the MBB guide to self care during and post holiday madness
Although the holiday season has just passed, we are all still struggling to recuperate and get back on track. This time of year, family and close friends frequently gather to celebrate; with our hearts full of kindness, thankfulness, love and joy, we indulge in familiar traditions and make lasting memories. But as we navigate through the ending of one year, the holidays, the beginning of another year, it is important to keep our mental and physical health in mind. Continue reading below to see our tips!
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to stay mindful about self-care throughout the whole year, but especially as we are in the middle of the holiday season and looking towards a new year. The external expectations and internal pressures that come with the holidays can feel smothering if we do not have a plan. Despite it being one of the happiest times of the year, there is often an increase in depressive moods during and after the holidays. This can partially be due to the spending of time and money shifting into on overload; not to mention that there are those who may have experienced a loss around this time as well.
We at The Modern Black Belle totally feel the pressure to curate perfect, memorable family moments, buy the perfect gifts for our children and still have some fun with friends, but we also understand the benefits of a solid self-care routine. Let’s jump into our Holiday Self-Care suggestions to keep you at maximum cheer at the turn of the year.
Gratitude is the expression of being thankful, being appreciative, allowing yourself to feel awe, and not taking things for granted, while remaining positive despite life’s challenges. So with that said, try not complain about your job’s holiday party, simply be thankful you have a continuous place of employment. Instead of stressing yourself about traveling to visit family (or family coming to visit), be grateful that you have loved ones around with whom you can share the holidays. Stressing about what gifts to buy? Try buying gifts for organizations like Toys for Tots to remind you of how blessed you truly are. When your mind goes towards a negative thought, take a look at all what you have and reevaluate.
Our Suggestion: meditate on the positive.
GASP… We know, we know :: who wants to talk about budgeting during the most giving time of the year? Finding a bank account that you hemorrhaged, causing you to have a major anxiety attack because you won’t be able to pay your bills the next month, is not a viable alternative. We all love gift giving, but you have to find the sweet balance of giving but not overspending. So how do we do it? Easy, make a list and - here’s the trick - stick to it; do not purchase any extras, comparatively shop at places that participate in price matching, and lastly, start as early in the year as you possibly can. Making purchases all year long will help you take advantage of discounts throughout the year and stop the last minute panic (which is typically when over spending occurs).
Our Suggestion: opt for more considerate gifts-e.g, offer to sit for a friend or family member’s child(ren) for free *if anyone wants to win the gift of the year, take our advice, this is major*, or even sometime sending a thoughtful card in the mail can be meaningful enough.
3. Hydrate + Exercise
As we mentioned in our Self-Care post, it is very important to stay hydrated and exercise regularly; however, we know that it is hard to incorporate some sort of exercise that is not related to shopping or cleaning around this time of year. Adding as little as 30 minutes a day of basic exercise (and we mean basic, like walking...you can walk), has so many mental and physical benefits that it's hard not to add it to your routine. Drinking water is the same. Getting your daily dose of water may seem daunting for some, but once you notice the physical changes (like getting rid of the winter flakes), water will be your next addiction.
Our Suggestion: Don't forget to grab the shea butter, coconut oil, or whatever you use to keep your skin hydrated, because when your skin is looking and feeling good, your spirits will be glowing too!
4. Take a Break
As we’ve stated before, before, during and after the holidays is unique in the sense that our calendars are jammed packed, and we seem to be busy all of the time. The flip side is that most of our jobs close, which allows us some extra time to lounge around the house. Although this is not terrible, as we all have likely earned the option to be lazy, perhaps you can try to purposefully plan a vacation (long or short) to ensure you actually get a break from your typical routine. A holiday getaway with friends and family could be just what the doctor ordered.
Our Suggestion: Take a girls trip somewhere local, or pack up the family and head out of town for the weekend :: we're sure you can find some good tips right here on The Modern Black Belle 💁
5. Enjoy + Be Present
Lastly, and most importantly, show up and be present! Around the holidays, families and loved ones come together to laugh, celebrate, enjoy each other and - our favorite part - enjoy a wonderful meal. The adults have conversations about hectic schedules, trying to relax and new year’s resolutions, while the children play with siblings, cousins and friends showing off all that Santa has brought. There is such a sense of nostalgia and playfulness about the holidays, from picking out and decorating the perfect tree to baking cookies for Santa. And once the holidays have passed, we’re left to take down the decorations that bring us much joy, leave our family and friends, and return to our jobs and regular lives. It is imperative that we take time to truly appreciate the moments we have with those close to us, as well as the time we are able to set aside for self care.