12 days of self-care

14 December 2020 in Company

This holiday season can feel pretty strange – and the lead-up to celebrations might be more stressful as a result. While you may be busy adapting your plans and thinking of loved ones, it’s just as important to take time to look after yourself.

To help, we’ve put together 12 small gifts of self-care to lift your spirit. Treat yourself to a different tip each day:

Day 12: The gift of prioritising

This season, cut down the cluttered schedule and focus on what matters to you:

  • pencil in time for your favourite people and activities – virtually or safely in-person
  • spread out the celebrations to take the pressure off the holiday itself
  • take the stress out of gift-buying by agreeing a budget with friends and family

Day 11: The gift of simpler shopping

If the thought of holiday shopping makes you feel overwhelmed, try these tips:

  • use a free app like Giftster to keep track of your loved ones’ wish lists
  • shop locally – you could create gift hampers with local produce
  • find out when shops’ quietest times are by calling them or by checking online

Day 10: The gift of brighter mornings

Starting your morning right helps you get in a positive mindset for the day ahead:

  • taking a little time for yourself each morning can help you feel more energised
  • a morning routine helps give you structure during what can be a chaotic time
  • from yoga to running, doing what you enjoy helps you keep up your routine

Day 9: The gift of festive smoothies

Try whipping up these recipes to give yourself a festive (and healthy) boost:

Day 8: The gift of a social media detox

Take a break from constant social media updates and enjoy being in the present:

  • switching off notifications or turning on airplane mode will reduce the temptation
  • not checking your phone helps you fully appreciate being with loved ones
  • it can also protect you from ‘fear of missing out’ and overwhelming news alerts

Day 7: The gift of giving... to yourself

Treat yourself to a gift that helps you look after you:

  • it doesn’t need to be expensive – a good book or bath bomb can help you relax
  • a frisbee, skipping rope or even a space hopper can make exercise more fun
  • what are your New Year goals? Give yourself a gift that can help you achieve them

Day 6: The gift of decorations

No matter how many people you have round, decorating your home can lift your mood:

  • psychologists say warm and colourful decorations can make you feel happier
  • staying at home more is an extra incentive to make your place feel festive
  • try making your own decorations – tree ornaments are a great place to start

Day 5: The gift of getting outdoors

These innovative ways of exercising outside are great for relaxing or letting off steam:

  • be a tourist in your local area – explore the sights that you might have missed
  • plogging – this eco-friendly Swedish craze combines jogging with picking up litter
  • scavenger hunt – grab some friends, list your items and compete to find them

Day 4: The gift of gratitude

It’s been a tough year, but focusing on what you’re grateful for can help you feel happier:

  • spending 1 minute a day to reflect in gratitude helps you focus on the positives
  • create an advent calendar (real or imaginary) of 1 thing a day you’re thankful for
  • through your senses, become more mindful of what you have in the present

Day 3: The gift of better video calls

Take the pressure off video calls by treating them as a real life hangout:

  • don’t fill every pause – let the conversation ebb and flow naturally
  • carry out different activities – someone might be cooking, others playing games
  • this will help you enjoy simply being together and keep the call running longer

Day 2: The gift of me-time

You might be busy making plans and seeing family, but save some time just for you:

  • finding time for yourself helps you recharge so you can fully enjoy celebrating
  • make it part of your daily routine to help you stick to it during the holidays
  • spend time away from screens – taking a walk, for example, will refresh you more

Day 1: The gift of contact-free games

Try these games to give you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday:

  • swap card and board games for a quiz or game of mirror charades (look it up)
  • if meeting on video, you can easily adapt games like pictionary or scattergories
  • try apps like Heads Up and Psych which bring everyone together without contact

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Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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