The holiday season is here. With Thanksgiving in the not so distant past and other holidays fast approach- ing you may find yourself stressed to the max. Gifts to purchase and wrap, remembering to move the elf, activities to plan, dinners to cook and making safe plans for family traditions. Sometimes, it can be too much.

“Is the cup half empty or half full?” is a common expression generally used to indicate that a particular situation could be a cause for pessimism (half empty) or optimism (half full). So, how’s your cup? Feeling half empty? Getting close to end? The holidays can be a stressful time and many people can find themselves in a place of that half-empty feeling.

Self-care is an important step in our health management. Self-care is more than an occasional treat, but a way of living each day that incorporates practices and behaviors that help you feel refreshed, re-energized, and rested. Self-care helps you deal with the daily stresses in your life. Everyone deals with stress differently, and everyone’s preference for practicing self-care is different as well.

This holiday season, be mindful of your self-care practices. Building yourself a self-care snowman (adapted from mentalhealthfirstaid.org) is a great way to start your self-care journey and refill your cup! Have a happy, healthy holiday with these quick self-care tips.

• Don’t freeze people out. Spend time with people you love and care for you.

• Break out in a snowball fight. Take time to exercise even if it’s indoors using paper as snowballs.

• Chill out. Avoid overbooking yourself and don’t feel guilty about making time for self-care.

• Get cozy. Sleep is important, make sure you’re getting enough of it (but don’t hibernate).

• Moderate the merriment. At all those holiday parties, in person or online, eat and drink in moderation. Make healthy choices you won’t regret later.

For more information on this or other family topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at sphill24@utk.edu or 615-444-9584 ext 105. ‬‬‬‬

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