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Gifts to Give Yourself this Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of giving, but what about taking time to give back to yourself? After the hustle and bustle of this season, it can be tempting to collapse on your couch with a glass of eggnog and some cookies in hand. 

Remember, it's important to equally deserve love and attention. Self-care is essential, and it's time you take advantage of the holidays to practice some much-needed TLC. 

So this year, treat yourself to something special aside from material things. Here are a few ideas to do just that.

A Day Off Work or School

You deserve a break in this season of festivities. After all, an average employee spends around a quarter of their lifespan at work, and the usual college student spends approximately three hours studying each day. So why not take a day off to relax and reflect?

It will be like pressing the reset button in your day-to-day life. Put down the books, head out of the office, and enjoy some well-deserved rest. But since that rest is different for everyone, feel free to use the day off however you wish; maybe take a hike in nature, get lost in a museum, or stay cozied up with your favorite book.

Whatever it may be, choose something that will help you be kind to yourself. These tips below will help you make the most of your day off:

  • Create a plan in advance: pick out activities you enjoy and set a routine for yourself.
  • Avoid your usual tasks: don't check emails and focus on yourself instead.
  • Minimize stressors: turn off social media notifications, take a break from people who cause stress, and listen to calming music.

If guilt arises from taking time off, remember that it's ok to take a break and permit yourself to do so. Nobody should feel guilty for taking time to rest and recharge.

Quality Time with Yourself

You don't always need someone to spend special moments with. So, why not take a day and indulge in quality time? It's the perfect opportunity to figure out who you truly are and what lights your fire.

Take a walk around your favorite park, take an evening off to watch your favorite movie, or write in your journal. Maybe even spend your night baking some yummy treats. These are all great ways to show love and get to know yourself better.

Not many people are comfortable with being alone, though, so if that's you, here are a few tips to help make it easier:

  • Set realistic goals for yourself: Take small steps and set manageable goals.
  • Stay busy: Keeping your mind and body active can help reduce loneliness.
  • Seek out activities you enjoy: Attend events, take an art class, or join a club.

It's ok to want to be alone; it doesn't mean you're isolated. Spending time with yourself is crucial to learning who you are and growing. And it doesn't need to be expensive or indulgent; it can be simple, quiet, and meaningful.

Positive Affirmations

Everyone needs a little pick-me-up every now and then, especially during the holiday season when everyone is so busy. Give yourself some extra love by writing down positive affirmations that make you feel good.

Positive affirmations can help you stay grounded, productive, and focused. They are also great for practicing self-care and reminding yourself of your worth. Consider writing down a few uplifting statements that will encourage you to keep going even when times are tough.

Put them in places where you can easily see them and repeat them out loud or in your head. And if you're having trouble coming up with affirmations, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • I am capable of anything I set my mind to.
  • I am strong and resilient.
  • I will not let negative thoughts bring me down.
  • I am worth the effort and time I put in.

Positive affirmations are a great way to stay rooted in self-love. You can even carry them with you wherever you go to give yourself a little boost on those hard days. Don't forget to take a few moments each day to give yourself some love and recognize your worth.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is an integral part of self-care. It is especially true during the holiday season when everything can feel fast-paced and hectic. In doing so, forgive those who have wronged you and pardon yourself.

Take some time to forgive those who have hurt you in the past, however big or small. Forgiveness does not mean that what happened is ok; it just means letting go of the hurt and allowing yourself to move forward. 

You must also give yourself grace and pardon yourself for any mistakes. Instead of dwelling on the past, focus on the present and learn from your mistakes. This can be a powerful way to practice self-love and ensure that you care for yourself.

Try writing down your negative thoughts and reframing them with positive, kind words. Or take some time to do something that brings you joy and helps you to forget any worries or stresses.

Self-forgiveness will help you become kinder to yourself and create a healthier environment for your relationships. It will also give you the strength to take risks and face challenges with renewed energy.

As the saying goes, "Forgiveness isn't approving what happened. It's choosing to rise above it." So give yourself permission to forgive and let go of any pain this holiday season.

Sleep

Good shut-eye is essential for a healthy body and mind, so remember to set aside some time for rest. Sleeping can help boost your mood, enhance your productivity, and improve your overall well-being.

If you're having trouble sleeping, try sticking to a consistent sleep routine and limiting screen time before bed. Exercise is also a great way to relax your body and prepare it for rest. And if all else fails, take a warm bath or listen to calming music to help you relax and drift off into dreamland.

Naps are also great for recharging and giving you extra time to rest. So if you have the chance, take a few moments throughout the day to relax and just be.

Boundaries

Boundaries are gifts that we give ourselves and others. They allow us to establish healthy relationships while setting clear expectations and limits of what is acceptable.

Setting boundaries for yourself encompasses creating emotional and physical limitations. It implies allowing or not allowing certain things in your life, like saying "no" to requests that don't align with your values or beliefs or setting limits on how much time you can spend with certain people. 

Conversely, having boundaries with those around you means allowing them the space to express themselves, their opinions, and their feelings without feeling judged or belittled while also respecting your own needs.

Here are examples of boundaries you can set:

  • I am comfortable being touched on the shoulder or arm but not hugged
  • I will not tolerate being yelled at or spoken to disrespectfully
  • You can ask me for help, but you cannot guilt me into doing something I don't want to do

Boundaries empower us to take control of our lives and are invaluable tools for practicing self-care. So give yourself the gift of establishing limitations this holiday season and begin living with more intention. That way, you can create an environment that is safe and free from any negativity.

