This time of year can get overwhelming with all the present shopping, parties, and family activities. Not to mention all of that is on top of all of our other mom duties.
Here is a simple list of self care ideas for the holidays that moms can, and should, do! It’s ok to steal a little time for yourself at Christmas.
This post was originally published on December 11, 2018, and has now been updated with new images, links, and more.
Self Care is a Must
I’m guessing that your kids are all about the holidays like mine are. My kids start wearing Santa hats to school starting December first. They are obsessed with our elf and they blast our Christmas music playlist every day after school.
Along with all the fun and positive things that come with the holidays, it’s often a time of year that brings out some depression and anxiety.
As moms, we have a laundry list of things to do to make sure Christmas seems as magical as possible to our families. From homemade ornaments to making batches of caramel corn to pass around, we can feel stretched thin and too busy.
I recently heard someone talking about destigmatizing anxiety and depression. They suggested instead of calling it mental illness, that we need to change the perspective and talk about mental wellness. And I loved that!
I think this is a great way to look at self care for moms. It can be so mentally exhausting being a mom and it’s very important to make sure that we are staying mentally well.
These self care ideas for the holidays are things that you can easily do. They don’t take a lot of time, don’t take a ton of money, and can be done by yourself or with friends.
It’s ok to take a mom timeout! Make sure you are focusing on your mental wellness during this busy time of year.
Self Care Ideas for the Holidays
1. A Coffee Date with Yourself
Let the moment that Starbucks debuts the latest holiday cup be your guide. Once that happens, you know the holiday season is about to kick into high gear. For many, drinking coffee is about stopping for a minute to enjoy a nice warm cup. So do that!
And enjoy every minute of it!
I cut out the fancy, fattening coffee drinks years ago, but at least once a season I splurge on an old favorite. I implore you to buy your favorite, full-fat drink too. And then sit with it and really enjoy it!
On the day I took the photo above, I was meeting a friend and I just sat on a bench, off of my phone, and just really enjoyed sipping my warm drink.
It was odd how at peace I felt just sitting. But I don’t think we do that very often. And it was EVERYTHING.
So I guess 1a. would also be unplug!
2. Get a Pedicure
I usually paint my own toenails but sometimes I just want someone to handle it for me and rub my legs for 15 minutes. Is that so much to ask?
Even if you are in boots or snowshoes due to the weather, you can still indulge in a little foot treatment. (At the very least get yourself some Baby Foot for at home).
Christmas is the perfect time to treat yourself. And if you regularly get pedicures, upgrade it. Bump up to the next package. Does picking your pedicure package make anyone else feel like they are at the car wash…
3. Start a New Tradition for Yourself
Our kids have the elf, our extended family makes Santa face cookies together, my boys make candy trains with my mom. But do YOU have a tradition?
A few years ago, I started getting panettone during the holidays and it has turned into a tradition.
I skip my usual oatmeal and have this for breakfast. It feels decadent and is a fun way to kick off the season. And I’m the only one in my family who cares about this. It’s my own little treat.
This could be as easy as sipping hot chocolate at the beach, choosing a tasty holiday candy, or even tackling your Christmas shopping online from your cozy bed. (I think I’m going to add that last one in).
4. Make a Holiday Playlist
Luckily my kids like my holiday playlist, but if they didn’t, I would still listen to it. Everyone in my family has their own taste in Christmas music. But at least a few times a season I need to listen to these specific songs.
Music is a great way to bring up memories of past holiday experiences or create a certain atmosphere. And, yes, Wham is on this playlist. (Fight me).
A lot of my self care ideas involve music. I like to create a specific vibe for my “me time”.
And if you create a playlist you love, you can turn it on during the soul-sucking chores of the holiday season (like gift wrapping) that you hate and make it a little more tolerable.
5. Eat a Candy Cane
Do it. I’m not a huge candy eater (except for Fun Dip), but there is something so festive about a candy cane!
And if you think about it, of all the Christmas treats, this really isn’t that bad for you. It could be worse. Add one to your coffee or hot chocolate, rim a cocktail glass with some crushed candy or just eat it on its own!
