Take a moment to enjoy the activities of the season. Photo provided by: Shutterstock
The holiday season can be so full of parties, planning and purchases that it can be difficult to make time for you. Yet taking time to care for yourself ensures you can be at your best and enjoy all the season has to offer. While spa days, fancy dinners and shopping trips can all be worthwhile indulgences during this most hectic of seasons, taking time for yourself doesn’t have to break the bank. The members of JLNO have some fun and unique self-care strategies that fit nicely into seven packages:
Take a moment to enjoy the meaningful activities of the season. Seasonal traditions like wrapping gifts, writing holiday cards and crafting a year in review letter to share with friends and family provide time to reflect on the reason for the season. Spend time completing these checklist items as a way to reminisce on the year gone by and get excited about the year to come. Active Mary Lorenz tells us, “I wrap presents whilst watching Scrooged and drinking red wine.”
Reinvigorate your holiday season with beloved traditions of your family and community. Many JLNO members treat themselves to some of New Orleans’s best seasonal offerings including a stroll through City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks. Lagniappe Editor Lacy McManus says, “My husband actually proposed at Celebration in the Oaks the night before Christmas Eve — needless to say, returning to that spot every year is now a beloved tradition!” Another favorite outing is taking photographs in the lobby-turned-winter-wonderland in the historic Roosevelt Hotel. There is always the option to stay in as well and cook a favorite holiday recipe.
Mindfulness and Meditation
A moment of quiet reflection is an important strategy for self-care during this frenzied season. Meditation sessions offer much needed calm and clarity for our members to stay centered and focused. Activities like reading, journaling and scrapbooking are fun ways to find your zen. Even a trip to the car wash during a session of chaotic errand running offers a five minute respite and a sense of calming cleanliness. Also, stopping to enjoy the cooler weather helps us appreciate the festive time of year. Provisional Christine M. Berger tells us, “I find motivation in realizing that if I’m not 100 percent, I can’t give others 100 percent. Once I have that motivation, I can set my mind to doing what I need to do for myself so that I can do for others and give then my all.”
Getting from Giving
Unsurprisingly, JLNO members are fulfilled by giving. Formal charity donations and annual gifts feed our altruistic nature during the holidays, but less formal acts of giving are equally meaningful. This includes hosting a successful festive dinner, offering seasons greetings and well wishes on social media or even donating blood — a gift that truly keeps on giving. As Active Laren Holzer says, “I love our annual girls’ night ornament exchange — it’s a great excuse to see friends, and it keeps my tree looking fresh!”
Travel traditions allow our members to pay homage to those nostalgic holidays of the past. One way of treating yourself while traveling could be stopping at the same overlook on the road to Christmas dinner to take in the wintery scenery. It could also mean prepping the same seasonal snacks for trips (both by land and air). It could even be as simple as enjoying the same vacation spots with family each year.
Some members plan their me time around sports schedules during the winter months. It’s no secret college football and professional sports are immensely popular in New Orleans, and these recurring events help us schedule times to get all our friends and neighbors together to turn on the holiday cheer. Whether it’s the Saints gridiron action, the Sugar Bowl buzz or the start of the Pelicans basketball season that gets your spirits up, watching your favorite team could be just the ticket!
Energy from Exercise
Keeping up with exercise routines is a smart approach to self-care. Members note that making time to exercise is essential for wellbeing during the busy season. Recommended activities include yoga, barre, spin and running. There are even several holiday themed races and fun runs during this time of year to give the entire family an excuse to get creative, have fun and burn off a few extra bites of pumpkin pie.
Pamper and Polish
A time-honored approach to treating yourself, no matter the time of year, is taking time to be pampered. Who doesn’t enjoy salon treats like massages, facials or a fresh new haircut? Selecting the hottest shade of red lipstick or glittery nail polish can easily dress up any jolly outfit. And pampering oneself with a yummy cocktail in hand while listening to Bing Crosby croon or watching It’s A Wonderful Life for the fifth time…now that’s the definition of holiday cheer. As Provisional Sarah Lobell says, “My husband and I actually do watch Love Actually every year!”