'Tis the season to look after yourself — R Voice

'Tis the season to look after yourself

Vivien Kretz
Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭
edited December 2021 in Self-care & Wellbeing

The holidays are the time at the end of the year which should enable us to look back, reflect and reminisce on the last year as well as enjoy ourselves.

Sadly, this time of year oftentimes ends in stress.

Even though my schedule is tight, I promised myself to carve out time for ice skating and traditional cookie baking this December. ⛸

Which promise along the lines of self care do you make to yourself to enjoy December a bit more?

(Yes, looking at pictures of winter sceneries online counts too. Anything that brings you joy is self-care.)


Comments

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 156 admin

    Thanks for making me look forward to Christmas holidays even more. Here's what I intend to do over the next 2 weeks:

    • Make mince pies with my son.
    • Go for a long walk along Abbotsham Cliffs.
    • Watch at least 2 Christmas movies with my wife.

    Can't wait. Happy Christmas everyone!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    Thanks for starting this thread @Vivien Kretz! I'd love to see pictures of the traditional cookies you plan to bake 😃

    I'll be honest. My Christmas break countdown started last month and I'm really looking forward to my upcoming break. I'm going to be spending a lot of time at the beach which is big for me because I haven't been to a beach in over 2 years! I'm also travelling to attend a close friend's wedding and am even part of the wedding choir. And finally, like every year, I'm going to watch EVERY single Christmas-themed show/movie I can find on Netflix. It might be too much but nothing calms me like a good Christmas movie ending ☺️

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    This is such a great list @chris leonard. I love how you include your family into your holiday plans. You plan just enough to keep yourself challenged while not planning too much, which could be overwhelming. Enjoy the season!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Here you go @Andrea Hayward 🍪! This is unfortunately still a picture off the Internet, but I hope I will have the energy to bake my own soon.

    It is great that you started a countdown so early! It is good for us as humans to have a deadline after which we know we can fully relax. Your vacation plans are amazing, lying on the beach is going to be so relaxing and it is so important that you cherish an activity that you have not been practicing in a while. The wedding, wow, you have a lot of plans, but beautiful plans! Christmas themed shows are so calming, I must agree. Watching a movie dipped in snow and mistletoes just has something about itself.

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Vivien Kretz the cookies look scrumptious! I hope you have the time and energy to whip up a batch of your own ❤️

    Yes, it's going to be a packed couple of days. I'll probably have to intersperse all this activity with slow days where I'll just be a potato under some warm blankets 😄

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Exactly, I was just about to say that. Sometimes we forget that a lot of social interaction and well-planned activities with a rather strict itinerary might also create more stress. That is why it is even more important to take out time to recharge for yourself in between. My friends and I have this 'code' that states that whenever someone turns down a plan because we need to recharge, we do not question it but respect it from the first minute on. Maybe it is helpful to make sure that the people who you spend time with are aware that you might need time to recharge ahead of time, so they won't take it personally. This is just something I found helpful in my personal life. Enjoy every minute as a potato! ☺️

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 262 admin

    Hi @Vivien Kretz 🙋 you have great timing! This is not just a question but also a reminder for me. oooh Ice skating sounds like so much fun - if you decide to shoot a video, show us please! Traditional cookie baking - I can almost smell them. Nothing like the smell of freshly baked cookies.

    As for me, I have a busy holiday season ahead - I plan to move from a rented apartment to my first self-owned house. So as far as breaks go, this one promises to be physically stressful as well as mentally demanding, especially since I am moving with an emotionally sensitive cat and a senior elder. I have decided to accept that as a first step just so I can anticipate it. I've also decided to take evenings to unwind - curl up on the sofa, sip some wine or Netflix (I LOVE holiday movies and can watch everything again and again). The decision is to deliberately NOT do any unboxing, arranging or re-arranging for at least 2 hours each day. I've also invited our family to come over and help around a bit after the boxes are moved - it'll be some quality, but messy and fun, family time. 😀

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 251 admin
    edited December 2021

