By: Laneceya Russ, Advocacy Director, Baton Rouge
Practicing self-care on a normal basis can be hard for some people. Now, try adding in self-care during the holiday season when you may be experiencing anxiety and stress from being around certain family members or taking care of the million and one things on your to-do list for your children, partners, work, etc. It can be even harder to incorporate self-care activities into the already jam-packed holiday schedule.
If you are reading this and think to yourself, what is this concept of self-care is she speaking of? Let me first explain. According to Raphailia Michael, “self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” Seems pretty simple, right? But, in today’s world, it is the hardest thing for most of us to do. Between work, family obligations, societal issues, etc. it can be hard to make sure that we are taking care of our whole selves.
In order to prepare for the holiday season and all of the separate stresses this may bring, I have spoken with several members of STAR staff across all branches to see how they practice self-care during the holidays! I hope that this provides you with some examples of how to take care of yourself from now into the New Year. If none of these things work for you or you can’t think of anything that will allow you to be your most healthy self whatever that looks like for you, we have also created a self-care checklist to assist you in thinking of ways to incorporate more self-care into your everyday life. You can click here to access it!
Kirsten, Capital Area Regional Director, Baton Rouge: “Setting boundaries for my personal time and emotional capacity during the holidays is important to me. Holidays can be very hard when you think about lost loved ones or trauma that may have occurred around that time. Saying no is okay. You don’t have to cook that turkey. You can buy it from City Pork.”
Kristen, Counselor, Baton Rouge: “Setting boundaries with family is okay despite what society tell us. It is important to exclude yourself from toxic environments. I have no problem with coming late and leaving early to family and friend events.”
Javonda, Resource Advocate, New Orleans: “Having game night with family and friends and baking cookies!”
Meg, Resource Advocate, Central Louisiana: “Staying warm and cozy in front of my heater.”
Angela, Community Education Director, Baton Rouge: “Using essential oils to help set a comfortable and calm space helps me with rest and relaxation. My favorite oils are lavender, eucalyptus, and mint. Essential oils can be found anywhere really but I usually get my oils from Amazon or Walmart.”
Portia, Counseling Director, New Orleans: “Going to look at the Christmas lights and drinking spiked hot chocolate.”
Amy, Resource Advocate, Baton Rouge: “When I am overwhelmed with family and chaos during the holidays and need a break, I step away, light some candles, and take a hot bath.”
Derrick, Youth Development Coordinator, Baton Rouge: “Telling old family stories, trying to prove I still have it with basketball, watching Christmas movies, drinking spiked eggnog, and catching up with my childhood friends is how I practice self-care during this time.”
Michael, Raphailia. “Https://Psychcentral.com/Blog/What-Self-Care-Is-and-What-It-Isnt-2/.” https://Psychcentral.com/Blog/What-Self-Care-Is-and-What-It-Isnt-2/, Psych Central, 8 July 2018, https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/.