For those of us who celebrate Thanksgiving, some self care afterwards is absolutely necessary. Even if you don’t, it’s never a bad idea to cultivate some self love in this busy time of year. The semester is coming to a close, stress is rising, and everyone could use this short little break. Here’s how to find relaxation and rest amongst the craziness that is Thanksgiving and finals season.
Not sure if I am in the minority or not but I find Thanksgiving to be absolutely draining. It is fun and lively but also quite demanding. Gotta get ready, cook all day, engage with family you rarely see, have some small talk, eat your weight in mashed potatoes, and go to bed pretty late. Plus, you might have to be up early the next day if you’re a fan of Black Friday shopping. Whenever we as college students have a break from school, not matter how small, expectations rise! You may want to make it the most fun before going back to the grind of the classroom. Today, I encourage you to lower your expectations and find some time for yourself.
- Tip #1
Treat your body kindly. Before and after such a holiday, it’s important to eat healthy, easy-to-digest foods. Your stomach is going to be hit with a lot of food and it’s useful to prepare and recover. On Thanksgiving evening or even the next morning, you can go on a slow, mindful walk to encourage some digestion. You can do some stretches on a bathroom break between courses. Give yourself permission to enjoy the day and eat your heart out if you wish because you can easily bounce back with some light health and fitness. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meals with gratitude and self appreciation. Do your best not to feel guilty and speak kindly to your body.
- Tip #2
Schedule leisure into your weekend. Maybe you have family and friends in town and are antsy to do the very most. Try to pull back a little bit and fit in some spaces of time with no plans. Remember that you want to go into your last few weeks of the semester with a calm energy, not chaos. You could do some yoga, bake, meditate, watch movies, have long, present showers/baths, take naps, go on nature walks—the options are endless! Decide in the moment so that you’re truly present and joyous through the little break.
- Tip #3
Embrace the season with gratitude and boundaries. This time of year often breeds a lot of stress. Look around you and find what you’re currently grateful for. Maybe you are grateful for a successful semester or good health. Next, imagine what you want to get out of this season. We often focus on the negative things that we don’t want which can manifest them even more. Think about the mental state you’d like to maintain this winter. Visualize the fun activities you want to do. Set your own mental boundaries about how and with whom you will spend your time. Remember that less is more when it comes to your time; you do not need to do it all and be maxed out. Picture a positive winter season with low expectations and inner calm.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas season with a sense of equanimity and bountiful self love!