Self Care Ideas for the Holidays

I’d imagine self care ideas have become one of the most searched topics on Google in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unreal amount of stress. These are some of the ideas that have helped me with my own stress this past year.

Self Care Ideas

We are all weary of this pandemic. Weary of having to wear masks in public. Weary of not being able to hang out with our friends. Of not being able to see our own families outside of our immediate households (at this time, Saskatchewan has restricted gatherings to only those in your own home). But…it’s necessary.

It’s completely undeniable that the whole of it has taken a significant toll on everyones mental health (mine included). Going in to the holidays knowing we can’t celebrate in the same way we have in years past can be both a positive and a negative. 

Yes, the stress of hosting fantabulous Christmas and New Years Parties (or attending them) where you overeat (and feel guilty about it) and avoid your weird aunt is gone. But, if you aren’t a recluse and enjoy these particular events, then being restricted to celebrating with only your own household can actually add a different sort of stress to your holiday season.

Self care is one of the most talked about topics of 2020 thanks to Covid-19. I’m going to share with you some of the things I’ve been doing to help reduce my own stress during this stressful year and why they work (and could work for you!). These ideas appealed to me because I’m someone who feels best when I’m being productive and achieving goals. I like to have something I can have some control over. And that’s something we all sort of need right now, isn’t it?

1) Exercise

You’ll find this one on every stress management list you’ll ever find. And rightfully so. Regular exercise has great side effects outside of the expected increase in strength and weight loss. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins which trigger positive feelings that are similar to that or morphine. And there are SO MANY different ways to exercise like going for a walk outside, body weight exercises, and at home weights, to name a few. I personally have yoga mats, weights, and a free standing heavy bag to use for my exercise routines. I gotta admit, I always feel so much better about myself when I’m exercising regularly.

Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Exercise for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography

Saskatoon Mental Health

Self Care Ideas

2) Reorganize and Declutter

It’s actually really well known that a cluttered home can clutter your mind. A disorganized space can make it just so damn hard to focus (I know this to be true…when my desk is a mess, I find it really hard to focus on what I’m doing at that desk). Some studies suggest that clutter can also affect your memory. Why not use your extra time this season to go through your closet and pick out clothes you haven’t worn in awhile or that you’ve grown out of. If you have kids, help them go through all their toys and pick out the toys they don’t play with anymore or that are broken. Donate items that are still usable and huck the broken ones.

Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Organized and Declutter for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography
Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Organized and Declutter for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography

I’ve reorganized quite a few rooms in my home already and I always feel really good when I can declutter and reorganize something. It’s just easier to maintain a neat space when you have less taking up that space.

3) Learn Something New

Human beings have a natural desire to learn and progress. So it’s hardly surprising that this one makes it on to this list. This one is great if you are one of the unfortunate who are working from home or, worse, have been laid off. When your days become too routine, boredom can easily set in and depression isn’t very far behind. So it’s important to break up those routines by learning something new. Learning can increase your confidence and helps stimulate the release of the ‘feel good’ chemical, Dopamine, which helps you deal with stress. Outside of the immediate benefits, learning helps to stave off dementia and improve memory in the long term.

Not too shabby, hey?

Things that interest me are learning how to run my business better, but also learning how to cross-stitch (Michaels has some really cute little beginner Cross-stitch Kits). Find something that interests you and make some time each day to learn about it.

Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Learn Something New  for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography
Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Learn Something New  for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography

Saskatoon Mental Health

Self Care Ideas

4) Tech-Free Time

This one applies to everyone in my house. For a few hours everyday, we all put our technology aside (phones, tablets, remotes, gaming systems…all of it). It gives us time away from technology to do anything that doesn’t require it, such as playing board games and card games together (I really love games lol) and playing outside (when the weather allows it). It helps us to reconnect when tech keeps us apart. I’ve even enjoyed time alone without my tech.

The overuse of technology and social media has been shown to increase feelings of isolation and depression. So consider setting some time aside each day to put your tech aside.

Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Tech Free Time  for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography

5) Journalling

Not for everyone, but it’s one that I find cathartic and I’ve been journaling for 23 years. Journalling can take as little or as long as you’d like, but putting something down every day isn’t a bad way to start, even if it’s short (my entries started short and have gotten longer and longer as time has passed). It helps to improve mood by providing a judgment-free place where you can be 100% honest. You can pour your fears, worries, and problems onto the page and that, in turn, can help you to start thinking about ways to face and fix all of those same issues. It starts to untangle your mind and helps you focus on what needs to be done to overcome.

It’s just for you. No one else needs to see it.

A happy side effect of journaling is that you can also use it to journal all your good memories, too, and have them to look back on years down the road. I look back through mine all the time and it helps me to see how much I’ve changed as a person, and how silly I was sometimes as a young adult haha.

Saskatoon Boudoir Photographer Graduation Photography Journalling for Mental Health Roses and Scars Photography

6) Webcam Photography Session

Hear me out! I know you’re not surprised to see me list this one here. This is a photography website, afterall! Let me tell you why this makes the list. And yes, I’ve done webcam boudoir sessions. Two, actually (with Queen of a King Photography and Farfalina Boudoir).

These sessions got me looking forward to something. It got me making plans (because that’s what I like to do). I connected with other people (photographers in different geographic locations). Then there were the images to look forward to!

Having something to look forward to improves your feelings of optimism about the future, provides distraction, and motivates you. Not to mention the celebration of YOU that boudoir photographs are. What could possibly be bad about that?

Webcam Boudoir Saskatoon Photographer Personal Boudoir (7)

Saskatoon Mental Health

Self Care Ideas

7) Counselling

I am no stranger to counseling and am a huge cheerleader for it. If you find none of my other suggestions (or suggestions from any other list you might find) are helping, then you can consider counseling. There are a few offices that could offer you a sliding scale pay system if the cost is an issue for you. And there are plenty of different counselors and therapists in any city so if you don’t jive with one, then you can find another. Most counseling offices offer Video Call or phone call counseling if that’s what you prefer.

I guess, no matter how you do it, just take care of yourselves this holiday season. It’s been challenging but we got this!

Self Care Ideas for the Holidays (2)