Self-Care During the Holidays

By Kim Talley, CCHWC Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN, BNS, RN-FNP-C

During the holidays, we all have a lot going on as we think about celebrations, resents, money going out, and a lot of other stressful things. It’s important to take care of ourselves during this season, and here are a few ways we can do that.

Be kind to yourself

  • Take a quiet moment for yourself. Pause what you’re doing—whether you’re at work, caregiving at home, or something else—and just  step outside for a moment. See the world outside, breathe some fresh air, take deep breaths.
  • If you know that the holidays will be rough on you, prepare to do some things to help your emotional health. Find something to do so you don’t just sit in your  depression: get out among other people, volunteer your time helping others, or something else that gets you out of your head.

Get enough exercise, food, and water

  • Make sure you’re hydrated. The basics are drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
  • Have adequate nutrition to get you through your day. Now, it’s the holidays, and we like to eat. Let yourself enjoy this time, but also practice moderation so you don’t over-indulge.
  • Exercise is the number one thing to do to relieve stress and depression. It can be difficult to find time when you’re busy, but even ten minutes is better than nothing at all. Little mini-breaks for a bit of exercise will lift your spirits and make you feel better.

Reach out for help if you’re struggling

  • A lot of folks feel loss more profoundly during the holidays, especially if that’s when the loss happened. The key is recognizing it in yourself, and taking steps to take care of yourself during the hard times.
  • Talk to someone when you’re sad. It can be friends, family, or someone you trust. If opening up to loved ones is hard, call Cow Creek Health and Wellness;  sometimes talking to a provider in confidentiality is easier for some folks.
  • If the clinic is closed, and you feel like you’re sad enough that you’re in danger of hurting yourself, call the hospital, or a fire station, or dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Reach out to others who are struggling

  • I once asked a Baptist minister I knew what to do with myself when my life was a mess. He said, “Reach out to help others.” Sometimes, reaching out to lend a hand to someone else helps us fix our own struggles.
  • Smiling at someone is so easy, it costs nothing. If you catch someone’s eyes out in public, give them a smile. It really helps.
  • If you notice someone is feeling down, just a little validation can go a long way. Say, “Hey, I recognize you, I see you’re not yourself. I’m here if you want to talk.”  Sometimes, people don’t want to talk about their pain, but they just want someone to recognize that they are in pain.

We’re all in this together; we providers aren’t perfect, and I struggle too. I’m so grateful for the privelege of people letting me help them take care of their health. My patients motivate me to strive and try harder, and I think keeping that attitude of gratitude—no matter where you are in life right now—will help you see  things in a different way. Let’s keep helping each other.

Learn more about how the Cow Creek Health and Wellness Center can help you by clicking here.