6. Create an Essential Oil Blend with Holiday Smells
I use my diffuser just about every single day. And as soon as I can turn off my air conditioner (which in CA is usually mid-November), I start using a holiday oil blend.
I love walking into my house when it smells like cinnamon and clove and orange and peppermint. Or maybe you’re more of a pine person (I’m also a pine person).
Don’t have a diffuser (you can make one with lava stones), you can also burn a candle. I lit a pine-scented candle (this one is my FAVORITE!) the other day when it was raining and it weirdly totally made my day.
7. Get Yourself an Advent Calendar
My mom buys the kids their advent calendars every year. But this year I decided I wanted one too.
Trader Joe’s has a fun calendar full of chocolates that is inexpensive (and yummy). There’s a beauty advent calendar. Or get a Lego one like the kids get. Or you can go all out and do a wine advent calendar (that is fun to enjoy with friends – virtually!)
They shouldn’t be the only ones opening a little gift each day!
Here is a blank ’12 Days of Christmas’ advent calendar box for you to fill with whatever you want to gift yourself this year!
8. Watch a Holdiay Movie
The kids and I watched Home Alone together last night and it was really fun. We love to watch that at the holidays. But I also have to watch my favorite holiday movie. No one else in my family likes it but that doesn’t bother me.
It feels good to sit down and watch a familiar favorite and get into the holiday spirit. But seriously, how can someone not like Jingle All the Way? I think it’s some of Sinbad’s and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s finest acting work.
Or you can find holiday movies on Netflix, or Lifetime. Better yet, watch the Hallmark Channel and play my drinking game.
9. Sip Champagne When You’re Thirsty
This is the perfect time of year to keep these little champagne cans on hand. I sipped these last year when I was wrapping presents. And maybe when we were decorating cookies. And watching Hallmark Movies…
They come in a 4 pack and are great for when you want a drink but don’t want to open a whole bottle.
Champagne is a great self care idea for the holidays because it makes everything instantly feel more festive. Even when trying to do math to figure out how much you have overspent on your Christmas budget.
10. Take a Photo with Santa with a Friend (without the kids)
A few years ago a friend and I took a photo with Santa. We had been out Black Friday shopping and decided to grab a quick pic with the man in red. We take the kids every year, and usually, wait in line for a while.
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision and it made us laugh and feel like we were doing something for ourselves for a minute. It made us feel like a kid to tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas.
11. Get a Pair or 5 of Cozy Socks
The gosh dang socks in the photo above are ruining my life. I saw them on Old Navy and ignored them at first because I didn’t like the patterns they offered.
But I ordered anyway and when they showed up, I put them on and now I DON’T WANT TO EVER TAKE THEM OFF! Like, it’s hard to put shoes on and leave the house because these are that cozy!
They are not yet on their site for this season and I am really hoping they bring them back. (But I always buy several pairs of fuzzy socks each year too).
The socks are super unflattering. They hit your ankle at a weird spot. They make my feet look swollen like when I was pregnant with my first child. And this red and black check pair is the cutest pattern they offer (which is odd because I feel like Old Navy usually nails it with their patterned socks).
I ended up ordering more because I loved them so much. And I bought some for the kids too because I knew they would steal mine. If you ignore all the other self care ideas for the holidays, get yourself at least one pair of these socks!
12. Get Your Groceries Delivered
YOU GUYS! Having my groceries delivered is the best self care you can do! I have been using Amazon Fresh just about weekly for the last few months. It saves me so much time!
With all the holiday class parties and winter concerts that are happening, having someone else handle the grocery shopping can really help! It doesn’t cost THAT much more and it means you get that 45 minutes to an hour back for yourself.
These easy self care ideas for the holidays are meant to help you be a little more in tune with yourself and to really figure out what you need to be mentally well. It’s a season of giving but it also should be a season of joy for you.
We put ourselves last and we always will but it is absolutely ok to find ways to make ourselves happy along the way. You might not be able to take a whole day for yourself, but you can certainly create a mom timeout!
If you feel up to it, grab some girlfriends and try a Self Care Challenge!