    Thanks for starting this thread Vivien! Your post was a timely reminder for me to bring out my Christmas tree and soak the fruits in wine for the Christmas cake. Living with a diabetic husband, I'd almost forgotten how much I love baking! 😅

    I plan to go to a beach for the holiday with my family - this is one of the lesser known and therefore, less touristy beaches of Thailand. My daughter will be visiting us for the holidays, so I'll be busy cooking all her dishes and going shopping with her as well :)

    Would love to know what plans you have @Hazel Monica Peralta @Yufita Chinta @Oladele Campbell @Adaora Anyichie - Odis @Dahlia T @Karen Hall @Ruchika Yogesh

  • Hazel Monica Peralta
    Hazel Monica Peralta Member Posts: 9

    Well, what can I say? Oh yes...here in the Philippines, we start to plan (sorry, not plan but do the prep already) for the holidays once the "ber" month starts (September to be exact 😍😍). So, I guess you can imagine how busy it is for me (LOL!). But no, since the pandemic started, there is not much to plan and prepare for holidays, mainly because our movements are restricted. And yet recently there is a threat of another "new COVID variant". It will be just like any other day for us...only that this month I will have to enjoy a five day forced leave (no WFH! I am locking my home office room!).. time to catch up with my gardening (I should have flowering plants as well, not only trees and vegetables)...I also promised to watch anime on Netflix with my two kids (it should be fun to annoy them by asking them to make me understand what am I watching with them 😅). And of course, the whole family has to visit my mom and mother in-law on Christmas day (a must do, even with the restricted movements).

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    I am so happy to hear that @Jayashree Rajagopalan. This was also meant to function as a reminder, so I am glad it fulfilled its purpose. Exactly, especially cookies with cinnamon smell soooo good and fill the house with holiday spirit. Here's a pic from the rink, it is directly in front of the Amsterdammer Rijksmuseum, which I find beautiful. (If anyone knows how to make images smaller when you post them on here, please let me know :) )

    Wow, those are a lot of plans! Even though it is a lot of stress, it must be so nice to move into your first own place. So, the stress holds also some opportunities for certain. It is so nice for your family, too, to have more space and a place to call their own. Please remember to take one step at a time. The most important thing is that everyone feels okay in the new place, more than putting up decorative furniture (apart from the basics, of course.)

    I love that you plan extensive Netflix sessions! So cool! Yes, holiday movies are so comfortable and there is such a comfort in rewatching. It helps with anxiety, which can be high during the holiday season, to know in advance how the plot line is going to unfold. Wow, you already made the decisions that I wanted to give you tips about earlier, now that I am reading more. Amazing! It is so good to have a daily time limit. I wish you all the best for you move!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    I am so happy this served for a reminder for you too @Kakoli Majumder. These are great holiday preparations! I hope you can find a few recipes that you both can enjoy, maybe even both the baking and the eating part.

    Your daughter is sooo excited to spend the holidays with you. The beach and all your other plans sound like so much fun. I am so happy you guys get to spend this important time to unwind and relax of the year together.

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Omg @Hazel Monica Peralta ! How cool is that! I found someone else who starts prepping Christmas in September 🥰!

    An amazing decision to lock your home office room. I still hope that you get to spend as much time as possible during the holidays with people you love despite all restrictions. I love how you have a calming hobby like gardening to balance out your stressful work life. 🪴That is some great self care there. Haha, I can already imagine your kids rolling their eyes. If it calms you, I am at the age where I should understand anime, but I also don't. 😂So you are not alone on that front.

