National Eating Disorders Association

4 Ways to Self-Care This Holiday Season

Kristina Combs

It’s always been extremely easy for me to care for others while often forgetting to care for myself. With the holiday season upon us, it’s a busy time for many people, which often leads to feeling burnt out. Taking time out for yourself is a necessity—it isn’t selfish or something that you can continue to put off. Self-care is essential in rejuvenating yourself and beneficial to your physical and mental health.  

Below are some self-care tips that I have found useful, and I hope they can help others as well:

1. Get enough sleep. It’s easy to stay up late, whether it’s to study, be out with friends, or because your brain simply won’t “turn off.” By not getting an adequate amount of sleep, you can be left feeling drained. This is something that I’ve struggled with for a while, but I am doing more to fix it. I have created a nightly routine for myself so that I can wind down and de-stress from the day. Making sure you get enough sleep can help keep your mind healthy and keep you more alert.

2. Unplug yourself. Everyone in society is glued to their electronic devices. It’s hard to just turn off as technology is around us all day. As much as I love the internet, it’s important to give your mind and eyesight some time to switch off. We are so consumed by apps and notifications; by doing this, I’ve gained more appreciation for the world and people around me and for physical experiences. 

3. Declutter. I know that cleaning is not a priority in many people’s lives, but taking the time out to de-clutter your work area or bedroom can help give you a fresh start. It’s okay to let go of things you no longer need. As a student, my desk area often piles up with work. When I reorganize, I find that it helps my mind feel on-task to complete any work that I have and helps me feel accomplished. 

4. Practice feeling gratitude. During this challenging time, it’s easy to dwell on the things you do not have or things you wish you had. Taking time out of your day to focus on one thing you are feeling grateful for can help you feel more mindful. I usually do this once in the morning or once at night. It’s easy to forget the good things that we do have when society is always telling us to go out and get more. At this moment, I am grateful for my supportive family. 

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself, but self-care is so important to our self-growth. Taking time out to care for yourself is not selfish; it’s something that everyone deserves. Remember to always set up some “me-time” to help you clear your mind and feel more grounded. I hope these four tips helped! 

Kristina is obtaining her masters degree in social work at Adelphi University. She started volunteering with NEDA’s Helpline hoping to help support and empower individuals and their families who are affected by eating disorders. Kristina is interested in helping others, activism, and being a voice for those who feel that they do not have one.