The end of the year is just round the corner, and so much joy and festivity is about to come your way! It's time to start putting up that Christmas tree, compiling your favorite holiday recipes to try, and sending out gift cards to your family and friends!

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Amidst all the holiday cheer, the holiday season comes with a whirlwind of gift-giving, marketing blitzes, and holiday parties that need quite a bit of social battery. This can most definitely get overwhelming.

So this season, together with celebrating the holidays with your family and friends, celebrate yourself for all that you've done the past year. You've worked hard for the past 12 months, and you are more than deserving of a break and some quality self-care. Despite all the curveballs that were thrown in your way this year, you pulled through. With all the lessons you've learnt the past 12 months, you're only going to go into 2023 a better version of yourself.

To help you commit to investing some time in yourself during this festive season, why not use an Advent Calendar to guide you? To suit your needs and schedule even better, your very own DIY self-care advent calendar, tailored just for you, can be the perfect tool for you take care of yourself this season.

What is an Advent Calendar?

An Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas. With every day that passes before Christmas, you can unveil something such as a motivational quote, a small gift, or attend to a small task on each day.

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Traditional calendars are rectangular cards or boxes that you can hang on the wall, or place on your table with small sealed doors, windows, or envelopes that are meant to be opened in order on each day.

A Self-Care Advent Calendar

For your very own DIY self-care version of an advent calendar, you can plan some self-care activities to engage in for each day.

What's great about DIY advent calendars is that it's entirely up to you, your schedule, and your needs. For the holiday season, you can use your advent calendars as a countdown to Christmas, and also as way to make your self-care fun and holiday season-themed. Plan for activities like taking a bubble bath, going for a spa day, or open up a motivational quote on one of the days to get through the holiday busyness.

Starting a self-care advent calendar will help you set a more positive tone for the holidays, help you feel more appreciative for all the things that you have, and gives you the quality self-care that you need.

Self-Care Advent Calendar Ideas

If you're up for making a DIY Self-Care Advent calendar, decide on whether you want to create a physical or a digital calendar to begin with. Each has their own pros and cons, so it's entirely up to you to decide which gels with you and your lifestyle better.

Your very own advent calendar can either include a variety of self-care activities that you can do everyday, or a set of daily self-care reminders and prompts to read or write about.

Here are some Christmas and holiday-themed journal prompts, activities, and quotes you can include in your self-care advent calendar. Feel free to pick and choose from the list, or mix around the days!

Day 1: Drink a cup of hot chamomile tea before going to bed

Chamomile tea has a mild sedative effect that is great for inducing sleep. After you fall asleep, chamomile can help to improve sleep quality so that you wake up rested and refreshed!

Day 2: Spend 15 mins journaling outside your home

Combining journaling with time outside offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature while processing your thoughts and emotions. Using Journey, a digital diary app that can be accessed from anywhere and anytime, can facilitate this self-care activity for you. All you have to do is simply whip out your mobile device and start journaling away!

Day 3: Clear out 5 articles of clothing that you can do without in your cupboard

Decluttering your closet, will not only free up space and make room for new items, but it will also give you immense satisfaction when you see an organized space. When you declutter, you remove the stress and anxiety from your life, and you can increase your creativity and productivity when you do this.

Day 4: Write a journal entry with this prompt...

What defines the holidays for you?

Day 5: Switch things up in your living space

Re-vamping your personal space or switching things around provides an opportunity for creativity as well as comfort. As you re-arrange your personal space, you get to tune into your aesthetic and identify what you truly love, want, or need.

Day 6: Prepare a hearty breakfast for yourself

Breakfast, known as the most important meal, is the first meal you put in your body before a busy day. Breakfast aims to power you up for the day, and this makes picking the right food that is both nutritious and provides long-lasting energy important.

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Day 7: Spend 10mins doing some light stretches once you get out bed

By stretching right after you wake up, you help your muscles relax. Tense muscles are what lead to poor posture. Spending just 10mins to stretch out after waking up can also turn on the parasympathetic system — the ‘rest and digest’ system — which puts us in a more relaxed state right when we get out of bed, helping set the tone for a calm morning and day!

Day 8: Make a 2023 bucket list of at least 5 things you want to do next year

Bucket lists allow you to aspire towards leading a life with hopes and aspirations. Making a bucket list allows us to reflect on our values and goals, and identify important milestones and experiences that we want to have in our lifetime.

If you're constantly on the move, or have the tendency to misplace things, having a digital, mobile, or portable space to make lists will be so much more convenient. Consider using Journey, a digital diary app that is equipped with multiple kinds of writing tools, to make your bucket list whenever you want and wherever you want.

With Journey, you can edit and read your bucket list across multiple platforms, including desktop, iOS, and Android!

