Column by Anna Colby – See the archive of Anna’s columns at www.mysaline.com/anna.Thanksgiving is the kick-off to the holiday season. As much as it is a time of kindness, giving, and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving can also be a source of stress–especially this year as many people debate travel plans and struggle to balance family time with safety precautions.
In the holiday havoc, it can be easy to neglect our own needs, however, it’s important that we remember to take care of ourselves–physically and mentally. A few simple changes to routine can be enough to boost our confidence and give us the energy we need to handle the challenges of the season.
So without further ado, here are 7 self-care tips for this Thanksgiving Break!
1. Get a full night’s rest. Seriously.
Sleep is extremely important and many people don’t get enough of it. Thanksgiving Break can be the perfect opportunity to pay our sleep debts and regain the strength we need to hold us off till Christmas Break.
2. Go out into nature more.
Whether it’s taking a walk, stepping out into the backyard, or even just opening your window, taking a moment to enjoy nature is a great way to de-stress and relax. Wake up early to see the sunrise, or stay up late to look at the stars. Collect flowers or cool rocks. Take pictures of the sky.
3. Catch up on your to-do list–and don’t procrastinate.
Creating a schedule to properly manage your responsibilities is the best way to go. If you do your work ahead of time, you can spend your time off from school relaxing instead of stressing–and you won’t have to worry about last minute all-nighters!
4. Be brave enough to be bad at something new.
It’s important to take breaks from the news and social media. Why not pick up a new hobby? That thing you’ve been wanting to learn to do but haven’t yet–do that thing! And if you don’t have “a thing” in mind, do some exploring!
Want to start baking? Bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch and, whoops, you used too much sugar this time, but next time you’ll know. Want to start doing art? Scribble the best stick-figure you can. Write bad poetry or short stories that break every grammar rule in the book. Try gaming or editing videos or calligraphy or crochet. Yeah, you probably won’t be perfect right away, but you don’t have to be–you’re human! Sometimes it’s just nice to make things.
5. Notice the little things.
Appreciate the small details in life you don’t usually notice. The warmth of hot coffee in your hands. The patterns clouds make in the sky. The softness of an oversized sweater. This sounds kind of cheesy, but there really is beauty everywhere. Starting to pay attention to it can make all the difference, mentally.
6. Listen to music.
Make a playlist with all your favorite songs, or discover new artists and groups. Put on a piece of music and see if you can pick out the instruments, and the melodies and harmonies. Think about the meaning behind the lyrics of a song.
7. Perform an act of kindness.
Random acts of kindness like doing the dishes for your family, helping a friend with homework, or giving a stranger a compliment–acts like these humanize us and they’re good for us! Kindness is a habit of giving. What better time than Thanksgiving to spread some positivity? One simple act of kindness can make all the difference in a person’s day.
These are just a few ideas. If you have any more you’d like to share, please list them below in the comments! Happy Thanksgiving!