How to look after yourself during the holiday period

cup of tea on a table near pine cones and fruit

How to look after yourself during the holiday period

You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.


The holiday season is nearly here, and for some people this means fun, joy and laughter. For others though, the holiday season can magnify feelings of stress, anxiety, loneliness and grief.

So, what does cause the most stress in the holiday season? Well, difficult family relationships often cause the most the most emotional stress. Many people have a good relationship with family members but for others this may mean a time of stress and conflict. Blooming Heart Therapy have provided gentle strategies to help look after yourself when feeling yucky and emotional. It is important to remember that you are worthy and loved.

Here are a few points to keep in mind over the holiday period:

  • Don Miguel Ruiz describes “nothing others do is because of you. It is because of themselves”. When you take things personally then you feel hurt and offended, and your emotional reaction is to defend your beliefs. This re-creates animosity and conflict. When you choose not to take things personally, and find ways to ground yourself, you experience inner bliss and happiness.
  • When there are triggers of rejection and abandonment, it is helpful to address the inner child. Talk, comfort and support the inner child, and say to yourself “It’s not about you. You are loved. You are enough”.
  • During this stressful time it is beneficial to increase your self-care. Activities such as walking in nature, having a luxurious bubble bath, listening to soothing music, reading a book or cuddling a pet can help immensely. These activities help calm and nourish the nervous system.
  • When you need an extra shot of strength, engage in grounding techniques. These can be as simple as taking time to breathe slowly, blowing bubbles, use a stress ball/putty, smelling a favourite candle, sipping your favourite tea, or giving yourself a hug. Comfort yourself with soothing words like “I believe in you” and “I am here for you”. Practicing these techniques  regulates the nervous system and helps control blood sugar levels and cortisol.
  • This time of year can be difficult for those who have lost a loved one. Accept that this could be the case for you. You can try sharing memories from your loved one’s memory box if you have created one, or visiting a special place that was important to them. Look after yourself, and give yourself permission to be sad and to grieve.


If you find the holiday season a challenging period please reach out, I’m here to support you. I would like to wish everyone a kind, respectful and self-compassionate transition into 2019.

Take care,

Sarah Harwood MA MACA

Sarah is a marriage, child and family psychotherapist, and is a Bringing Baby Home educator. She is married and is the mother of two children.