Create Your Own Self-care Advent Calendar to Step Away From the Holiday Busyness to Look After YourselfI’ve been seeing lots of advent calendars for kids (Lego, Crayola, chocolate, etc) and for adults (coffee, tea, liquor, chocolate). My kids love their calendars and get excited about opening a door each day and seeing what shape of chocolate each one gets. We also have a felt calendar for the kids with pockets that my sister made. In each pocket we put a note holiday activity (bake cookies, look at Christmas lights, watch a holiday movie, etc.) or a small ornament they can hang on their kids tree.The kids enjoy this so much, which got me thinking about what I would like during the holiday season. As Christmas gets closer, the kids get more excited, there are more events (school concerts, Christmas parties, people to visit) and less quiet time, which I know is essential for my wellbeing. So, I came up with idea of a self-care advent calendar. How could I care for myself over the holiday season since this tends to be a time when there is more going on, more stress, more pressure, more noise, more emotion and less quiet time for self-care?
I asked on a couple of Facebook groups and got a great list of ideas, which I’ve incorporated with my ideas below. To start with, here are my ideas for creating a self-care advent calendar:
Consider how much space you have. Are you creating a virtual calendar or a physical one? Do you want a list of ideas or do you want actual objects?
You can create a great online calendar at http://adventmyfriend.com/demo with pictures, text or videos for each day (Disclaimer: I haven’t tried this program myself, but I’m thinking of ways I could use it with my kids.) You could include inspiration quotes, lovely music, funny videos or a favourite picture.
If you want to have an object or something to open each day, consider small gift bags or drawstring bags that can be put in a box or basket. You could fill each one with a small gift. Consider these ideas of small objects: skin care samples, facial mask packets, moisturizers, lip care, lotions, cooling or heating eye masks, candles, hair masks, chocolate, tea, nice socks, gloves, pens or crayons, handmade soap, bubble gum or tasty treats.
I liked the suggestion of putting the different ideas in a jar or small box and choosing one each day. I would suggest that as you write down the ideas, you also gather any supplies you’ll need, so when you draw an item you can get started right away. If you have to go looking for the magazine you want to read or find the bath salts, you might be tempted to skip the self-care for that day.
Create a list of self-care activities. For little to no cost, you can create a calendar with the following ideas: write a letter to yourself, make a gratitude list, create a dream or vision board, go for a walk, stretch, meditate, take a bath, nap, do breathing exercises or stretching, take a night off from technology, have a movie night, pamper yourself with a hand massage or paint your nails, read a book or magazine.
Make plans with a friend (or a group) to each prepare a self-care calendar for each other. Then you get the excitement of not knowing what to expect. Even if you both use the same objects, you won’t know which one to expect each day – and the surprise is half the fun of the opening the doors on the little calendars.
Create an advent calendar for a woman you know who could use some extra care over the holidays.
If you want to make it more interactive, consider creating a holiday self-care scavenger hunt.
You could also plan a self-care advent calendar with your partner to enjoy individually or together.