Self Care Sunday: Bringing the holiday spirit into the new year

Photo from Unsplash. 

Jessica Li

Before we even know it, winter break has already come to a close. Take a moment to reflect back on the festivity of the past few weeks. The holiday season sure gives us an opportunity to give, love, and believe, all the while spending precious time with our friends and family. Being surrounded by grand Christmas trees, colorful lights, mouth-watering food, and jolly music definitely adds to the excitement and motivates us to be at peace with ourselves. 

However, these behaviors don’t have to be limited to this time of the year; we can and should extend these valuable lessons by livening the same holiday spirit and spreading positive influence in our everyday life. For example, there are still ways to enjoy winter even though the holidays have passed. Here are some of my personal favorite ideas: 

Ice skate. The rink I prefer is the indoor one at Lloyd Center in Portland. The decorations make you feel as if you’re in a winter wonderland, especially as you skate around the dazzling Christmas tree in the center. Besides, when you need to take a break, there are plenty of stores to shop at. 

Bake and decorate cookies. This would be a cheerful party idea to bond with friends and family. After all, there will be food to eat, and it feels even better when it’s homemade. Check out this link for 31 recipes to choose from. 

Read by the fireplace. We all have a fondness for the image of cozying up in a blanket and pajamas next to a warm fire with a mug of hot chocolate in hand. I tend to accompany this with a book; I recently finished Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell and The Color Purple by Alice Walker, both of which I highly recommend.

Go on a winter walk. In the winter, familiar places appear seemingly different in the contrast of dark skies and bright lights. Take the time to breathe in the fresh air, admire the beauty, and appreciate nature. This could be as simple as taking a walk to downtown Corvallis alongside the Willamette River, or hiking a local trail such as these.

In addition to finding joy after the holidays, gifts aren’t the only way to give back as we commonly do during the holiday season. Performing charitable deeds through community service, donating, or even offering a simple compliment are also ways to bring about smiles on others’ faces. Remember that the smallest act of kindness can make the largest difference to a person. 

Furthermore, this applies to loved ones. For some of us, even though staying connected with family and friends may be limited by time or distance, possible alternatives include making phone calls, writing letters, or sending gifts. Making the time to express love towards those you truly care about should be prioritized. 

Finally, don’t forget yourself as well. The holiday’s are a testament to our trust. A continuation of these measures would be delightful, although believing in yourself should be one taken alongside them. The goal is to aim to love ourselves daily and develop self-confidence. Understand that you are deserving of happiness and have the right to hope for your dreams and desires, because they will eventually come true. With the opening of the year 2020, we look back and take pride in our growth and achievements in addition to welcoming a bright prospering future.  

Remember that everyone is deserving of laughter and happiness even without the presence of the holiday season, and ways to make it happen are to keep giving, loving, believing, and having fun. Cheers to 2020! Let’s make it great!


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