Give Yourself The Gift Of Self-Care For The Holidays

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year. But for those who have lost a loved one, live with depression or experience chronic stress, the season may compound sadness. People may feel worn out, tense or fragile. One way to make the holidays easier to manage is to start by giving yourself a present—the gift of self-care for your body, mind and spirit.

Caring For Your Body

The basics of good health can disappear like melting snowflakes during the holiday season. Poor eating habits, lack of sleep, keeping odd hours and drinking too much all take their toll. While it can be challenging, aim to eat sensible meals and stay well hydrated. Follow your typical sleep routine. Make time for exercise. Pace socializing by setting limits and sticking with them. You will feel more balanced and resilient.

Caring For Your Mind

Think about what is most important to you and let that be your focus for the season. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Resist the temptation to over-spend, over-schedule, over-decorate and over-everything in order to try and feel better or because you think others want you to. Give yourself permission to start a new tradition if your past celebrations don’t reflect what matters most to you.

Caring For Your Spirit

Acknowledge the disappointments of holidays past without judgment and then aim to be open and attentive to the here and now. Take in the lights, the scents, the natural beauty and music of the season. Sit with a holiday treat and truly savor it, rather than gobbling on the run. Make time to meditate and have space for yourself.

“Practicing mindfulness is essential to cultivating a peaceful spirit, and that certainly holds true at the holidays,” said psychiatrist John Mogerman, M.D. “When we set phones aside and find delight in being fully present for our loved ones, the holidays will feel like less of a blur or a burden. The holidays can become a sacred season of compassion and gratefulness again.”

Kindness and generosity are hallmarks of this season of celebrations. When you begin the holidays by showing yourself consideration through self care, you open yourself to the possibility of lighter days, and you set an inspiring example for those around you.

To find a doctor near you, visit or call 1-800-HENRYFORD (436-7936). If you are in the Jackson area or south central Michigan, visit or call 1-888-862-DOCS.

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Dr. John Mogerman is a psychiatrist who sees patients at Henry Ford Allegiance Health for a range of behavioral health needs, including depression and anxiety, and provides training in the practice of mindfulness meditation.

Categories: FeelWell