I wanted to write and address that December and January is a time of year that can be very trying for some people. Myself included.

With December, the holidays come up and anxiety can build around family or lack there of. There can be so many pressures and deadlines. Sometimes going to a social event can even become nerve wracking, taxing or difficult (maybe you’re shy, maybe you suffer from fatigue or maybe you have to also find babysitting, which isn’t easy!!).

Following the holidays (also depending on if you celebrate Christmas or not), there can be a “let down” period, almost a depression if you will; as excitement declines and loved ones depart or maybe you depart your loved ones.

And then January comes along, quite possibly the coldest month of the year, or at least it feels that way here in North America.

It’s important to self care at this time

How do we self care and what does that look like? Why is it so important? I have been asking myself these two questions a lot lately and I have decided that only I can determine what is best for me.  Yes, we need our basic needs met – food, shelter, companionship. What about all the little sub-needs in the middle?

How can I best honour myself within my needs of nutrition, sleep, physicality, emotions, spiritually and companionship?  What does nourishment look like to me? To you?  A hot bowl of soup? Maybe you are too tired and just need to order a pizza?

What does companionship sound like? Maybe asking a trusted friend to talk?

Maybe a long, deep, hot bath? Maybe surrendering to the overwhelm and letting yourself just cry and use up an entire box of tissue?

Self care can also mean saying “No” to things or activities as a means of conserving precious energy or respecting our own boundaries.

As I ponder on the weeks ahead, anticipating both the excitement and grief that comes with the holidays, I have decided to be as gentle with myself as possible.

And come January on a cold, cold night, I will probably bust out a mad, crazy dance (singing at the top of my lungs), as I go for a run along the river, just to be with myself (and escape my 3 year old toddler).

Sometimes the best self care is just letting loose without any self judgement.

Jennifer Harder
Associate Counsellor at Steadfast Counselling | Website | + posts

Jennifer is a Registered Professional Counsellor (RPC#3164) with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA). She is a graduate of Clearmind International Institute with a diploma in Transpersonal Psychology.

View Jennifer's biography and counselling schedule.