Day 9: Call a loved one to update them about your day

The effort that you take to catch up with a loved one over a simple phone call; to update them about your day and to ask them about how they are getting on can contribute greatly to maintaining strong relationships. This helps you and them feel valued, loved, and connected. Show appreciation for your loved ones from time to time with a phone call to remind them of how important they are to you!

Day 10: Meet a friend for a meal and good conversation

If you haven't seen a good friend in a while, it's time to make some plans to catch up over a hearty meal. Eating with friends and family is known to strengthen community bonds and build important friendships. Take time to laugh, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company over a delicious meal during the holidays.

Day 11: Write a journal entry with this prompt...

What about the holiday season do you love the most?

Day 12: Eat your comfort food without guilt today

Sometimes a home-cooked meal that would soothe your soul is all you need to feel a little better about the stress and troubles of everyday life. Whether it's a bar of chocolate or some hot soup, have it today without guilt because you deserve it!

Day 13: Meditate for 10 mins once you wake up

Starting your day with some meditation can help you slowly ease out of grogginess and help set the conditions for a more successful day. Incorporating a daily wake-up meditation can become your anchor in a day full of often unpredictable situations and variables.

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Day 14: Write about your favorite day from 2022

Look back at the wonderful year you've had and write about your favorite day. While you may have had several good days, pick one that you feel had a big impact on the way your year turned out.

Make this journal entry about your happiness! If you're looking for a space to express yourself, Journey allows you to customize and personalize your writing in whatever way you fancy. In the "Notes" section of the planner, you can choose from 4 different types of layouts and start writing to your heart's content with your tablet pen!

Day 15: Go to bed an hour earlier tonight

You deserve good shut-eye time after your long days. Make incremental changes, like going to bed 40mins to an hour earlier every few days until you've reached your bedtime goal. Consistency is key when you're shifting your sleeping habits and to maintain healthy sleep and wake up times.

Day 16: Try a Coach Program with Journey

If you are unsure as to how to go about journaling, the Journey app provides a wide array of journal prompts to help you to focus on what to write. Using journal prompts give you a clearer direction as to how you can go about reflecting.

These prompts can be found in the Coach section of the Journey app, and are designed to help you clarify your thoughts, feelings, and perspective.

This season, try your hand at the Christmas Coach programs to help you get into the festive mood, and also check-in on your mental health.

Day 17: Buy yourself a holiday gift you've always wanted

Gifts for yourself are not selfish. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time. After all, you’ve had a tough year, and you made it through. That deserves celebrating!

Day 18: Write a journal entry with this prompt...

What positive changes have you observed in yourself since the beginning of this year?

Day 19: Log out of your social media today

Take a break from social media for the day as a form of self-care! Disconnecting for a short time during all the festivities can be a good way to prevent or manage anxiety, and help you be more present around people and at holiday celebrations.

Day 20: Read this quote at the beginning of the day!

"Time passes: yesterday has gone forever but tomorrow never comes. Let’s make the most of today."

Day 21: Write a goodbye letter to this year

Bid farewell to the year with a goodbye letter to 2022. Include the good, the bad, and everything in between that has happened this year and has shaped you!

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Day 22: Write a journal entry with this prompt...

What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?

Day 23: Read this quote at the end of the day!

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

Day 24: Try a Coach Program with Journey

During this season, take some time to look back and appreciate everything that has gotten you this far. Find things to be thankful for this 2022! Today, let Journey's thanksgiving prompts guide you in feeling and expressing gratitude in your life!

December 25th, Christmas Day: Read this quote today!

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.”

Journey's 2023 Advent Calendar

If your hands are a little full during this season, we have an alternative for you — a self-care advent calendar prompt program on Journey Coach!

A macro shot of a "Happy Holidays" Christmas tree ornament
Photo by Clint Patterson / Unsplash

With our Advent Calendar Program, you will receive daily Christmas-themed prompts and questions to answer. They are fun, unique and quirky, so you can be sure to get into the Christmas spirit while also mixing in some prompts and questions for self-reflection.

There are 3 parts to Journey's 2023's advent calendar. The 3 parts of our Advent Calendar Program have fresh and unique Christmas-themed surprise prompts that are updated daily, and can most definitely guide you in your self-care journey during the holidays.

The importance of self-care during the holidays often goes unnoticed. But during the holidays and festivities, you get crazy busy, and it's actually when you need self-care most.

So make sure to schedule time for you this holiday season. Even the ten minutes from the activities in your advent calendar can positively impact your mental health; it’s more than enough time to get outside for a breath of fresh air, a quick meditation, a quick workout, or a chat with a loved one to help you re-set!

Happy Holidays!