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.
1. Take a walk
2. Sleep in
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