As we embark on this 2020 holiday season, we must first acknowledge how different this season is from previous seasons due to the stressors of the 2020 election, COVID-19 pandemic and our country’s racial reckoning. With all these added stressors we need to make sure to care for ourselves to prevent burnout and cracks in our mental health.
Self care often seems out of reach for BIPOC people and allies as we continue to deal with the daily stressors of fighting, teaching and engaging in social justice for our communities and the communities we love. But sometimes self-care is as simple as saying “no”. Although our society says that this is a time for giving, sharing, and over-extending ourselves in an attempt to show love; this could be the down fall for many who no longer have the emotional reserves from such a stressful year.
Here are a few steps:
Assess burn out. Burn out occurs when people who are usually passionate, and committed become disillusioned. When we think burn out we typically think work, but burn out can impact multiple areas of our life including home. So take a moment to assess.
Assess your boundaries. Boundaries are standards that we set for ourselves that help keep us safe and more importantly help us care for ourselves. Often times during holidays we over-extend ourselves and let go of our boundaries which may initially seem like a thoughtful thing to do but can ultimately leave you worse off. Here are a few types of boundaries:
- Physical boundaries
- Emotional boundaries
- Material boundaries
- Time boundaries
- Intellectual boundaries
- Sexual boundaries
- Spiritual boundaries
Assess your budget. Maintaining a budget is a major part of self-care. When we think of how we can become unraveled with the lack of physical, mental, emotional self-care one should expect the same outcome when we do not practice financial self-care. During the holidays, gift giving not only feels good but it also reinforces and occasionally strengthens relationships. However, falling into debt can leave one with a holiday hangover that may be hard to recuperate from.
Although this is just a small list of ways that you can keep self-care front and center this holiday season there are many other forms of self-care that you can say yes to including exercise, quality time with friends and family, reading, listening to music and checking in with a licensed mental health counselor for support.
Wishing you the best and safest of holiday seasons!
About Stephanie Williams, PhD
Stephanie Williams, PhD, is the founder and clinical director of Integrated Psychological Assessment Services which is licensed in the state of California. IPAS staff are an group of inclusive therapists that focuses on the connection between what we think, feel and do, and how changes can improve one’s life. IPAS believes in empowering people to help them grow, change, or just deal with the daily demands of life. Call IPAS today to see how the right therapist can help you : 408-359-6700.