12 Self-Care Rituals for the Holidays


The holidays tend to be an incredibly busy time. Many people seem to be moving at an accelerated pace with an increased sense of urgency, and this time of year can be demanding and stressful as people run around checking off items on their to-do list.

When you get caught up in the frenzy, it’s easy to lose sight of the real meaning of the holiday season. Focus on the simple things – make time for others, do good deeds, express love and promote peace.

If you discover that your joy and peace are slipping away, slow down and slip into self-care mode. Your health depends on it. Finding joy and peace in the midst of the frantic rush does not have to be challenging.

Let me share my 12 ways to pamper yourself and boost your mood this season.

Watch a Funny Movie or a Holiday Classic

Humor can lift your mood in a snap. And a heartwarming seasonal video can positively influence your day. Noelle and Elf are two delightful movies to add to your list. Sit back, relax and enjoy the therapeutic pleasures of laughter.

Listen to Soft Music by the Fireplace

Nothing beats sitting in a comfy chair with a hot cup of herbal tea and deliciously soothing tunes playing in the background. Ahh! Include music on your list of restorative practices. For starters, check out harpist Georgia Kelly’s Garden of the Sun album.

Invite a Friend to Lunch

During these challenging times, connecting with those we hold near and dear is essential to our overall wellbeing. Catching up over coffee or a lovely meal will supply you with heaping portions of goodness. Consider scheduling your we-time often.

Treat Yourself to a Personal Service

What type of personal indulgence do you enjoy? Manicure? Facial? Massage? One of my favorite stress-busters is Swedish massage, and I’m way overdue for my one-hour, full-body treatment. Of course, making an appointment for any personal service of your choice will make you feel wonderful and brighten your day.

Savor a Book on Your Reading List

Sometimes we get so busy with our to-do list that we forget the simple pleasures of immersing ourselves in a great book. Many people prefer the convenience of e-books, but since my business requires a lot of screen time, I like to give my eyes a break from electronics.

And there’s nothing like holding a book in hand, savoring the text and making notations in the margins. Plus, I like to see the physical copy on my coffee table with my beautiful bookmark, as I anticipate the next chapter.

Close Your Eyes and Follow a Guided Meditation

Quiet me-time is a daily practice that benefits the body, mind and spirit. Add your favorite conscious deep-breathing technique, and you now have a simple, healthy habit that can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Try diaphragmatic breathing. It’s one of the most practical methods to support your body’s organs and immune system.

Enjoy a Live Concert

As venues begin to reopen, consider treating yourself and a bestie to a show. My cousin invited me to see the live Johnny Mathis Christmas Show this weekend. It will be my first performance since the pandemic started, and I am looking forward to celebrating this magical season with her. Treating yourself to a live event can feel exhilarating.

Take a Warm Herbal Bath by Candlelight

Taking a long, luxurious soak in your bathtub is the ultimate relaxation ritual that will have you floating peacefully into the evening. Bathing is not only great for the immune system, it soothes your soul. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your diffuser, pour in a half-cup of Epsom salt to your warm tub of water, dim the lights, and light a candle. Sounds marvelous, doesn’t it?

Spend Time in Nature

I always say nature is my spiritual supplement. I savor my time in the great outdoors because there’s nothing like it anywhere else. Each season offers a delightful landscape in which to engage. Natural settings can ease your burden, provide renewed energy and reward you with fresh perspectives.

Take a Yoga Class

The health benefits of exercise have been well documented. Experts say that a regular fitness protocol can help lower risks of disease, improve circulation, elevate mood, reduce stress, improve strength, support brain health, and more. Yoga is particularly appealing because it bolsters mindfulness and promotes relaxation.

Listen to Motivational Audios

Inspirational audios are plentiful online. Powerful lessons of hope and triumph can be uplifting and encourage you to take action. What type of message do you require today? Your thought-provoking selections are just a click away. Begin by typing “inspirational audios” and “motivational audios” in your search bar.

Bake or Donate to a Cause

Small acts of kindness not only benefit the receiver but also the giver. You know the saying, “The more you do for others, the more you do for yourself?” That’s because expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving are examples of self-care.

Create joy during this festive season. Consider making yummy treats for your local fire and police departments, letting them know you appreciate their service. Maybe you’d like to give a gift to a local charity or donate to an organization’s holiday wish list.

Take time to pamper yourself! Jean Shinoda Bolen said, “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” While the holiday season can seem overwhelming, we must not lose sight of the reason for the season. You will be more available to share your love and light when you practice self-care.

What self-care rituals do you practice during the holidays? How do they help your mood?

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