6 Ways To Prioritize Your Well-Being This Season With Holiday Self-Care

Skin Care, How To

6 Ways To Prioritize Your Well-Being This Season With Holiday Self-Care

by Anubha Charan
October 17, 2023

The holiday season promises cozy nights in, gift exchanges and a chance to put the chaos of daily living on pause for a while. However, there's a flip side: All that hosting, gift hunting and socializing can add up, leading to added stress and eventual burnout.

That's where holiday self-care enters the picture. To save you from having to expend any more effort than the season already demands, you can lean on simple ways to squeeze some extra joy out of the coming months.


6 Holiday Self-Care Tips

Tailoring your self-care to the time of year allows you to prioritize both your emotional and physical well-being. Here are six simple self-care tips to help you soak in the season.

1. Set Boundaries

It's easy to overextend yourself during the holidays; saying yes to everything is a slippery slope. Setting boundaries is one of the most important acts of self-care — like putting on your own oxygen mask first.

Give yourself permission to decline that extraneous invitation, dedicate part of your budget to yourself, and steer clear of situations that zap your emotional energy in favor of ones that leave you feeling good. Focus your energy on the people and events that are most meaningful to you.

2. Schedule Time for Yourself

Between family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and the litany of other people who might occupy your time during the holiday season, sometimes it's easy to lose any moments alone with your own thoughts.

This is a recipe for burnout. Schedule some time every day to do something that helps you unwind and feel grounded. This may be a quiet cup of coffee first thing in the morning, zoning out with a relaxing bubble bath right before bed or putting on headphones and drifting away to your favorite music while the world goes on around you.

3. Breathe In. Breathe Out.

Simply breathing properly can be one of the most important acts of self-care during the holidays. Shallow breaths can reduce the flow of oxygen to the body — by simply becoming more conscious of your breathing, you can help reduce anxiety and fatigue, stabilize blood pressure, improve brain health, boost feelings of positivity and induce a feeling of calm. When things seem hectic, spend a moment consciously taking slow, deep breaths that go all the way to your diaphragm.

4. Get a Move On

It's common to put a pause on workouts as the days get shorter and the weather cools down. However, this is actually when it's most important to stay active. Exercising releases endorphins — feel-good chemicals that help relieve stress and anxiety, improve sleep and boost energy levels.

Your chosen method of breaking a sweat doesn't have to be intense or take a ton of time. The mood-boosting benefits of exercise kick in after just five minutes. So, add some movement into your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk your dog every day during lunch, wake up with a quick online yoga class, or just put on some cheerful holiday tunes and get dancing! If you start small, you'll be more likely to stick with it all winter long.

5. Stay Hydrated

One of the simplest forms of holiday self-care? Keep yourself hydrated. We often forget to drink enough water during this busy time, leading to dehydration. This causes fatigues, irritability, headaches and dry skin, among other things.

So, aim to drink eight glasses of water a day, and give your skin an additional boost by layering a hydrating serum like the Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Serum underneath a nourishing moisturizer like the Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Water Cream. Hyaluronic acid is your best friend in the colder months. This humectant can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. The result? Supple, glowing skin.

6. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude shifts your perspective by centering the positive things in life, even on the gloomiest days. In addition, the simple task of practicing gratitude may help release the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin into your bloodstream.

In other words, gratitude can make you happier by boosting your sleep, energy levels and emotional resilience. Do a brain dump every night by jotting down at least three things you're grateful for and journaling about how they make you feel. Or, spread the gratitude to others by writing a letter to a friend or loved one thanking them for being in your life. They'll feel so appreciated when they receive some surprise mail from you.

Make Skincare Part of Your Self-Care

Simple skincare moments can be almost meditative — the calming repetition of massaging a lush cream into your complexion, the release of sinking into a hot bath, the relief of laying a calming face mask over irritated skin.

The opposite is true as well: stress triggers cortisol, which slows down skin's natural exfoliation and increases oil production. This results in a buildup of dead skin cells and clogged pores. Cue skin that becomes increasingly dull, lifeless and prone to blemishes.

The fix? Switch to noncomedogenic cosmetics, take off every speck of oil and makeup with the Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash with Salicylic Acid at night, and exfoliate regularly.

You can plan everything to perfection this holiday season and still have some moments that get you down. In those moments, the last thing you'll want to do is figure out how to make yourself feel better — you'll just want to feel better. So, do the work ahead of time: Spend a quiet afternoon prepping a self-care box filled with comforting items. A few ideas: your favorite candle, a soothing face mask, a gift card to your favorite restaurant, comfortable pajamas, fuzzy socks and some indulgent chocolates. Think of it as first aid for your emotional health.



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