Why Do Holiday Traditions Count as Self-Care?

It’s the holidays — the most wonderful time of the year.’Tis also the season of extra running around and having a lot on our to-do lists.

But don’t forget that embracing the hustle and bustle that comes with this time of year can meet a pretty basic need: connection with family and friends.

Holiday traditions like gift giving, gatherings, and decorating can be stress-inducing because of their financial and time costs. But don’t forget that they can be a form of self-care, too, says Carla Marie Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Sonoma County, California.

“Our mental, emotional, and physical health is bolstered when we’re connected to others in meaningful ways,” says Dr. Manly. “And the holidays are the perfect time to immerse ourselves in the mood-boosting delight of sharing connective moments with friends and family. ”

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