During the holidays, it is so easy to lose touch with your own needs and get swept up in the expectations of family, the madness of festivities, and the extensive list of “have-tos,” that tend to pile up (despite your best efforts to steer clear of doing things because you feel like you “have to”).
What makes taking care of yourself — and taking time for the things that bring you inner peace — even more challenging, is that lurking sense that doing anything for yourself this time of year is selfish. After all, it’s the holidays! A time of giving, a time to focus on family, friends and the less fortunate!
But when we start to feel selfish for simply taking a moment to ourselves, the slippery slope of negative emotions that follows can be devastating. Guilt, shame and stress shouldn’t be part of our already-packed holiday schedules.
So what if this year we stop thinking of ourselves as selfish for doing the things we need to do to feel creative, emotionally stable, healthy and happy? What if instead we considered these things simple acts of taking care of ourselves, akin to drinking water, eating a balanced diet, sleeping … breathing!
Not only will this practice help you keep your sanity during this season of stress, but taking time for yourself will also allow you to nourish your relationships with others. I believe that one of the most fulfilling things about the holiday season is the extra effort we make to spend time with people at holiday parties and dinners. But for me, I know that when I haven’t had the opportunity to spend time taking care of me, I am unavailable for quality connection and conversation.
All too often at these get-togethers, our bodies are there but our hearts and minds are absent. Instead they are wandering — to the next event, the still-not-completed shopping list, the cooking and cleaning that needs to be done before our own guests arrive. Presence is lacking in a very big way.
By carving out some sincere time devoted to something that nourishes our bodies, minds and hearts, we free ourselves up to be fully present with others, making the holidays ripe with the kinds of celebrations that are meaningful and memorable.
So no matter how busy you get doing for others this holiday season, don’t forget about yourself! Everyone will be thankful that you took that little slice of time to tend to your own needs.
Here are 15 of my favorite “me-time” holiday activities:
1. Take a walk
2. Sleep in
3. Practice yoga
4. Listen to music
7. Go for a run
8. Take a hike
9. Take a bubble bath
10. Read a book
11. Do arts and crafts
13. Write in your journal
14. Play in the snow
15. Or simply sit and soak in the winter sunshine
How will you take time for yourself this season?
About the Author:
Nichole Golden is a soulful and passionate Yoga teacher. She is a steward of the heart and in humble service to the magic and mystery that is held in the body, mind and spirit. As a lover of language, Nichole delights in the written word, living fully as a writer and poet and serving as a guide to the learning and understanding of the subtle voice of the body. When Nichole isn’t on her mat, you can find her exploring the wild world of nature. As a native of Colorado, the mountains are her sacred sanctuary and place of ultimate peace.
As an ERYT-200 and eternal student of Yoga and life, Nichole is continually seeking ways to expand her offering as a teacher. As such she is a certified somatic therapist, essential oils educator, practitioner of Thai massage and certified nutrition therapist.