Five Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself in November
NEED A BOOST? THESE FALL TIPS WILL KEEP YOU HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND SANE
By Chelsea Vincent
Are you hitting burnout as the holiday season sets in? Here are five strategies to help with self-care this November!
November is a month that is, in a word, full. It’s a month full of thanks, full of food, full of travel, full of fall activities, full of end-of-year deadlines — any or all of the above, and then some.
While we love getting our apple-picking and pie-making on, it can also be easy to get burned-out this month. Be it the long work days with less sunlight or the frenzied shopping ahead of the holidays (hello, explosion of Black Friday into a month-long bonanza), but the one thing lacking in November is often self-care amidst the chaos.
Fear not — we’ve got your back with five wonderful ways to take better care of yourself this November.
- Set Up a Playdate
My friend, Jim, was in a high-profile job that left him with little time to actually enjoy life. He decided to set up a weekly yoga practice on Wednesdays, which he blocked off on his calendar. If anyone ever asked, he simply said he had a doctor’s appointment (figuring it was equally beneficial and important to his health and well-being).
In the age of digital calendars, everyone respects those slots blocked off as “busy” or “unavailable.” So why limit them to just work? Instead, make — and actually block off — dedicated plans to play. Whether it’s literally “hanging” around at a local climbing gym, having tea with your besties, or dusting off some board games, playtime is definitely in for grown-ups, too.
- Detox Your Home
One thing to love about fall is that it has a softer feeling than spring. We aren’t in the throws of “spring cleaning” just yet; instead, we’re getting ready to hibernate by preparing our homes with festive decorations, cozy blankets, and autumn smells. It’s delightful.
To keep your home sanctuary inviting and healthy, try some simple detoxing measures. Invest in an authentic Himalayan salt lamp or an air purifier, make the switch to non-toxic (natural) room sprays and candles, and throw away anything in your kitchen, makeup, or medicine cabinet that’s expired. In less than an afternoon, you can set up your winter abode to keep you feeling at ease.
- Set Boundaries
Because we live in a society that idolizes efficiency and output, it has become harder and harder to say no. And yet, none of us are superhuman. We all have needs — like sleeping and eating, for starters — that cannot be ignored. If they are, everything suffers.
As the holiday season ramps up, be realistic with yourself. Communicate honestly with your boss and with your coworkers, especially when you’re being overloaded and need help. Don’t feel the need to attend every single event you are invited to. Decide what tasks can wait until tomorrow and have a time by which you’ll crawl into bed. Setting some rules may sound like moving back in with your strict parents, but you’ll actually perform — and feel — loads better, all thanks to having some clear-cut structure and limits in place.
- Soak It All In (Water, That Is)
’Tis the season — of chapped lips, dry skin, and drinking everything other than water. Yet this November, especially around drier parts of the country, mindful hydration is where it’s at.
To keep your skin looking fabulous and to help your body detox any unusual foods or beverages you might enjoy this month, water should be incorporated in several ways. Drink plenty of water (a gallon a day is ideal, if you can swing it), steam your face with herbs, try sprouting nuts and seeds, and wash your face each morning with water and a little camellia oil (instead of soaps, which can have a drying effect).
- Acknowledge that Food is Powerful
We all connect to comfort food, especially this time of year. I don’t care how much of a food ascetic you may be — deep down, there is still a piece of you that craves grammy’s beloved brown sugar sweet potatoes. Ignoring that simple fact will just lead to rigid crash-dieting, followed by binging (in the dark, at 3 a.m., eating your bodyweight in pie), and nobody enjoys that vicious cycle.
It’s important to realize that an occasional holiday indulgence is nourishment for the soul, which, to be fair, deserves the same love we show our bodies. To balance that, lean in to what your body tells you. If eating heavy foods makes you feel lethargic or, worse, guilty, then fully give yourself permission to enjoy some splurges, but keep it limited to Thanksgiving dinner and stick to palm-sized portions or smaller. Then, swap back over to healthy snacks and meals.
This November, it’s all about balancing restraint with joy-filled moments. By incorporating both into your daily mental attitude, you’ll come out of this month feeling grounded and healthy, both in body and in mind. After all, the season of gratitude starts with a little pay-it-inward action, right?