Nourishment

Nourishing yourself is just as important as feeding your body. Make sure to prioritize things that make you feel fulfilled, like catching up with old friends, connecting with nature, or being creative.

If your work is taking up too much of your time, try to create a balance by scheduling time for yourself. It could include dedicating a few hours each week to reading, hobbies, or anything that brings you joy—it doesn't have to be an expensive activity.

Self-nourishment also involves taking care of your physical needs, like eating healthy, exercising, and drinking enough water. Eating nutritious foods can help boost your energy levels and provide the best fuel for tackling any task. They are also essential for promoting psychological well-being.

You're worth taking the time to look after yourself. So this holiday season, give yourself the gift of nourishment and find ways to fill your physical and emotional needs for a healthy, happy life.

Patience

Practicing patience is the gift we give to ourselves and those around us. It allows for more understanding and acceptance of who we are, where we are, and how we feel. 

At the same time, it enables you to take your time when making decisions or solving problems. After all, being too hasty can result in rushing things and making decisions you may regret later.

Knowing what triggers impatience and how to handle it is a great way to develop patience. For example, if you often feel frustrated with long lines during the holidays, try to bring something that can help you pass the time, like a book or magazine. Or, if you start feeling overwhelmed when dealing with family gatherings, give yourself some space and walk away for a few minutes.

Patience is also important when it comes to relationships. You may not agree with someone's opinions or actions, but instead of getting angry and lashing out, take a deep breath and remember that everyone has their own perspective.

You can devise a better solution or compromise that works for you and others by being forbearing. Hence, practice giving yourself the gift of patience this holiday season and discover how it can help make a difference in your life.

Self-Respect

Self-respect is the gift that keeps on giving. It combines all those things we want and need to feel, including acceptance, appreciation, and validation. It's about understanding your worth, setting boundaries for how you want to be treated, and taking care of yourself mentally and physically.

Practicing self-respect means setting limits and being honest with yourself about your needs, wants, and values—and respecting them. It implies not allowing yourself to be taken advantage of, yelled at, or spoken to disrespectfully. Self-respect is also about having a deep sense of self-worth and knowing that your thoughts, feelings, and opinions matter.

Self-respect goes hand in hand with self-esteem, which is the belief that you are worthy of respect and love. So show yourself the same kindness that you'd show your friends and family, like taking the time to do enjoyable activities or giving yourself compliments.

Granted, self-respect takes practice, but it's a wonderful holiday gift you can give yourself to cultivate inner peace, security, and happiness. As they say, "If you don't take care of yourself, who will?" Thus, shower yourself with self-respect and discover how much better life can be.

Resilience

Grit. Bounce-back ability. Mental and emotional fortitude. These are some of the traits associated with resilience; they're all essential to have in life and work. And it's a quality that you can nurture and strengthen over time.

Contrary to popular belief, resilience isn't about being indestructible, able to withstand any hardship, or avoiding overwhelming emotions. Instead, it's about being able to handle stress and adversity constructively. And that can involve problem-solving, controlling your emotions, asking for help when needed, and always looking for the silver lining.

To build resilience:

  1. Start by getting to know yourself better.
  2. Identify your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers.
  3. At the same time, aim to be more mindful in the present moment.

This way, you may be able to spot signs of stress or anxiety early on and find ways to cope with them.

Celebrate your successes and congratulate yourself for all the hard work you've put in, too. And when life throws us a curveball, remind yourself that it's part of life and get up and try again. Doing so gives you the courage and strength to navigate the highs and lows and keep growing.

Gratitude

Lastly, gratitude is the ultimate holiday gift you can give yourself. It's a powerful emotion that opens us to more positivity, compassion, and joy. Gratitude can also help us build better relationships and show appreciation for the people and experiences in our lives.

Being grateful can be as simple as taking a minute to appreciate the beauty of nature, savoring a delicious meal, or being thankful for a peaceful night's rest. When we're thankful, the mind shifts away from what we lack and towards a state of contentment.

Gratitude can also help us accept life for what it is and go easier on ourselves. It reminds us to appreciate the present moment—even if it's far from perfect—without wishing for more or less.

But as with other gifts, it can be mistaken for something else. So be mindful that gratitude isn't about accepting disrespect or injustice. Rather, it's about acknowledging the people and things we're blessed to have and letting go of things we can't control.

Consider the following practices to foster thankfulness:

  • Count your daily blessings
  • Write thank you letters to people who have made a difference in your life
  • Spend time outdoors and appreciate nature
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Make it a habit to express your appreciation for others

These may be small steps, but they can make a big difference in how you view and appreciate the world. Cultivate gratitude and see how it brings more joy, contentment, and appreciation for life.

Wrap-Up

Shower yourself with these amazing gifts this holiday season and cultivate them for strength, peace, and growth. Even when the holidays are over, keep these gifts alive within you, and you'll be able to remain balanced, resilient, and grateful year-round. 

Reach out to the Jackson House for more tips and tools on how to nurture these gifts. Our team of experts will be happy to provide the support that helps you become the best version of yourself. Happy Holidays!

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

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