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Team Graydon’s Holiday Self-Care Guide

Team Graydon’s Holiday Self-Care Guide

The holiday season means something different for each person. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all happen in December–and even if you don’t celebrate any of these, it’s still a busy time of year as we all get ready to close out 2023 and welcome 2024. It’s when every person can celebrate all they’ve accomplished this year and look forward to what is to come!

However, amidst the festivities, there’s a common thread of stress. Organizing events, coordinating with extended family, managing packed schedules, and hunting for the perfect gifts–it can add up to a lot of extra work! And for those who are separated from family or find this season a bit lonely, it can be difficult to embrace that festive spirit. Self care is more important than ever.

In the tapestry of holiday customs, one thread connects us all: the quest to manage stress and find moments of self-care amidst the festivities.

At Graydon Skincare, we all have our own ways of unwinding and practicing self-care during the holidays. Our team has come together to share how we each celebrate the holidays. Plus, we’re sharing what we do to stay sane during this hectic time of year.

As the newest member of the Graydon Team, it was also a wonderful chance to get to know the amazing people here better. It was lovely to learn about how everyone celebrates and survives this time of year.

Here’s a photo of me and Seanna Cohen sitting down to talk for this article.

Seanna and Grace

How We Celebrate

Through talking with everyone, I discovered that we all have our own totally unique ways of celebrating. I was lucky enough to get great holiday season stories and advice from a couple people on the Graydon Skincare team, including Pedro Marques, Seanna Cohen, and of course Graydon Moffat!

Pedro Marques

Pedro Marques, our Creative Director, is a truly powerful creative and business-savvy force here at Graydon Skincare. While he loves spending Christmas day with family, New Year’s holds a special place in his heart. He explained that there’s something endlessly exciting about the fresh start of a new year and all the new experiences and discoveries that come with it. He finds the prospect of a fresh year incredibly exciting, and looks forward to all the new experiences and discoveries it brings.

Pedro was kind enough to write down some of his thoughts and shared, “It's fascinating that decades into my life, I'm still learning about myself. I recently unlocked that I require novelty–new experiences and meeting new people–to be happy. It's probably why I love to travel so much.”

Last year, Pedro spent the New Year period exploring San Francisco and New York. “It totally supercharged my year,” he told me. Now, he plans to make traveling an annual tradition during this season, seeking new adventures in different cities each year. In fact, he’s looking right now for where the travel bug will take him next–and he’s hoping it will be somewhere with a great New Year’s firework display!

Graydon Moffat

Graydon Moffat

Our founder Graydon Moffat is embracing a quieter Christmas this year. While she went to Christmas Eve dinner with her cousin's family, she spent Christmas day caring for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. Despite the challenges of caregiving, Graydon finds solace and gratitude in these moments with her mother, stating, “It's a privilege to care for the person who once cared for me. I cherish the opportunity to share a meal together because I know not everyone has that.”

You can redefine celebration by recognizing small, everyday moments of happiness.

For Graydon, this holiday season is all about finding “glimmers”–those small yet significant moments of positivity we encounter each day. Rather than focusing solely on grand events, expensive gifts, or elaborate getaways, she believes in the power of these small but genuine moments of comfort. By focusing on glimmers, Graydon is redefining what it means to celebrate and finding the special moments in her holiday season.

Seanna Cohen

Seanna Cohen

Seanna Cohen is a superstar at work and her skincare knowledge is truly impressive. She shared her insights with me while behind the scenes at our most recent photoshoot. She celebrates Hanukkah with her family, and said that she looked forward to the nightly tradition of lighting the menorah candles with her husband and children. The 8 days of Hanukkah, which fell from December 7th to 15th this year, were the perfect time for small, lively gatherings with friends and family.

Seanna shared with me that since Hanukkah falls on different days each year and it isn’t one of the high Jewish holidays, she finds it to be a pretty pressure and stress-free holiday and a perfect time to focus on family and truly enjoy the time they spend together. On New Year's, Seanna prefers to stay in and use that time to rest and reset for the next year.

Grace Regan

Grace Regan

This is me, the team’s copywriter! My holiday season typically kicks off on December 2nd. Though I don’t feel as strongly about it anymore, when I was younger I insisted that the Christmas season wasn’t allowed to start until after my birthday on the 1st–and my family has stuck to this “rule” ever since. Every Christmas, I look forward to spending time with family, my mom’s annual cookie decorating party, and giving gifts (which is equal parts stressful and fun for me).

As for New Year’s, January 1st is my dad’s birthday, so usually we kick off the new year with a double celebration.

How We Practice Self-Care

Taking care of yourself when the nights are long and the weather is chilly is super important regardless of how you celebrate, because both the weather and the lack of sunlight can have a huge impact on your mood and energy level. Add on the stress that can come from planning family gatherings and holiday parties, and it’s clear that you need time to relax amidst all the business of the holidays.

