I love the holidays. The delicious smells in the stores and pretty lights everywhere always brighten my day. It can also be a hectic and stressful time of year. Even if you have all of your gifts bought and wrapped by Thanksgiving, there are so many other demands on your time and energy during this season. It is because of this that so many moms, me included, forget about self-care entirely for the month of December. This leads to you being so drained by Christmas that it is difficult to enjoy it and be 100% present. Let’s change that and start a new tradition this year with a self-care Advent calendar to help us take care of ourselves during the busy holiday season as well.
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Rules for a Self-Care Advent Calendar
For any endeavor to be successful you need to set some ground rules. It is silly and a disservice that we neglect ourselves so much during the holidays. I get it. We are so focused on making sure that it is a wonderful time of year for everyone else. We don’t even realize how litter we are doing for ourselves until it is too late. That’s why the rules for a self-care Advent calendar are easy:
Rule 1 – Buy everything for your self-care Advent calendar ahead of time. If you put it off until the day of that activity, you are more likely to skip that day and allocate the funds to something else.
Rule 2 – You have to complete the given self-care task that day. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Even taking 5 minutes a day for self-care can do wonders for your stress and overall well-being.
24 Self-Care Advent Calendar Ideas
- Buy a new one or use your favorite face mask on hand but take time to relax with one on.
- Again, you can get a new one or use one you already own. Either way, take a calming soak in the tub today.
Read a Book
- Even if you don’t pick it up again until after the New Year, take time out today to read a book. Bonus tip: If you only have 10 minutes to spare, set a timer so that you don’t waste your self-care time checking the clock. (Find more ideas to fit reading into your day on Embrace a Habit of Reading.)
Paint Your Nails
- When is the last time you made it a point to dress up your nails? Today, give your hands some pampering with a festive holiday makeover.
- This one you can do with the kids or on your own, but take some time out to relax and color some pretty pictures.
Start a Journal
- Journaling doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. You can simply write down one thing that you are grateful for each day or a memory that you want to preserve. Buy a new journal or fun notebook and start today.
- Treat yourself to your favorite fancy coffee today. Bonus idea: Drink it in the store alone for some extra comfort and care.
Go for a Walk
- Bundle up, put on some headphones, and take a stroll through your neighborhood after dinner.
- Meditation is a great way to re-center and focus. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. Take 5 minutes today and give it a try. (Amazon Music has a great mediation playlist pre-made for you.)
Electronics Free Day
- You might be amazed at how difficult this is at first but go an entire day with no electronics. Keep your phone off, don’t get on your computer, and don’t watch television. If you want to up the ante, use candles instead of overhead lights in the evening. You will feel more relaxed when you lay down for bed that evening than you have in ages.
- Choose a craft that you enjoy and spend some time making something today. For me, crochet is incredibly therapeutic and relaxing because of the repetitive action and counting.
Change Your Hair
- This can be as elaborate or simple are you want. Try a new hair cut or color for a drastic change. Attempt a fancy updo or DIY blowout for a simpler, less-permanent change.
Have Breakfast in Bed
- You can do this one on your own, believe it or not. Make a freezer breakfast beforehand, like this quick and easy sausage quiche, and throw it in the oven. When it’s finished baking, set the kids up with cartoons and take it to your room for a delicious hot breakfast in bed. Don’t forget the coffee and orange juice, too.
- Fill your bedroom with the fantastic scent of your favorite candle. Light it an hour before going to bed and drift off to the comfort of your favorite smell. Don’t forget to blow it out before going to sleep.
Give Yourself a Pedicure
- If you don’t feel like doing everything from exfoliating your feet to painting your nails, try a lotion and socks kit. You spend so much time on your feet, show them some love.
Buy Yourself a Gift
- Today, go out and buy yourself a gift and wrap it up for Christmas. This can be as big or as little as you want, just be sure not to blow your budget.
Get Made Up
- Have you relegated makeup for date nights and special occasions? Today, have some fun and get all dolled up for no reason.
Rent a Movie
- Check out Amazon Prime or hit up a Redbox and pick out a movie you wanted to see. That night, snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn after the kids go to bed and enjoy.
Write a Letter
- Take some time today to write a letter and stick it in the mail. Write your parents about how much you love them or let a friend know that you’re thinking of her.
Try a New Recipe
- How many recipes have you pinned on Pinterest that look amazing but you have never tried? Today, pick one to make and try for the first time. Bonus points if it is a dessert.
Go to Bed Early
- Today, get some much needed rest and head to bed when the kids do. Whatever is on your to-do list will still be there tomorrow, I promise. Put it down for the night and get some extra sleep for once.
Play a Game
- Whatever kind of game you love to play, take time today and enjoy it. I, personally, love The Sims but maybe you’re a crossword or Solitaire chick. Pick your favorite and spend some time playing it.
Go For a Drive
- Hop in your car today and go for a drive. Blast your favorite songs and rock out like no one’s watching.
Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie
- There’s no better way to end Christmas Even than by watching your favorite Christmas movie. Pop it in tonight and relax before the big day (and early morning) tomorrow.
Start a new tradition of taking care of you this holiday season. This self-care Advent calendar is the perfect daily reminder to keep it a priority. Don’t forget the 2 simple rules to make it effective: Buy all of your items needed ahead of time and each activity must be completed the day it is assigned. A bonus tip for you, in case you’re like me, buy specific gift cards for the purchase days. For example, purchase a Starbucks gift card for your coffee splurge day. This way you won’t be tempted to spend it on something else (like Pop-Tarts for the kids). This is about remembering to put yourself first sometimes so be sure to set it up to be as successful as possible. Don’t forget to check out the Best Black Friday Deals at Kohl’s 2017 this year to ease the financial stress of the holidays, too.
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I’m a nerdy, crafty mom of three adorable little kids. I love writing and creating, but in my non-existent free time I also love karaoke, taking my kids to the zoo, and reading. I got my degree in Science (no idea how that happened) but I took every English class I could get my hands on because, yeah, I’m that girl.