12 Days of Self-Care: A Mini Survival Guide for the Holidays

The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but it can also be a time of stress and exhaustion. With so many obligations and expectations, it can be easy to neglect our own self-care. That’s why we’ve created this mini survival guide to help you make it through the holidays with a little bit of extra self-care.

Day 1: Prioritize Sleep

One of the best ways to take care of yourself during the holidays is to prioritize sleep. With so many events and activities, it can be easy to stay up late and wake up early. But lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system, decreased cognitive function, and an increased risk of depression and anxiety. To ensure you’re getting enough sleep, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule and avoid caffeine and electronics for at least an hour before bed.

Day 2: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being. To practice mindfulness during the holidays, try to take a few minutes each day to focus on your breath and be present in the moment. You can also try a guided meditation or yoga class to help you relax and focus.

Day 3: Get Moving

Exercise is a great way to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. It can help boost energy levels, improve mood, and reduce stress. To make sure you’re getting enough exercise during the holidays, try to schedule in at least 30 minutes of activity each day. This can be anything from a brisk walk to a yoga class.

Day 4: Make Time for Self-Reflection

The holidays can be a busy time, but it’s important to make time for self-reflection. Take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, what you’re looking forward to, and what you want to let go of. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of the holiday season and let go of any negative feelings or stress.

Day 5: Connect with Loved Ones

One of the best things about the holidays is spending time with loved ones. But it’s important to remember that quality time is more important than quantity. Instead of feeling pressured to attend every event or party, make sure you’re spending time with the people who matter most to you.

Day 6: Be Kind to Yourself

It’s easy to get caught up in the perfectionism of the holidays, but it’s important to be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to say no to events or activities that don’t align with your values or priorities. Remember that it’s okay to not be perfect and to make mistakes.

Day 7: Take a Break

The holidays can be overwhelming, and it’s important to take a break when you need it. Whether it’s taking a few minutes to yourself or stepping away from a conversation that’s making you feel stressed, make sure you’re giving yourself the space and time you need to recharge.

Day 8: Practice Self-Care

Self-care is essential for maintaining physical and mental well-being. Take some time each day to do something that makes you feel good. This could be anything from reading a book, taking a bath, or going for a walk.

Day 9: Give Back

As we near the end of our 12 days of self-care, it’s important to remember that self-care also means taking care of others. Giving back to our communities can not only make a positive impact on the world around us, but it can also make us feel good about ourselves and our ability to make a difference.

One way to give back during the holiday season is to volunteer at a local charity or non-profit organization. Many organizations need extra help during the holidays, whether it be serving meals at a soup kitchen or wrapping gifts for children in need. Not only will you be helping those in need, but you’ll also be getting out of the house and socializing with others.

Another way to give back is to donate to a charity or non-profit organization. This can be as simple as making a monetary donation or buying a gift for a child through an organization’s giving tree program. You can also donate items such as clothing, toys, or non-perishable food items.

Finally, consider giving the gift of your time to someone in need. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their shopping or to spend time with a friend or family member who may be alone during the holidays.

On this ninth day of self-care, take some time to think about how you can give back to your community and make a positive impact on the world around you. Not only will it make a difference in the lives of others, but it will also bring you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Day 10: Reflect

The holiday season can be a time of joy, but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. It’s important to take a step back and reflect on the past year and think about what you’re grateful for.

One way to do this is to write in a gratitude journal. Each day, write down one thing that you’re grateful for. This can be something as small as a warm cup of coffee or as big as a new job. Reflecting on the positive things in your life can help shift your focus from the negative and bring a sense of peace.

Another way to reflect is to spend some time alone. Whether it’s going for a walk by yourself, sitting in silence, or meditating, taking some time to be alone with your thoughts can help you process your emotions and come to a place of clarity.

Finally, consider talking to a therapist or counselor. They can help you process your thoughts and emotions, and give you tools to cope with stress and anxiety.

On this tenth day of self-care, take some time to reflect on the past year and think about what you’re grateful for. It’s important to take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally, during the holiday season.

Day 11: Practice Self-Compassion

The holiday season can be a time of high expectations and pressure to be perfect. It’s important to remember that no one is perfect and to practice self-compassion.

One way to practice self-compassion is to speak to yourself in a kind and understanding way. Rather than criticizing yourself for not being perfect, try to be understanding and compassionate towards yourself.

Another way to practice self-compassion is to focus on the present moment. Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, try to be present in the moment and focus on what you can do right now.

Finally, consider practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness can help you be more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and can help you respond to them in a more compassionate way.

On this eleventh day of self-care, take some time to practice self-compassion.

Day 12: Plan Ahead

The final day of our self-care mini survival guide is all about planning ahead. The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time, so it’s important to start thinking about how you can make next year’s holiday season a little bit easier.

This can include setting a budget for gifts, planning out your holiday schedule in advance, or brainstorming ways to make your holiday traditions more sustainable.

Remember, self-care isn’t just about taking care of yourself in the moment, it’s also about setting yourself up for success in the future. By planning ahead and taking steps to make next year’s holiday season a little bit easier, you can set yourself up for a happier and healthier holiday season in the future.

In conclusion, self-care is an essential part of getting through the holiday season. By taking the time to prioritize your physical, emotional and mental well-being, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Remember, self-care is not selfish, it’s essential. So, take the time to take care of yourself and your loved ones this holiday season, and you’ll be able to make the most of the holiday season.


  1. Sleep Tips for a Better Holiday Season – National Sleep Foundation – https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-tips-better-holiday-season
  2. The Science of Mindfulness – Greater Good Magazine – https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition
  3. Exercise for Stress and Anxiety – Anxiety and Depression Association of America – https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
  4. Gratitude Journaling: A Simple Practice That Can Change Your Life – Positive Psychology – https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-journal/
  5. Find Volunteer Opportunities and Events Near You – VolunteerMatch – https://www.volunteermatch.org/

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