Holiday Self-Care Series: Limit Commitments

Is your holiday season more like the helliday season?

This series is a collection of tips to make the end of year times a bit less stressful, and a bit more joyful. To be sure, there's no cure-all solution. Or magic stress erasing trigger point. Sometimes we just need to get through as best we can.

But small steps and small moments matter. Hang in there.

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During holidays, there's often so many events, parties, dinners, plays, games, parades, and gatherings. So we end up bouncing from one thing to the next.

Always watching the clock.

Always on the move.

Half awake, and not even half enjoying ourselves and those around us.

"I didn't want to say "No" because I didn't want people to think I'm not nice. And that has been the greatest lesson of my life: to recognize that I am solely responsible for it, and not trying to please other people, and not living my life to please other people, but doing what my heart says all the time."

- Oprah Winfrey

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I'm only going to do _____ things on this day.

I'm only going to do _____ things on this week.

I'm only going to do _____ things in this month.

Pick a number that feels manageable to you and your family. Pick a number that feels relieving. Pick a number that you look forward to. And stick to it. Practice how you'll turn someone down.

"I can only honor two commitments that week, and I'm already full up."

"That month is jammed packed for me. Can we set something up in January instead?"

"I know we normally get together on that date, but this year it isn't going to work out - I want to give you my full attention, not just with one foot out of the door. How about changing things up this year?"


One of the things that makes holiday events so stressful is traveling.

Sometimes we can't avoid it. Families and friends simply aren't always nearby.

But how far and how often we travel is an important element of holiday self-care.

Think about other options before locking in to holiday travel this year:

Can you visit each other digitally instead?

Can you meet somewhere in the middle?

Can you trade who travels each year?

Can you delay your visit to a less busy time?

And if you are traveling just to "get away" - is there a better escape, perhaps closer by?


Take an inventory. Take a hard look at all the events you have and are planning to attend.

What are you actually looking forward to?

What makes you excited to do or experience?

What makes you feel jazzed up?

And what is fueled by social pressure?

What feels more like an obligation than a joy?

What leaves you feeling drained?

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Holiday Self-Care Series

Holiday Self Care Series: ReThink Gifts Holiday Self Care Series: Limit Commitments Holiday Self Care Series: Explore Traditions Holiday Self Care Series: Up Your Game

Want all these tips in one neat little eBook package? Check out the online store.

Hey there! My name's Raechel. I'm the author of The Bodies We Live In blog. I'm also a licensed massage therapist and owner of Massage Sci in Holland, Michigan.


In my free time, I enjoy writing about wellness; researching pain science; trying to grow things in my garden; being far too fond of semi-colons; and avid sci-fi nerding.