How To Take Care Of Yourself During The Holidays, According To Experts

Ad failed to load

Here’s the thing no one talks about in regards to the so-called most wonderful time of year: For a naturally anxious person, it can actually be super overwhelming, which is why it’s vital to figure out how to take care of yourself during the holidays. Once the snowy season is here, our social calendars can fill up fast with celebratory dinners, tree lightings, office parties, and Secret Santa gift swaps that take up a lot of time and, not to sound like a cheap-y Scrooge, but money, too. With so much going on in the span of just one month, it's super important to schedule (and stick to) time that’s exclusively for yourself.

If the holidays do tend to overwhelm you, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. For example, celebs aren’t immune to holiday stress either. Kesha recently penned an article for Time discussing how she deals with her mental illness during the holiday season. The hustle and bustle of the holidays — having to be here, there, and everywhere with a gift in hand to boot — is enough to throw anyone off-kilter, even the rich and famous pop stars.

The key, Kesha said, is to take time for yourself. She wrote,

Ad failed to load

Self-care is so important all year round, but especially during the holidays when it's super easy to lose track of time under a pile of RSVP cards. Schedule time that's unapologetically yours, and refer to these expert tips on how to stay calm through stressful situations and holiday blues.

Ad failed to load

1Take Deep Breaths

I know this sounds incredibly cliché, and it may be old news by now, but learning how to control your breath can be incredibly beneficial to both your mental and physical health when you're feeling particularly anxious.

Mental health advocate and author of The Happiness Diet Rachel Kelly tells Elite Daily that breathing in for seven seconds, and out for 11 seconds, is a great way to become "centered and in the moment." It's definitely something worth mastering, especially if you have a full calendar that doesn't leave a whole lot of "me" time available.

2Don't Depend On Alcohol To Calm You Down

It's easy to resort to sipping on a glass or two more of wine when awkward family moments around the dinner table ensue, but alcohol is actually a really bad idea if you struggle with anxiety.

Because alcohol messes with your body's natural levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters, downing more than a glass can spike feelings of nervousness. But, if you need spirits to lift yours, Kelly suggests keeping servings to "a maximum of two glasses of ideally red wine, which has the most health benefits," or mixing booze with sparkling water to lessen the effects.

3Put A Limit On Your Gift-Giving

It's easy to lose yourself in the season of giving. I know myself, and when I sit down to draft a list of who to buy for, I almost always include people on my list who I a) probably won't see and b) consider distant friends. It's really easy to get carried away when everyone is looking forward to giving and receiving, but from a monetary perspective, sometimes it's just not realistic to go all out.

Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC tells Elite Daily that prioritizing your inner circle is a great way to cut down on costs. On a similar note, Dr. Steven Levine, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and founder and CEO of Actify Neurotherapies, tells Elite Daily that the most meaningful gifts are the ones that probably cost very little. So, before getting wrapped up in the materialism of the holiday season, take a step back to consider what really matters most this time of year.

Ad failed to load

4Remember To Treat Yourself, Too

Holiday season is also grazing season, which means food on food on food. While some people can indulge in desserts and decadent entrees without a second thought, for those of us who struggle with an eating disorder, the holiday season can be especially tough to muddle through.

The key to eating through the season is to remember this only happens once a year, so it's not only OK to treat yourself, it's encouraged. After all, your mom only makes those delicious gingerbread cookies during Christmas, so why miss your one chance of the whole year to enjoy them?

"Remember that you get to choose what you eat even when you get pressure from friends and family members," Dr. Sherry Benton, chief science officer and founder of mental health organization TAO Connect, reminds us.

5Practice Gratitude

'Tis the season of giving, but 'tis also the season to lose yourself to commercial gimmicks and the demand of material goods.

You may find yourself wanting things just because, or spending a ton of money on presents for people you don't actually consider all that close to you. So, when the giving and receiving portion of the holiday season gets to your head, remind yourself to stop for a second, and think about everything you have to be grateful for in this life.

"Take a moment to recognize and be proud of how far you have come," Robyn Cruze, Eating Recovery Center’s national recovery advocate, tells Elite Daily. "Share the gratitude and solutions to your struggles openly; it is a gift to our hearts and removes any shame anyone is feeling."

6Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Sure, when you're feeling a little anxious, it probably feels best to pass up on party invitations and kick it on the couch with Netflix and a blanket. But the benefit to having loved ones around during the holidays is that you always have a shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough.

According to Cruze, the best way to lessen emotional triggers and stay calm throughout the holiday season is to have someone, or even a few loved ones, who you know and trust and feel comfortable confiding in. "Do what you need for yourself," she tells Elite Daily, "and encourage other family members to do the same."

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas