The most wonderful time of the year is known to prompt joy, but the reality is that it may invoke stress as well. While this season is often associated with sentiments of love and happiness, for some people, unpleasant feelings or memories may be sparked as well. From Thanksgiving preparations until we ring in the New Year, self-care is essential to protect yourself from the holiday blues.
During the holiday season, it’s common to experience an increase in your social and family calendar but taking some time out for self-care is a gift that you can give to yourself and a practice that you can share with your family members as well. Some of the members of our health promotions team have shared a few ways that they use to practice self-care.
“Spending time with friends and family during the holidays is wonderful, but it can also be a whirlwind of activity. The gift of self-care I try to focus on is spending a little time each day walking or stretching to decompress. I’ve found that the little bit of movement or fresh air always helps organize my thoughts and boost my mood, even if it’s just a quick 10-minute break. I always feel a little lighter and a little more energized.” — Ariel Slifka, Public Health Program Representative, Tillamook County Community Health Centers
“I would say the greatest gift I give to myself is sleep. I used to stay up late and struggled to get up every morning. During those years I felt rundown and frequently battled colds and strep throat. Over many years, I worked to create a consistent sleep routine. Most nights I am asleep by 9:30 p.m. and I wake up every day at 5 a.m., even on weekends. I also started taking a vitamin D supplement. My sleep routine and taking vitamin D give me consistent energy to do the things I enjoy.” — Michelle Jenck, Director of Community Wellbeing, Adventist Health
“The two health-related gifts that I gave myself this past year was to take more walks and to be more consistent with my sleep routine. For me, the walks have been an enjoyable way to stay active even when my days are too busy to get a workout in. The second gift I gave myself was to be more consistent with my sleep routine. Having a consistent sleep routine has allowed me to feel well-rested each day.” — Janeane Krongos, Prevention Coordinator, Tillamook Family Counseling Center
“My daily self-care ‘reminder’ just came in my office, he’s a two-year old chocolate lab named Boon. Since I spend most of my day in front of a screen, I make sure that I get up and stretch, move and give my brain, eyes and body a break. And Boon is always ready to go outside for a walk. If you don’t have a Boon (which means blessing) – just set a timer to remind yourself that it’s time for a break at least once an hour for 5-10 minutes. It makes a world of difference at the end of the day – for your body, mind and spirit.” – Laura Swanson, Editor/Partner, Tillamook County Pioneer
“During the holidays, one of the greatest self-care gifts I give myself is the commitment to be adventurous, and to step outside of the norm of my day-to-day routine. I find great joy in spontaneity and trying new things: picking out an ingredient I’ve never used before and finding a recipe, traveling to a new park or hiking trail to explore, or picking up a new hobby. New experiences make life interesting and foster greater emotional health. What am I going to try this year? I’m going to attempt to make my own cheese, learn how to roller blade, and explore new genres of music.” – Lewis Martin, Nutritional Director, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council
Other wellness questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook and Instagram.