Self-care is something you practice, not a one-time reward.

Yet, this period offers a chance for reflection and mindfulness, allowing you to look back on all you’ve accomplished this year and think ahead about what you want to manifest for the next. Many of us naturally start reflecting this time of year, leading to the perfect state of mind to discover new, intentional self-care habits.

We all have our own ways of unwinding and making the most of the holidays and wintry weather. Besides learning how our team celebrates, I sought their insights on self-care, and each person offered fantastic advice!

Find the Gratitude

Finding gratitude during a challenging holiday season begins by recognizing simple blessings. Maybe you have an hour to snuggle up with a warm blanket and tasty drink. Perhaps you got a nice message from a friend or a compliment from a coworker. Gratitude allows you to appreciate not only the kindness and connection you experience with others and the world around you, but also the strength and resilience you carry within.

Struggling to find gratitude in the little things? Create moments to be grateful for! This advice comes from Graydon, who explained, “I take time to participate in activities that bring me health, joy, and connection. I do this by peppering my day with small but meaningful nuggets of joy.”

Unplug and Disconnect

Your relaxation time can often be disrupted by incoming texts, calls, or emails, breaking even the most tranquil moments. A digital detox can relieve the anxiety of being constantly connected to and distracted by technology.

This piece of advice comes from Seanna, who spends a week every holiday season visiting her in-laws with her husband and children. She uses this visit to completely disconnect. She says that not only does unplugging help, but being in a new space and being with her family really helps her unwind.

Switching off your screen isn’t just a break–it’s a way to nurture your wellbeing.

Your digital disconnect doesn’t have to last a week. It can be helpful to create small getaways for yourself when you can. Head to a nearby coffee shop or library for an hour and leave your phone at home. Sip on a warm drink or dive into a great book and enjoy the present moment. Disconnecting from the digital world helps you reconnect with yourself.

Make the Most of Your Daylight Hours

An important tip I’d suggest is to embrace sunlight whenever possible! Winter's dark days heavily affect my mood, pushing me to intentionally seek sunlight daily by spending time outdoors. Connecting with nature and feeling the sun’s warmth brings a lightness to my spirit and makes me feel more grounded and less isolated.

Many of us, especially my fellow Canadians, find ourselves stuck at work for all our daylight hours. The sun is barely up by the time you get into work, and when you walk out at 5, it’s already dark. That’s why I always encourage others to get outside during their lunch breaks–you gotta get some vitamin D!

Find Winter Activities to Look Forward To

The constant cold and darkness of winter can be overwhelming without activities that bring you joy Pedro shared with me, “Ever since returning to Canada for the first time as an adult, my tried and true method for surviving Toronto's cold and gloomy winters has been embracing it by finding winter activities that I look forward to.”

Taking part in winter activities transforms your holiday season. It’s not just the activity itself; the excitement leading up to it sprinkles happiness into your daily schedule. If you know you’ve got something exciting like decorating cookies, hitting the slopes, or building a snowman on the horizon, a cold, dreary winter can turn into a magical one.

Pedro recommends a mix of indoor and outdoor activities. Some of his personal favourites include:

  • Snowboarding
  • Watching holiday movies
  • Skating
  • Decorating the house for the holidays

Center Yourself in Your Body

There are plenty of strategies for connecting more deeply with your body and embracing the feeling of fully inhabiting yourself. Graydon shares one way to connect with yourself, which she calls a daily check-in. “I check in with myself every morning and ask myself what I need (and don’t need). This informs many choices like what I’m going to cook, how I will nourish my skin, and intentions about how I choose to connect with the people on my calendar.”

When you embrace the connection you have with your body, even the simple things your body does for you like breathing or blinking feels special.

Another practice Graydon advocates is facial yoga. The act of touching and massaging your face is grounding, and facial yoga in particular not only benefits your mood and mental health, but can make your skin look amazing by increasing circulation, reducing puffiness, and toning facial muscles. There’s plenty of great YouTube tutorials to show you how to do it.

Happy Holidays!

However you celebrate the holidays–and survive the stress!–the entire Graydon team wishes you a wonderful end of 2023 and a joyful, transformational, and beautiful 2024. We hope that no matter how you find self-care moments, your winter season is filled with happiness.

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Questions this article answers: How does Graydon Skincare celebrate the holidays while practicing self-care? What are the self-care traditions of Graydon Skincare employees during the holidays? What self-care rituals are practiced by Graydon Skincare staff? How does the Graydon Skincare team enjoy the holiday season? How do you find holiday joy through self-care? How does self-care take precedence during holidays?