Alone at Home for the Holidays
Stuck at home for the holidays? Be kind to yourself with a home spa day at home.
Here’s the problem. On the holiday, some of the family is still gathering as usual, and we can’t be there. I can identify with Macaulay Culkin’s character in the “Home Alone” movies who realizes his family has departed for their holiday vacation, leaving him behind.
This December, my husband and I cannot gather as usual with family. We can’t sit shoulder to shoulder in his mom’s living room. We can’t graze off the family buffet all day. We can’t sing holiday songs together. OK, I’ll admit it – we never sing together. But you get the idea – we are still staying safer at home on the recommendation of my sweetie’s physicians.
There are things we can safely do. We will deliver presents and enjoy outdoor visits before the holiday with some of the family. It’s cold here in New England, so those visits will be short and hopefully will include patio heaters. (someone must be getting one for Christmas.) We may go for a winter hike with our more active family members.
However, this December is NOT THE SAME. If you are stuck at home for the December holidays be kind to yourself. Here’s twenty-five more things to do during your personal spa day at home, for body, mind and spirit.
How to look forward to your holiday
We were stuck at home alone on Thanksgiving, and here’s what worked for me. I began to look forward to the holiday, and build pleasant anticipation, by thinking about what gives me that “ahhh!” feeling.
You can do this too. Enjoy some pleasant self-reflection by considering these questions. What makes you smile? What relaxes you? What can you do at home?
Home spa inspiration
This idea of being kind to myself on holidays began with Thanksgiving 2020 (click here to read “Thanksgiving Spa Day, At Home.”) My Thanksgiving spa spanned two days and alternated between spa activities and brief outside visits with family, friends, and neighbors. A few holiday traditions were still possible: cooking big batches of seasonal favorites, exchanging side dishes with trusted friends, and delivering food to friends also alone (with masks and social distancing.) I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in my jammies, something I never have time for on ‘normal’ Thanksgivings. I danced and sang along to cable TV’s music on demand, called a college friend, journaled, did yoga, enjoyed FB posts and texts with friends and family, and had more than my share of pumpkin pie and Ghirardelli’s chocolate caramel collection.
I’ve begun to consider what might make for a meaningful spa day for the December holidays. There are many holidays to choose from! Click here for some interesting ideas and the dates for 2020 holidays. For example, today December 4th, 2020 is National Cookie Day! (FYI, this linked website belongs to an advertising firm, with no relationship to me.)
It might be fun to pick a theme and plan your activities around the theme. For the December holidays, light is a popular theme. What does “light” mean to you this time of year? Continue on by setting your intention. How do you want to feel, during or after your holiday spa day? Use your intention as an affirmation to stay in the moment. For example, you might remind yourself, “Just for today I can relax.” Other popular intentions for spa days include having fun, relief of physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, rest, or revitalization.
Some ideas for your spa day at home
Some of these spa-like ideas work with the theme of light, but you can pick any theme you like. You are your own guardian, so choose activities that are safe for you and for your household. Remember what relaxes you. Remember what makes you smile. Remember to be kind to yourself!
- Watch the sunrise
- Foot soak
- Soak then moisturize your hands
- Watch an old movie
- Sing loudly and badly
- Light candles (safely) or battery operated candles
- Take three nature photos (or more!)
- Moisturize everywhere
- Doodle or color
- Yoga online
- Tai Chi online
- Take bath or long shower
- Attend an online or cable TV religious service
- Walk a local labyrinth. Find one at World-Wide Labyrinth Locator – Welcome
- Or ‘walk’ a finger labyrinth
- Meditate with a candle as your focus
- Diffuse a seasonal blend or your personal favorite essential oil with cotton balls or diffuser
- Write a poem
- Read a poem by Maya Anjou
- Write in your journal (Click here for Contemplative prompts)
- Listen to “sounds of the season” on demand music on cable TV
- Deliver small gifts to people who are working the holiday, such as convenience store clerks, emergency responders, and more.
- Chocolate in any form!
- Meditative stitching
- Watch the sun set
Know you are loved and call a hotline if you need to. 1-800-273-8255
Tips that enhanced my spa day
- Before your home spa day, build pleasant anticipation by thinking about what gives you that “ahhh!” feeling.
- On your spa day, greet yourself and remember, “I can do anything I want today!”
- If someone or something detracts from your spa experience, tend to them then settle back into your personal spa experience by restating your intention.
Plan ahead, or not
You can be completely spontaneous during your holiday spa day, or you can plan out your day. If there are any supplies or favorite food you want to have on hand, gather them up in advance. I learned to plan my special day at least lightly, so I don’t fall back into my household and family routines or sit around and sulk. But I also like the freedom of no schedule and no plan. I think I’ll simply create a list of suggestions rather than a scheduled plan.
A Gift for You
As a holiday gift for you, I’ve created Planning Your Home Spa Day. It’s a free tool you can download and use to create your own holiday spa day. Make your holiday a meaningful day, including some time to soothe yourself. Be kind to yourself as well as to others.
You can do it!
Thinking about a spa day helped calm me in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. I was able to shift my thoughts from the family gathering I was missing to my plans for a spa day. I hope the same will be true for you during the upcoming December holidays.
On a very serious note, I know that for some people, the holidays can be very difficult, even seem impossible. If so, please reach out for help, and accept help. Here’s a link to online chat and a telephone number, if you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support. Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website to start an online chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/
Be kind to yourself. Tend to your needs. Soothe yourself. Make your holiday at home an experience of extreme self-care. I will be doing the same.
In peace, Gale
This is blog #13 in the Soothing Series: Gentle ways to regain your composure and find some inner peace
Sometimes, attaining a state of relaxation seems impossible. Even if you know the benefits – quality sleep, resistance to infection, less muscle pain, better problem solving – you cannot get to a relaxed state from your stressed state. Fortunately, even if relaxing seems unattainable, soothing yourself can reduce your stress level by a degree or perhaps two.
Sometimes simple soothing strategies are not going to meet your needs. At those times, get expert help. Here’s a link to online chat and a telephone number. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website to start an online chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/ Or, call your doctor, your therapist, your pastor, or get yourself to an emergency room. Be safe.
Soothe yourself when you have had a difficult day, have too much on your plate, or perhaps are experiencing a period of intense change. You deserve it.