Holiday Self-Care Checklist
- Create an Exit Plan
Gathering with family and friends who question your identity or beliefs is hard and sometimes, the best thing to do is to have an exit plan. Give yourself permission to leave. If you have a friend or supporting family member with you and you feel uncomfortable, have a code word for when you want to leave or change the subject. The ideology around family and the holidays often creates spaces that are unsafe, and it is ok to leave those toxic spaces.
- Lower Holiday Expectations
Holiday season comes with expectations that are often too hard to meet and not to mention break the bank. Reorienting our expectations away from a capitalistic ideology to a more relational one is important. Create your gifts, maybe lower the amount you cook, or even cut an event or two.
- Disengage with Bad Theology
The holidays bring a lot of faith centered activities and, as we all know, some faith communities are toxic and offer bad theology. And sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to disengage with these spaces especially when we travel home. We do not have to put ourselves in situations that traumatize.
- Joy Inventory
The holidays can be a space of joy and that joy manifests differently for different people. Create a list of what brings you joy during this time of the year. Decorations? Music? Events? Food? Being intentional with this list and do the things that bring you joy.
- Ritual and Routine
When this time of year comes around, we are often thrown off with our routines whether it is a workout, a run, meditation, or other rituals in our lives. Try to keep these rituals and routines going even as you travel. Modify them if you must, but it is so important that we center the things that keep us grounded.
- Locate Anxiety
Anxiety is often heightened during the holidays, and it is important that we learn how to locate where that anxiety stems from and how it manifests. Notice how your body responds to the anxiety and locate where it is in your body. Acknowledge that anxiety. Sometimes seeing a therapist is a good way to help develop tools for anxiety location.
- Move the Body
Physical movement of any kind is important for our bodies. In a season of sitting, food, and almost no activity, it is important to keep moving. Movement creates endorphins which can decrease anxiety and stress.
- Create New Traditions
Our experiences with the holidays, in many ways, is through traditions – some bad, some good. One of the ways we can care for ourselves during this time is to let go of traditions that harm and create new, life giving traditions with the people we love.
This list was created in partnership with the Unbound Team and Rev. Brooke Scott