This can be a funny time of year. Funny weird, not funny ha ha and it can seem surreal. Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the mall with all the crazy making (if you didn’t lose your mind trying to park the car) while Christmas carols of joy, world peace and love play in the background. There’s a disconnect between my reality and my seemingly unattainable desire for the perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas.
In all honesty, I have moments of sadness at Christmas which I make worse by feeling bad about feeling sad. This is supposed to be a happy time, right?
I asked myself what I wanted to do as opposed to what I should be doing. And I realized I’ve been a hypocrite. I talk a good game about self care, but I haven’t been great about taking my own advice or implementing it because what I wanted was self care; time for me.
Self care is really about self love. It’s about nurturing and nourishing all of you; body, mind and spirit. And very often during the holiday season, our self care can go missing in a big way.
So in the spirit of giving, this year I decided to give to myself and I implemented my own 12 days of giving ~ to me. Here are some ways I came up with to nurture me:
- Say no. This is one of the most challenging lessons for me. It’s also the best way to stay out of overwhelm, feeling panicked and angry.
- Meditate or at least have some quiet time for yourself. I know ~ who has time for that when there’s not enough time as it is? Trust me, this is the best way to recharge, and feel calm and it actually allows you to get more done. Just 10 minutes a day creates big results.
- Have a green smoothie or juice every day. It’s easy to over indulge on the sugar, fat and alcohol this time of year. Balance it with the addition of a daily green juice or smoothie. They’re fast, easy and SO good for you. Your whole body (including your liver) will love you for it!
- Give yourself the luxury of a warm bath – preferably accompanied by candle light and great music. Water is very feminine and nurturing on all levels. A warm bath relaxes the body and mind and is a fantastic (and inexpensive) way to love yourself. For exquisite skin care, start with exfoliating your whole body (not face) with a dry skin brush. After your bath massage your body with warmed coconut oil mixed with your favorite essential oils.
- Take a nap. This little act of self care has changed my life. I wake up refreshed, in a good mood and feeling so self-indulged!
- Read. Curl up with a cup of tea and that novel you’ve been trying to get to all year.
- Watch a movie. I love romantic comedies and one of my favorites (and yes, I watch it unapologetically every year) is The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet.
- Bake. Or cook, whatever your thing is. For a few years I stopped baking at Christmas because it isn’t particularly healthy and I have a tendency to eat too much of it. You know what? I LOVE to bake – I love the structure and precise steps of baking, the memories that the aroma’s bring and the beauty of the finished product. I balance it by keeping a little and gifting a lot.
- Get physical. As much as you can, stick to your work out routine. Or at least go for a walk and get some fresh air. Make a date with friends and go snow shoeing (requires very little talent at the beginner level which is a huge plus for me) skating or skiing. Let mother nature gift you with the quiet beauty of her winter scape.
- Get fresh flowers. Even if its a single stem. Flowers are alive and share their life force with you. They bring instant beauty to any surrounding.
- De clutter your space. This is another simple thing that has a huge impact. Stress is perceived through our eyes (as well as emotions) and when we look around and see nothing but chaos and disorder, we have an automatic stress reaction. Reduce stress simply by getting rid of what no longer serves you, isn’t beautiful or useful. Ask a friend whose home you admire, to help you. Create a plan and make it fun, not a burden.
Learning to treat yourself with with love and kindness makes your world a better place and ripples out and affects everyone. We teach others how to treat us by example of how we treat ourselves. Be good and kind to you, and others will follow suit.
I am so happy you are here; many blessings to you and may this beautiful Christmas season and every day be joy-filled and stress free!
photo from brainworksrehab.com