Practicing self-kindness during the holiday season

The holiday season often brings about feelings of joy, warmth and togetherness. It’s a time to fill our lives with twinkling lights, cozy gatherings with friends and family and festive holiday parties. However, amidst the festive cheer, it’s important to realize that not everyone finds themselves wrapped in the same sense of merriment. For many, this time of year can amplify feelings of loneliness, stress and even sadness. 

In the whirlwind of holiday preparations and societal expectations, it’s easy to forget that the most crucial aspect of this season is extending kindness towards ourselves. The pressure to feel constantly jolly, keep a packed social calendar and flaunt what a fabulous, festive time we’re having on social media can be a lot. But the truth is, it’s okay not to be okay during the holiday season. Whilst this time of year can be tinged with feelings of melancholy, anxiety or simply a sense of being overwhelmed, it’s also a chance to practice self-kindness, establish your own traditions and round out the year in a way that feels right for you.

Make the holiday season your own

During this time, it’s crucial to remember that comparison is the thief of joy. It’s easy to feel lonely, left out or like you’re somehow not celebrating ‘correctly’ when your social media feed is flooded with pictures of glitzy holiday parties and family gatherings straight out of a Hallmark movie. Take a second to embrace your normal, whatever that looks like, and understand that there is no set way to spend the holiday season. Some celebrate it, whilst others are just trying to get through it, but remember that happiness does not come in one size or shape - spend time doing what truly brings you joy and make this holiday season your own!

Embrace ritual not routine

Free yourself from the pressure and rigidity of routine, and embrace a new self-care ritual. The difference between ritual and routine is often the mindset behind the action, with routines typically considered as actions that need to be done, whilst rituals are often more meaningful practices with a greater sense of purpose. There is no greater sense of purpose than the act of caring for yourself, because as we all know, you can’t pour from an empty cup. This holiday season, take a moment to establish a new ritual, whether it’s a new skincare ritual, a spot of festive baking or enjoying your favorite movie. Indulging in self-care is a powerful way to recharge and get back in touch with yourself, and you never know - they might end up being your new holiday traditions!

Accept that you don’t need to change yourself in the new year

Continuing on with the ritualistic theme, carry this mindset into the new year. It’s a time flooded with resolutions and expectations to change, as if you’re somehow not good enough unless you’re hitting the gym everyday, drinking your greens and training for a marathon. Give yourself some grace and accept that you don’t need to be a whole new version of yourself in the new year. Take the pressure off and make time to do the things you want to do, not that you feel you need to do - it’s the best way to make sure 2024 will be your best year yet!