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12 Days of Self Care

Practicing self-care is one of the best ways to stay well and feel joyful during times of stress. Here are some fun, easy, and festive ideas to get you in the mood for taking care of YOU.

1. Go on a date night! Do some no-pressure window shopping at the mall (window displays are so gorgeous this time of year!) followed by dinner or a movie. Take a walk or drive with your significant other look at holiday lights with a couple of hot cocoas in-hand! Schedule a festive trolley or train tour in the city.

2. Set the mood to relax. Candles, music, diffuse a favorite oil, or put on some crockpot mulled cider. Your house will feel warm and cozy in no time.

3. Shop (online!), wrap, and stash early. If you need to shop for the holidays, just get it done now. Keep a note in your phone reminding you what gifts you got for each person, but go ahead and wrap and stash gifts early!

4. Indulge in moderation. Dehydration can really take a toll on our mood as well as our skin. Don't go overboard on the sweets (or the booze!) so that you'll have that perfect holiday glow in your matching family jammies photos. Oh yeah, I went there.

5. Say no freely. Don't over-commit just because it's the holiday season. Say yes to the things that truly matter like family photos, traditions (old and new!), little moments of self-care, and just savoring the season around you.

6. Schedule family time. Keep your calendar up-to-date and be sure to discuss it with your spouse. The holidays are about making memories, not just gifting. Get the little ones involved in baking and decorating cookies, trimming the tree, decorating the mantle, or watching holiday movies with hot cocoa.

7. Mix homemade with store-bought. We're moms. Ain't no shame in getting your holiday meal via takeout, caterer, or just a random assortment of Trader Joe's deliciousness. Sure, whip up your all-time favorite holiday recipe if you have the time and energy! But when it comes down to it, people just want to eat.

8. Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down something that you are thankful for each day this month. It's such a simple way to focus on the positive.

9. Get your workout in, mama! It can be so hard to muster up the energy when it's dark and chilly out, but trust me, those lunges (and laughs!) with your tribe will brighten ANY kind of day you've had.

10. Ask for help. Is your neighbor running to the store later today? Ask her to pick up those last few items that are on your list. Chances are, she will be happy to help -- and she will love knowing that you'll do the same for her next time!

11. Schedule alone time. Have family members entertain the kiddos for an afternoon (can someone say local museum?!) so that you can have the house to yourself for a few hours. Use that time to take a soothing bath, meditate, or work on a personal craft or project you've been meaning to tackle.

12. Reflect. You know those precious baby books / photo albums / Chatbooks / scrapbooks that you so lovingly created for your children? Mama, kick your feet up, and flip through them. Savor those memories. Cherish the beauty of the job you're doing.

Be sure to join our village as we kick off the holiday season with a "12 Days of Self Care" challenge on December 1st! Check out our Facebook and Instagram (@FIT4MOMChapelHill) for more details!