Focus On: Self-Care - A Beginner's Quest during the Holidays and After

Posted by Michelle Deken at

It strikes me that for all we talk about self-care, many of us don't take the time, especially during the holidays.  I'll confess to being in this category; I have 18 monthly credits built up at my massage place... and not an hour ago, I ate cookies for lunch.  (They were very good cookies, but seriously.)

I was kicking this idea around recently and had more questions than answers.  What does self-care look like?  For me, it would fall under some basic categories:

  1. Sleep.  Sleep can be elusive, and the holidays can exacerbate this problem.  We're constantly on the go, with just one more thing to do before bed.  Then suddenly we're in bed wide awake thinking of all the other things we'll have to do tomorrow!  Have mercy!  My December goal will be a regular bedtime preceded by ten minutes of screen-less decompressing.  I'll let my brain gallop for those ten minutes, and hopefully it will leave me alone for the next eight hours.
  2. Eating right.  As evidenced by today's lunch, vegetables and I are not close friends.  But when I think about my best days - when I have energy, when I'm ready for the world - these days come when I've been fueling my body with something besides simple sugars.  Sure, parties come and parties go during the holidays, but between?  I'll be making time with some broccoli.
  3. Exercise.  I have a treadmill in a room next to my studio, and most days I curse its existence.  However, I know that regular 30-minute cardio workouts keep energy levels up and bust so much of the holiday stress - how can I skip?  I'm also a Very Big Fan of Kelli and Daniel at  They have workouts for beginners like me all the way to advanced and brutal HIIT workouts.

I'm determined not to let the holidays eat my face.  Time to start a self-care regimen.  What do you like to do to take care of yourself during crazy times?

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