Why No Holiday List Should Be Without “Me Time”

Woman walking on a snowy path
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As women we wear many hats—that of mother, wife, professional, chauffeur, volunteer, housekeeper, cook—and the list grows exponentially over the busy holiday season. Though the holidays make it tougher to accomplish our to-dos, there’s no better—or more important—time to take care of our bodies and minds. If you feel that making time for yourself seems to be too tall of an order, consider these 7 reasons for incorporating some healthy “me time” into your holiday calendar:

It’s good for your kids

Taking time for yourself means making time for your kids to be with others who also enjoy them—for instance, their other parent, who may appreciate the one-on-one time with them; grandparents; friends and even babysitters.

‘Tis the season for high stress levels

According to a recent survey of parents conducted by UrbanSitter, "not having enough time" is the second most stressful part of the holidays (finances was number one). Managing your time and dedicating part of it to self care—even if it’s simply a solo trip to the supermarket—cuts down on stress, which if left to run amuck can cause fatigue, compromise your immunity, and lead to many long-term health problems.

The focus is on everything and everyone, but yourself

During the holidays, it’s likely that you’re busy creating experiences for your children, juggling holiday parties or hosting extended family. Creating a “me time” tradition is an opportunity to pause and focus a bit on your own well-being.

Who couldn’t use a break from family drama?

The holidays bring families together—sometimes whether they like it or not. Expectations are high, guards are down, and patience is stretched. There’s bound to be a family squabble or butting of heads. Grin and bear it, knowing you have peace and quiet ahead.

Your mental health is a top priority

Protecting and caring for your mental health gives you a chance to recharge, become more patient, and gain a different perspective. Without it you can’t be all you need to be for everyone who is counting on you.

It’s time to be introspective

Being part of a family, especially around the holidays, often means compromising—spending time with in-laws rather than spending time with your own relatives and traditions. It can also be a sad or disappointing time of year for those who are missing loved ones, thinking of happier times, or feeling letdown. It’s a time to nurture your soul.

You can outsource

Hand over a few of your duties to a willing helper—be it hired help, like a babysitter or caterer, or a kind family member or friend—and you’ll have time available to give to yourself.

Carving out time for you during the holiday season doesn’t have to be expensive or even indulgent. While a day at a spa is especially nice, even small gifts to yourself—handing off bedtime duties to meet up with a friend, retreating for a few hours with a new novel, or arranging for Grandma to take the kids on an excursion while you wrap gifts and listen to carols with your partner—can keep you from feeling like an over-stretched scrooge.

It can also give you the balance and energy you need to celebrate the season with gratitude and joy.

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