by Maddi Butler
Published on: Dec 18, 2020
Even in the best of years, the end of the year can feel like an exhausting crawl to the finish line. This has been a challenging year for just about everyone, and it's only natural to feel more exhausted than usual. For this reason, though, it’s even more important than usual to make time to rest and take care of yourself at the end of the year.
Often, the end of the year is a busy time. People are pushing themselves to meet those end-of-year deadlines before the holiday breaks while simultaneously trying to plan for holiday travel and events. Though you likely have fewer events to attend, this is still a stressful time of year. Prolonged stress can take a serious toll on both your mental and physical health, and it can also wreak havoc on your immune system. Beyond making you more susceptible to physical illnesses like colds, stress can lead to serious long-term consequences.
This makes it all the more important to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. The version of self care that has been popularized by various brands and lifestyle magazines tends to emphasize a product over the people using it. Unfortunately, though, self care isn’t just face masks and bubble baths.
Ultimately, the goal of self-care is to prioritize activities that replenish energy, rather than deplete it—something we can all probably use at the end of the year. In that vein, self-care also requires a certain level of self-knowledge. It’s important to know what activities and actions are needed to take care of physical and mental well-being. So, while face masks and bubble baths might be components of a self-care routine, they aren’t all there is to it.
Psych Central outlines the basics of a well-rounded self-care routine, which should also include things like eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, some form of physical exercise, and limiting behaviors that exacerbate stress and anxiety. As Tami Forman writes for Forbes, self-care is often characterized as an indulgence when it should be a discipline.
And though discipline may be the last thing you want to cultivate during the holidays, even just making sure to get sleep and a little exercise can help mitigate the effects of and help you come down from that end-of-year stress. If you’re often glued to your phone or laptop throughout the workday and after hours, it may help to set aside “no phone time” when you don’t look at emails or messages.
Whatever self-care looks like for you, we hope you’re able to rest, relax, and recharge. Here’s to a happy holiday season and a better and brighter new year.