Some ways to take care of yourself during the 2021 holidays

This is such a busy time of the year! Here are some ways of taking care of yourself during this hectic time.

Drink herb tea: Coffee only goes so far and tends to hype you up and then drop you down. Even those quad lattes stop working after a while. So, stop and drink some relaxing herb tea. You will enjoy it!

Say no to anything that isn’t important to you: First, you are obligated to take care of yourself before you feel obligated to others. Remember, you are not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations!

Get enough sleep: Too little sleep makes you grumpy and tired. Instead of wrapping presents, go to sleep early. Wake up the next day feeling more refreshed and energetic.

Take five minutes in the morning to stretch: Before you start your busy day, take five minutes to stretch after you wake up. It’s a great way to start the day.

Walk, walk and walk: Instead of driving everywhere, decide to walk to a destination when you can. Pack an umbrella and head out the door! Park far away from the entrance of the store, climb stairs and move your feet.

Make a worry list: Are you a worrier? If so, make a list of all of your worries. Write them down an hour or so before you go to bed. You’ll feel better when you do.

Listen to music: When I have a boring or unpleasant task to do, I turn on Pandora radio and listen to my favorite music. Or I plug in my iPod and listen to the Rolling Stones. It makes the job more enjoyable and it passes more quickly.

Take a hot bath: Even the Romans loved hot baths! It is soothing and relaxing. Turn off the lights, light some candles and add some bubbles. Achy? Add Epson salts to your bathwater. They really work!

Accept a little clutter and mess: You could eat off my mother-in-law’s kitchen floor! But she spent so much time cleaning the house, she rarely had time to relax or pursue any hobbies. Accept that sometimes you have to make a choice between having a “perfect” house or relaxing and enjoying yourself and your loved ones.

Turn off your electronic devices once in a while: Come on, do you always have to check your phone, email or Instagram? Give it a rest! Unplug from everything, including constant communication. Instead, close your eyes and tune in to yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

Take a yoga class: Yoga, an Indian mind/body system, is offered everywhere. There are online classes too. I practice yoga and it’s great for your body, mind and spirit. Start with an introductory level class — and don’t push yourself too hard.

Get a massage: Massage is more available, and a real treat. Save up your pennies and treat yourself to an hour of pure relaxation. It feels good even with a mask on.

Accept a wide range of comfort with pandemic dos and don’ts: It’s an odd time in the pandemic — some are boosted, many are vaxxed and some not. We mask in stores, and decide between dine-in or out, and friends over or outside. There is a wide range of comfort among adults about what they feel is safe or not. Respect and honor everyone’s choices. Make your own decisions.

Smile at everyone: Don’t you feel good when someone smiles at you when you make eye contact? And you feel good when you smile at someone. Smiling brightens up the dark, rainy days of a Northwest winter day.

Greet everyone: When you go to work, take a walk or come home, make sure to connect with everyone. A smile, a hello and a how are you brings all of us together, no matter what we are doing. It takes a few minutes, but you won’t be disappointed.

Paul Schoenfeld is a clinical psychologist at The Everett Clinic. His Family Talk blog can be found at www. everettclinic.com/ healthwellness-library. html.

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