The Gift of Self-Care During the Holidays

Taking a moment to evaluate yourself and your lifestyle is a common thing during the holidays. Especially with the new year coming up, expectations are high as friends and family ask, “What is your new year resolution?” or “Are you changing anything after Christmas?” 

Remember You are Not Alone

Never think that you are the only one dealing with addiction, or that your family member is the only one going through this transition in their life. Right now, over 48.5 million Americans are dealing with drugs. Both illegal and prescription drugs can lead to long term problems. 

Alcoholism also is a very prevalent issue that many people in the United States deal with every day. In fact, 14.1 million people in 2017 have advised they have alcohol used disorder. Alcoholism leads to liver disease and other issues that affect long term health. People need to realize the harm that both drugs and alcohol cause. 

Setting Up Your Gift Resolution

Once you think everything through and you decide you would like to work on your self-health, it’s time to start thinking. What do you want to do? Most of us think of something on the spot, and others feel that resolutions are doomed to fail, but that is due to a certain mindset. Instead of thinking of healthy lifestyle changes as resolutions, it’s better to think of them as gifts to yourself, so you can celebrate a long and happy life for years to come. So how can you treat yourself to the gift of self-care during the holidays? 

Identify What You Want to Add to Your Gift List 

Think about what you want to improve and or opportunities you would like to give yourself to change. For some, this can be about eating less and exercising more to gift yourself with a better body. For others, this can mean trying to give something up to help yourself in the long term. Perhaps you want to drink less so you can gift yourself more money in your bank account. Or maybe you want to gift yourself with more control, and you would like to focus on overcoming addiction. All of these can be added to your self-care gift list. 

The best part about this self-care list is you don’t do it all at once. You can focus on giving yourself one gift at a time this holiday season.  

Where To Get The Gift 

This is usually the time where you read that the gift of self-care is inside you all along, but sometimes external help can go a long way in these gifts or goals. So take a moment when thinking about your gift of self-care during the holidays to see what might help. 

If you are thinking about changing something in your behavior like trying to wake up earlier, find an app that might work as a better alarm for you. If weight loss is your thing, find a program that works. It could be just a health or fitness book, or it could be an inspirational Instagram account. The main thing is that it has to help you focus on what you need to accomplish. 

For some other resolution, more research might be needed. If you are trying to drink less because you think it may help you, then find an AA group, or if you feel you need more help, find a center that offers classes. The same goes for larger addictions such as opioids or other drugs. Finding a rehab center or place that specializes in these addictions can help you with this gift to yourself. Using all the sources available to you will only help get you closer to unwrapping your gift. 

Keeping Track of Your Progress 

Notice the lack of gift play on words? That is because this tends to be the hardest part of self-care during any season, let along the holidays. Once November hits temptation is hard to resist, and that’s why it is encouraged to document your journey. We have so many outputs in this day and age that there is a way of documenting for everyone. 

Keeping track of your gift of self-care during the holidays does not mean you have to post to social media every day, and it also means that you don’t have to be public about it. The central part of keeping track of your progress is for you. You do not have to share it at all! Keeping a journal or even a stack of sticky notes just for your reference is perfectly acceptable, the main thing is for you to have a record of your progress so you can see how much effort you are putting in. 

How to Stay on Track with Your Gift

With a Group

Staying on track can be difficult, especially with harder projects that you may be working on to get in better health. If you are trying to kick an addiction, then working with a rehab center may be vital in helping you stay accountable and keep you on the path. 

For others staying on track may mean having a buddy system that you correspond with back and forth again, helping to keep each other accountable. It needs to be someone who can support you and encourage you when you hit moments that are hard to overcome, but it helps build a mini-community. 

By Yourself

If you are a lone wolf, then the responsibility lies a bit more heavily on your shoulders. Depending on what self-care gift you are giving yourself, you may want to see if some apps or websites can help you stay on track and encourage you to focus on specific aspects. 

The main thing for all of the above is to be able to stay on track and maintain your focus on the task at hand. Getting help is always an option and highly recommended. 

Sharing the Gift of Self-Care During the Holidays 

Once you have reached the right spot with your self-care, the rest is up to you. For some people, this gift never ends as they find new ways to help themselves. If you do find yourself wanting to share the original you and your story feel free to help and support those around you. 

Being helpful and supportive to someone else on a similar journey can be very inspiring. It can be hard, and it has its ups and downs. However, giving people your support, and even giving them reference to specific resources about treatments or plans for drug abuse or alcoholism will be a great asset to them. It could make their holidays so much better as they have someone by their side. 

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About Michelle Hickethier
Michelle Hickethier is currently a Graduate Student at California State University Fullerton studying English.

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