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Self-Compassion During the Holiday Season

creative joy, single heart, 2012

The holiday season is upon us. I just took a deep breath after writing that. Maybe you’d like to, too.

The holidays are a beautiful time, but they also may be a stressful and even heartbreaking time for oh-so many reasons.

Whatever this month brings for you, I hope you let it start and end with kindness. No matter what’s happening, I hope you can extend lots of compassion your way. I hope you give yourself doses of it daily, hourly.

Here are a few ideas of what self-compassion might look like this month:

  • Taking lots of deep breaths.
  • Telling someone not to comment on what you’re eating or how much you weigh.
  • Taking dance breaks.
  • Carving out time for yourself and then scheduling everything else around that.
  • Writing yourself a supportive letter.
  • Shopping online to avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle.
  • Deciding not to buy gifts at all and instead writing loved ones thoughtful letters.
  • Buying a book you’ve been excited to read and curling up on the couch with a warm blanket.
  • Declining an invite to an event you’re just not excited about.
  • Taking more dance breaks.
  • Starting new silly traditions.
  • Lighting candles and meditating every night or a few nights.
  • Writing morning pages most mornings or some mornings.
  • Giving your hands a minute-long massage between typing, dish-washing and gift-wrapping.
  • Taking an extra 5 minutes to enjoy your hot bath or shower.
  • Taking an extra 5 minutes to apply lotion to your skin.
  • Listening to these or these self-compassionate meditations.
  • Sending a quick text to your gratitude buddy.
  • Practicing yoga. (Anna has sooo many wonderful resources, including videos, podcasts and written practices.)
  • Setting your alarm to ring at 3:00 p.m. every day as a reminder to breathe and take a minute to refocus.
  • Paying attention to what you’re saying to yourself, and incorporating kind statements. It’s OK. You’ve got this. It’s OK to slow down. You deserve to be treated with compassion. There’s no such thing as perfect. Thank you, body. I can feel my feelings. It’s OK if I’m not happy right now. Every feeling is allowed. I’m giving myself permission to do what nourishes me.
  • Giving yourself what you need.
  • Reminding yourself of what’s important to you this holiday season.

What does self-compassion look like for you this holiday season?

Self-Compassion During the Holiday Season

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2019). Self-Compassion During the Holiday Season. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Mar 2019
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