did. When we push ourselves too hard while running on empty, we are more prone to experience stress. Take the time this holiday season to get the rest you need and take care of you. That way, you’ll be more fun to be around later when you rejoin the group!

  5. Know what would be absolutely perfection this holiday seasons? Letting go of perfection. It is far too easy to get caught up in a holiday headspace that is populated by Pinterest, but it’s less easy to actually create in real life. Instead of trying to make your holiday table look exactly like the one you pinned and have been admiring for weeks, try to focus on one element that feels special for you. Maybe making your grandmother’s recipe or hanging an heirloom ornament on the tree is really important or perhaps spending time with family or going to the movies is your thing. Instead of focusing on ‘having it all’, try to consider which aspect will bring you the most meaning and aim to make that one thing possible. Remember #managingexpectations makes for a better-than-perfect holiday!

No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, remember to give yourself the gift of self-compassion - YOU deserve it!

Like what you’re reading? Share the healthy vibes with your friends using the button below.

5 Things to Remember Before Bringing Your Significant Other Home for the Holidays


Holiday season is among us –a time of year that is most traditionally known for its cheerful spirit, prevailing gratitude and generosity. So why does bringing your significant other along make you want to run? Sometimes things that are supposed to be exciting like Thanksgiving dinner or holiday parties with the entire family are particularly stressful.

Let’s say you are anticipating that your mom is going to comment on how you still haven’t lost the “freshman fifteen” you have been hanging onto since college and your dad is going to try to have a serious conversation about your future, suddenly the upcoming holiday celebrations don’t sound so exciting. Add a stubborn grandparent, a dysfunctional aunt and uncle and a younger cousin who always boasts about their achievements in your face to the mix. Sounding fun yet?

So bringing your special someone as a guest to your family holiday celebrations might stir some things up for you and that is a-okay. Here are some tips to help you survive this holiday season riding the love train and not the stress express.

  1. Give Them A Scouting Report. Run through everyone your significant other will be meeting so it will feel less overwhelming when they walk in the door. If there are a lot of names to remember, try using a pen and paper to draw out the family tree or look at family photos.

  2. Make an S.O.S. Plan, Just In Case. Intentionally plan for stressful moments to happen. This way, you adjust your expectations so you can work together if sh*t hits the fan. For example, if you know certain topics (i.e. the election) will cause your special someone’s blood pressure to skyrocket, discuss an exit plan for you to step in if they are feeling overwhelmed. On the other hand, if you have beef with a relative, now is the time to tell your S.O. which person “not to piss off” and in what circumstances you might be on edge or need some extra support.

  3. Expect ALL Of The Relationship Questions: How long have you been together? Where did you meet? What was your first date like? Relatives love to ask about your relationship for a million reasons, especially those curious younger children. So, prepare yourselves in advance by playing the “20 Questions” game to help one another feel confident in your responses.

  4. Review The House Rules. Rituals and traditions are important to some families. If your family says Grace before Thanksgiving dinner and your guest is not religious, let them know so they can decide if they want to participate. Make sure to give your S.O. the heads up about any topics that are off limits or whether foul language is permitted.

  5. Beware of Sensitivities. If your S.O. is super introverted or has a low tolerance for large groups of people, you might consider initiating one-on-one conversations with a few of your relatives who share common interests as opposed to a table with everyone. Or, if you know your family members are carnivores and your partner is vegan, now might be a good time to talk about bringing a Field Roast or some dairy-free eggnog.

Just remember to introduce your guest… Ahead of time! Tell your family about your S.O. by sharing your top five favorite things about them. Keep it brief, but make sure you emphasize that they will be coming with you to the celebration and it is important to you that they feel welcomed. Plus, the host will appreciate this as they are probably taking a head count for dinner and will want to know much food to prepare.

Now, you are ready to relax and enjoy the holiday season!