Self Care During the Holidays

Ah, the glorious time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, when stress seems to ramp at a frenetic pace, even during the most magical time of year. If you’re anything like me, heading into a new year with clear eyes, calmness and clarity is important to set a healthy baseline. That said, here are five simple ways to self care during the holidays:

Good Sleep

According to the National Institute of Health, good sleep “…improves your brain performance, mood and health.” Not getting enough quality sleep regularly raises the risk of many diseases and disorders, including heart disease, strokes, obesity and dementia.

For me, it’s not always easy to make it happen, but I can attest to better mood and energy levels when it does. A few tips to push a good night’s sleep: melatonin or magnesium, silk mulberry eye masks and beautiful smelling soy candles…all of which you can find at Haskill Creek Farms here in Whitefish.

A Good Nighttime Routine

Setting the stage for a good night’s rest begins with a luxurious nighttime routine. For me, that includes a calming shower, or at the very least, a face scrub. Nothing feels better than being squeaky clean as you hop into bed. Speaking of, pulling back the covers of a freshly made bed conjures feelings of calm and serenity, rather than hopping into a bed with crumbled covers never made from the morning before. So take a few minutes in the morning to pull those sheets taught, as the clean bed will feel more welcoming in the evening. If you’re looking for some luxurious nighttime skincare lines, my favorites can be found at Glacier Med Spa and Vibe Wellness, both in Whitefish. I especially love the Image wash and moisturizer while my kids love the Epicurean line, and I can attest to the best facials in town are with Alyssa at Vibe.

For our Missoula-based readers, my friends on The Selling Big Sky Team, Leland and Emily, recommend three incredible spas: Crafted Aesthetics, FG Aesthetics & Medicine and Montana Center for Facial Plastic Surgery (go see Danielle!)

The “vibe” at Vibe Wellness is cathartic and healing.

Physical Activity

Regardless of where you get it or when it happens, physical activity is crucial to the long-term wellness of everyone. According to the World Health Organization, regular physical activity is proven to “…help prevent and manage noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers.” In addition, it prevents hypertension, stress and improves mental health.

We are lucky to live in Mother Nature’s backyard, with recreation right out the door: from hiking the Whitefish Trails to skinning up Big Mountain to running with your dog through the Hugh Rogers Wag Dog Park. If group fitness is what you seek, three suggestions include: Peak Fitness in Whitefish, for a quick HIIT class, Switchback CrossFit, Kalispell’s newest gym with expert and encouraging coaches and brand-new equipment and a super chill lounge to hang post-workout, or if you’re a Yogini like me, a regular class at Shanti is a great way to stretch and strengthen your body, focus your mind and relax your spirit.

In Missoula, our very own Emily Mackenroth is a trainer at Peak Health & Wellness in downtown Missoula. Word on the street is that her classes fill up fast and are always a sweat-inducing good time.

If you need motivation, let me know! I’d love to join you for a class, walk or skin anytime!

Me yesterday at Shanti Yoga!

Read (a REAL book!)

I get it, reading on the Kindle or iPad has its benefits, but there is something beautiful about the tangible feeling of a real book and those beautiful pages in your hands. In fact, a 2009 study by Sussex University researchers showed that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68%! According to cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world…”

Looking for your next great read? Swing by Bookworks in Whitefish; their well-read and passionate staff revels in helping their shoppers find that next great book. In Missoula, The Book Exchange, which has been open for 33 years, is a great option for new or used copies.

As a Real Estate Agent, I spend A LOT of time in my car, so while I’d prefer to hold a book in my hand, I do love Audible for cruising through the day, and also have a few Podcasts I actively subscribe to. If you need recommendations on any of the above I’m happy to share as the Revel team and I are voracious consumers of information and love to read!

Celebrate The Wins!

It’s easy to get busy (and buried!) in the work, parties, schedules, carpools, school celebrations and all the other distractions of the season…but it’s important to stop and celebrate the wins with your family, friends or even coworkers. Reflecting on the many small wins we achieve every day (Checking everything off your “to do” list?…heck yes! Calling your mother in law…a call you’ve been putting off for awhile… go you! Sending out that big work proposal before the deadline?…that’s a WIN!) allow you to slow down, be present and look back on what you accomplished.

Some of the ways I like to celebrate are by cooking a yummy meal at home with Steve while enjoying a quiet evening together, happy hour with some of my Revel teammates for a celebratory cocktail (we love Jalisco; not only is it walking distance from our office, but their margaritas are fantastic!), hitting a round of balls at the golf course (while harder in the winter, we hit up Meadow Lake in Columbia Falls and Whitefish Lake Golf Course in Whitefish) or by treating myself to a mani/pedi at POSH Nails in Columbia Falls.

While festive, the holidays can be overwhelming at times. Taking the time to focus on yourself and your mental well-being will only amplify the joys of the season. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know! I am always looking to add additional self care tactics to my arsenal!

Wishing you only the best this holiday season and beyond!

Picture of Liz McGavin

Liz McGavin

After graduating from Arizona State University, Liz McGavin spent six years honing her skills in client services, execution and communication for a Luxury Hotel group. It was after a weekend getaway to Whitefish, Montana that Liz's world changed - she decided to pack her bags and relocate to this gorgeous town full of endless recreation. It was also there that she parlayed her experience and passion for service and hospitality and became a licensed Realtor. Since then, she has spent the past 19 years working in Real Estate, specializing in residential Real Estate and relocation, helping families move to the area to live out their Montana dream.
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