Avoiding holiday stress and emotional eating: practice simple self-care

This busy season, I’m sharing a series of simple, habit-building challenges for staying in touch with the spirit of the holidays and avoiding overwhelm, stress, and emotional eating. Create these habits and routines now, and you’ll also be building a strong foundation for your year ahead.

Your next holiday habit: simple self-care

If you aren’t nourished – in mind, body, and spirit – it shows. Self-care is critical for managing stress, functioning at our best, giving our best, and avoiding the overeating and emotional eating that happens when we turn to food as a substitute for what we really need.

Self-care takes many forms, and when you aren’t getting enough, figuring out how to address your needs can feel overwhelming. The truth is, when you’re stressed or overwhelmed, adding anything to your to-do list feels like overload.

A simple way to start building your self-care muscle is to commit to a thirty day self-care challenge.

The rule (there’s only one) is simple. Do one lovely thing for yourself every day.

As simple as this habit-building challenge is, don’t be surprised if it stumps you. If you aren’t used to flexing your self-care muscle, you probably won’t find ideas for lovely, do-able ways to treat yourself just rolling out of your brain.

To use another metaphor, your self-care gears may be rusty.

Don’t let this stop you from making the “one lovely thing daily” commitment. Practice and simple steps are just what you need to improve your self-care game.

Here are a few ideas for simple self-care to get you started:

Buy some fresh flowers or a blooming plant for your desk

Give yourself a pedicure

Take a nap

Put on music when you normally wouldn’t

Sing out loud in your car

Go outside and breathe deep

Spend some extra time petting and cuddling with your pet

Spend some time looking through old pictures

Wear, open, or use that special thing or gift card you’ve been “saving”

Update your playlist by downloading some new music

Sleep on clean sheets

Blow bubbles

Play an instrument

Open the window

Build a fire

Light a candle

Stretch. Breathe. Stretch some  more


Call a friend – make the time

Make what you want for dinner

Wear something that makes you feel spectacular

Take a bubble bath

Eat on the good china

Go to bed early

Set aside time for that hobby, craft, or activity you haven’t gotten to in months

Finish that book

Thirty days, starting now. On your mark, get set …

You’ve got this,

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