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Prioritizing Yourself this Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! For some, it’s a nice break from work and school, but for others, the stress has begun. During the holidays, we often spend too much time and money on others and neglect ourselves. We lose sleep, eat a poor diet, run around shopping for presents, and dent our bank accounts, while we do not have to. This holiday season, focus on prioritizing your happiness. The way you feel is just as important as the way you want others to feel. Here are some ways to practice self-care during the holidays.

Respect your pockets!

Busy malls, no parking spots, long line-ups, thoughts about what to buy, and how you will make all the money you just spent. Sound familiar? It is definitely possible to get through the holidays without stressing about any of the above. Despite the stress that shopping for presents brings, we often still want to give gifts to people as a representation of appreciation. Fortunately, you can find great gifts at affordable prices. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are perfect opportunities to take advantage of sales! Also, many meaningful gifts are less about material items and more about positive thoughts and creativity. Craft, build, or bake something for a loved one or even write them a nice card. They will cherish this more than any material item. It’s the thoughtful gifts that mean the most to people.

Buy yourself a gift

Who said you can’t buy yourself a gift? After working hard this entire year, in unpleasant circumstances, reward yourself with something that you like. Don’t feel selfish or guilty spending money on yourself. After all, you know your own taste more than anyone else. Get yourself a gift! It can be something you’ve wanted for a long time, something that brings you joy, or something just because.

Learn how to say no

With COVID-19, it is okay to skip holiday events, and instead take some time for yourself. Remember it is a holiday invitation, not a holiday demand. Especially with the pandemic, it is understandable to skip holiday events. True friends and family will not be upset. When declining an invitation, always RSVP with a clear answer, and remember to thank the host for considering inviting you. Don’t make excuses and don’t inflict guilt on yourself for choosing not to attend especially with COVID restrictions. Learning how to say no when you want to will protect your happiness.

Embrace the holidays!

Allow yourself to enjoy the break you have from your fast-paced life. Spend your break doing things that bring you peace. Light a warm candle, make holiday treats, decorate, watch holiday movies, or just do nothing for once. Savor every moment of the break before the next “work season” starts. 

Take care of your health

The holiday break is the perfect time to take care of yourself. After months of waking up early and constantly being exhausted, use the holiday break to focus on taking care of your health. The first thing you are probably dying to do is catch up on sleep. Getting quality sleep can improve your memory, skin, energy levels, stress levels, and overall body functions. 

Next, use the holiday break to focus on eating right. After months of grabbing a quick breakfast from Tim Hortons, focus on nourishing your body with nutritious foods. Yes, you can enjoy holiday foods and treats, but find a balance with healthy foods. Lastly, stretch and exercise daily. It is extremely healthy for human beings to get physical activity daily. Doing so, you will feel improvements in your overall health.

The holidays are among us, and for many of us, our winter break is right around the corner! Considering many of us are finishing up our last few assignments and exams, we all deserve some time to ourselves after this semester. Taking some time for self-care guarantees improved happiness and can lead to an improved quality of life. Remember to enjoy every moment of the holiday break, celebrating however you like, alone, or with friends and family. 

Happy Holidays!

Saleena is in her second year at York University. One day she hopes to become a school teacher and an author. Her passions include schooling the world for an equitable future and rethinking human exceptionalism. She spends her free time eating, reading, creative writing, or exercising.
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