How to Stay in Tune with Your Wellness Needs this Holiday Season

First, write them down.

The best way to ensure your needs are met this holiday season is to first acknowledge what they are. Start by writing down a list of the things that make you smile just thinking about them. Keep the list handy during the holidays as a simple reminder to check in with yourself—on your bathroom mirror, in your purse or at your desk.  I like making a physical list as a refreshing contrast to storing one on my phone. But hey, if that works best for you, that’s what matters most. They key is just reminding yourself to tune into those experiences you truly cherish. If you have them in mind beforehand, you are more likely to savor them when they pop up this season.

Take yourself out.

‘Tis the season of running around from place to place and of course, always having to bring something along with you—an appetizer, the wine, a car full of family or friends. It can be especially difficult to make time for yourself right now. So it may just be the perfect opportunity to get a little creative with the idea of “me time”. If you work during the day, schedule a lunch date with yourself. Enjoy a break from bringing it with you that day, the chance to stroll and explore your neighborhood and best of all, the feeling of not being needed. I try to carve out enough time to enjoy everything about the lunch—before, during and after. If you can’t swing something during working hours, take advantage of weekend day—maybe treat yourself to a brunch spot you’ve been wanting to try or enjoy a simple spa night at home. Just schedule it in so it’ll be sure to happen!

Stay accountable.

With shorter days comes less sunlight so it can be especially difficult to get motivated for a workout. I like to try and buddy up with someone new. It’s a good chance to get to know someone outside your normal circle without having the pressure of talking about serious topics you may tend to discuss with close friends. And especially during this time of year, we all need a little levity to those people and situations—it’s only healthy, right? This is also the time of year I can start to get bored of my same workout routine so I like to mix it up and try something new. For me, anything with great group energy and some heat gets me excited to see it on my calendar. If you tend to exercise mostly on you own like I do, committing a group class once a week = accountability. And if it’s on a Monday, it can really helps set the tone for a healthy week.

Reflect more.

Do you ever have those years where the holidays just fly by? I know I do. So this year, I’m committing to savoring them more by carving out time during the day to tune in and reflect about my experiences. Whether it’s writing, drawing, taking photographs to document sweet moments—a creative release offers relief and a chance to appreciate the holiday season rather than just watch it go by. I’m thinking about investing in a disposable or Polaroid camera to enjoy the nostalgia of capturing life’s candid moments. The photos could also be used to make a great gift for someone special. Or, just a reminder of a holiday that might have felt a little different this year.

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Brooke Rymer is a health & wellness writer in Minneapolis. She’s passionate about finding simple ways to live a healthier life and is likely whipping up a new recipe or DIY beauty fix right now. She shares her adventures in healthy living on her own blog