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What a great thread to start @Vivien Kretz ! My act of self-care this Christmas follows the theme set I think..I will be making sure. todo my "traditional" baking. I say "traditional" as it's traditional to me rather than a widespread thing. I like to make my favourite black treacle and spices biscuits (always in a star shape) and also I make little coconut Christmas chocolates covered in chocolate to look like little Christmas puddings. It just doesn't feel like Christmas without them!@Hazel Monica Peralta

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    "Traditional to you" is a great way to put it. We all have our routines that are very particular to us which create comfort and I think that's beautiful. My Christmas routine for example includes watching very old Swedish and Czech Christmas movies and I love it. Little Christmas puddings! How cool is that!! Please post a picture on here once you are finished baking, I would be THRILLED to see those cookies. 🍪

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Vivien Kretz I love the code that you and your friends have. Sometimes, if I'm not feeling up to being around people or just being social, I tend to cancel a plan. Especially if it's going to be in a closed space, I know that I'll feel anxious and so I'd rather avoid the situation. Some people are understanding and some have given me a lot of flack for backing out of plans. I'd really appreciate a circle in which everyone is understanding and no one would question my decision to stay home sometimes. I think you're right that I should be honest with my friends and family about my need to sometimes be alone to recharge.

    I found this Happy Potato image for us 😃


    Image/Graphics credit - Artist clgtart

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Hazel Monica Peralta and here I was thinking it's ridiculous for me to start prepping for Christmas in November lol. Now you're making me wonder if I should be starting earlier 😄

    I'm so glad you're taking some time off and that you're even locking your home office room. How about putting up a sign on the door that says "Sorry, come back after the holidays" just to serve as a reminder in case you feel tempted to check on some emails 😅

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    I 100 percent understand the issue @Andrea Hayward . Even if people might be your friends, that does not directly mean that they are understanding of the social battery. Some people's social battery takes longer to be drained or they might not even possess one. Even though they experience it like that and do not have to pay attention to how many social interactions they can bear, that does not diminish your feelings. I totally get it. Sometimes I have to lecture people on how it is to be an introvert because I often feel like many people do not pay a lot of attention if their social circle or even themselves are extroverted or introverted. Thank you so much for the amazing potato! 🥔

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Btw, I proudly present my Vanillekipferl! They are traditional moon-shaped Christmas cookies from Vienna but originate from Hungary. My friend and I gathered over a spontaneous baking session, which definitely helped me find energy to bake.


  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you, @Vivien Kretz. I totally agree with you. I love that you watch old movies - I know I have my favourites too (even though they are objectively probably not great movies they do provide comfort!)

    Okay, when I get around to making the little chocolates I will try and remember to post them! I think the plan is to do them on Christmas day, which is a bit later than usual but with moving house everything is a bit chaotic!!

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Exactly. And that is why they provide comfort even, they are no masterpieces but they are associated with coziness and that is what we probably love about them. I am so looking forward to the photo! All the best for the move and take it step by step. :)

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 710 admin

    @Vivien Kretz I'm sure these taste as amazing as they look! 😍 Thank you for posting this picture 🤗

  • Isurika Sevwandi
    Isurika Sevwandi Member Posts: 80 ✭✭✭

    Love the idea of "anything that brings you joy is self-care"☺️ @Vivien Kretz and we need to acknowledge that self-care definitely means different meanings to different people. However, I am totally into this idea that it should be something we enjoy to the fullest either it could be a massive academic achievement and you enjoy actively recalling that memory again and again or just listening to bird chirps in the morning and feeling the gratitude of being able to enjoy nature not caught up in a skyscraper apartment in a bustling city. self-care could be anything and everything.


    I am addicted to eating cookies from my childhood so it's mouthwatering to see various types of cookies along this thread😜

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    Exactly @Isurika Sevwandi. Self-care really is very individual. We are all unique and have different needs and things we care about. That is why it is so important to distinguish what actually makes us happy and if it is not just something that is said to make us happy. Some people have a lot of fun to exercise in the gym, and that is a great form of self-care. However, for me, the only sport that makes me happy is swimming. And that is okay. I really want to listen to the birds chirping after I read your lovely comment! 🕊I somehow stopped doing that and I really should do it again. Thank u so much for the idea.

  • Adaora Anyichie - Odis
    Adaora Anyichie - Odis Member Posts: 111 ✭✭✭

    I went on vacation and pampered myself.

  • Vivien Kretz
    Vivien Kretz Member Posts: 78 ✭✭✭

    That is a great way of self-care! Especially over the holidays, I hope you could take the opportunity to rest. 🌴