As much as I love the holiday season it can be absolutely exhausting at times. I almost always come down with at least one cold and I feel like I’m running on minimal sleep. I just got over a cold that I had been fighting for about two weeks and now my poor husband has it. Our home is basically one giant pile of Kleenex, Mucinex, and hot tea. It’s been horrible and I’m ready for both of us to feel better already. I’m just trying to stay thankful that it wasn’t a full-blown flu or a lung infection.
This year we are traveling to Florida for Christmas to spend the holiday with my family and our brand-new nephew (he’s due Dec 6th!) so we are trying to make sure we are super healthy, well-rested, in good spirits, and prepared before we travel down there. The last thing I want to do is show up frustrated and annoyed. I told my husband I am taking time this year to love on myself a bit between the holidays and I encourage all of you to do the same.
Here are just a few of the things I’m doing…
Showering and investing time in looking/feeling fabulous
I’m kind of notorious for showering, throwing my hair in a topknot (which I instagrammed the other day), and rushing out the door. It’s fine to do that sometimes but I make a habit of it wayyyy too often (which is why I rarely IG photos of myself or share photos of myself online, I’m never photo-ready). I have no excuse other than I like to sleep and I hate how much time it takes to look nice although when I do actually take the time I feel like a million bucks so I really should do it more often.
I spent 20 minutes the other day and felt great all day. That isn’t that much time and it was worth it so I’m going to try to make a habit of it all season. I can invest 20 minutes in myself, surely I deserve that.
Keeping up my winter skincare routine
While I’m not seriously in to make-up because I don’t really “get” all of the techniques, millions of brushes, and what color palettes go with my skin/coloring I am really in to skincare. I feel like the better my skincare routine is, the less make-up I need and the more youthful I’ll look without a ton of lighting or make-up tricks. I am a bit obsessive about my skincare which I’ve never really talked about it on here before.
I have far too many skincare washes, serums, creams, etc and right now I’m still feeling fully devoted to Aveeno. I have tried a lot of other product lines including some that are $100+ for a night cream but I can’t justify that expense most of the time when Aveeno does such a great job of keeping my skin clean and smooth. My two favorite must-have and must-use products are the ultra-calming foam cleanser and the positively radiant night cream.
Keeping up on the fruits & veggies
As I’m sure you know by now, my husband is a full-vegetarian and I’m a flexetarian (meaning I eat veggie w/ a little meat on the side 1 x- 3x per week). I have absolutely zero meat in the house so I only eat meat when we go out. At home it’s all tofu, quinoa, fruits, and veggies. During the holidays we typically eat breakfast, a lunch-time smoothie, and a light dinner like vegetarian chili, meatless stuffed pepper soup, or vegetable soup. Sometimes breakfast and lunch are smoothies because they are ridiculously fast to make especially when you prep them like I do.
I slice and freeze bananas, strawberries, blackberries, mango, and other fruits. I also freeze vanilla and strawberry yogurt in ice cube trays. I then use freezer bags and make ready-to-go smoothies by combining the fruit and yogurt in portioned frozen bags. Then, when I make the smoothie I just add milk, chia seeds, and greens if desired. I currently use a Ninja (which is awesome!) but I’m thinking of upgrading to a Vitamix next year so I can grind up nuts and other hard items.
My favorite smoothie is currently 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup of chopped blackberries, 3 frozen cubes of vanilla yogurt, milk, and a small scoop of chia seeds. Banana + Blackberry + Vanilla = YUMMM!
Holding on to the little indulgences
Helloooo coffee run! Listen, I love our Keurig and I can’t imagine life without it but sometimes you need to treat yourself to a little indulgence. We live about 2 blocks away from Starbucks so sometimes I’ll take 15-minutes to myself, walk up there, and treat myself to a Caramel Brulee latte #justbecause. Sometimes I justify it by saying that the walk can double as quick workout. 😉
It makes me happy, keeps me energized, and the red cup helps me feel festive. It’s basically a win-win for me. Your indulgence doesn’t have to be Starbucks but whatever it is, remember that you deserve it.
In 2010 (at least I think it was 2010? Maybe it was 2008…or 2009…?) my Mom and I started purchasing the Southern Living cookbooks that they sell annually in Dillards Department Stores. It’s become a tradition, much the same way that buying each other perfume has become an annual Mother/Daughter tradition. Every holiday season I break them out and comb through them looking for the best of the best veggie recipes for my husband and I so I can keep a dinner plan prepared.
I try so hard to stick to a meal plan during the rest of the year but I always fail miserably. During the holidays I stick to a very strict meal plan because I need the structure. I rely heavily on it. It helps me keep the mealtime overwhelm at a minimum and since I can always cook soups in bulk (enough to last at least 2 – 3 days) I really only have to plan 2 soups or chilis per week and a couple of quick veggie sides. It’s a total mental saving grace.
Other than that, I’m probably as crazy as the rest of you trying to balance shopping trips, gift wrapping, and travel plans (which reminds me that I still need to find a hotel in Florida for Christmas!). Christmas is in less than a month and I still haven’t booked a hotel or reserved my rental car. Good lord…what a mess I am this year! I have, however, started shopping for presents because #priorities.
Oh…and as a bonus…if you can get yourself to Bath & Body Works and pick up their peppermint bubble bath and steal 20 minutes for a hot steaming soak in your tub you won’t regret it. It’s basically heaven.
How do you prioritize self-care during the holidays? Any extra tips or recommendations?