The holiday season is fast upon us.
Lots of times to be jolly, but let’s be honest here: With so much running around, partying and getting your stockings in a row, you can get lost in the shuffle.
With a crazy end-of-the-year pace—or more to the point, because of it—it can be easy to lose your sense of self. A great way to be sure that doesn’t happen is with self-care rituals.
Self-care simply means taking good care of yourself, showing up for yourself regularly, and showing yourself a little love. A ritual develops when you make what was a good intention part of your life. The following are self-care rituals that keep you centered, enhance your mindfulness, and give you an aura of calm on a regular basis—good for any time of year, but especially now!
Scheduling in some “me time” rituals for yourself doesn’t need to take much time, just a few simple ones will do just fine, as long as you love what you’re doing.
Here are six rituals to start you off and get you thinking your way to a super-manageable holiday season.
Set up a corner for daily meditation. Get some pillows in your favorite soothing colors, light a candle or two, and plant yourself there every morning for 10 to 20 minutes of meditation. Keep the space exclusively for this daily ritual. That’s for you and you only.
Spend time with nature. Go out for some outdoor activity whether morning, lunch time, or evening. Being outside is known to increase concentration ability and creativity, and if that doesn’t convince you, outdoor time has also been shown to improve mood and self-esteem! You can up the efficiency level by adding exercise, be it a walk or a run. But be sure to keep your observation skills high to enjoy the scenery nature provides. Any season, whatever the temperature, you’ll find something wonderful to see. One of my favorite things to do is sit in nature and watch the leaves move in the wind, the clouds float by in the sky, and feel the breeze on my face. Take a timeout to tune in.
Do at least one kind act a day. It can be as simple as giving a compliment, smiling at a passerby on the street, letting another driver into the lane or saying a cheerful hello to the grocery store clerk. Such acts make someone else’s day brighter, and being the person who does that will give you a nice glow that enhances your self-awareness and esteem. And while you’re at, don’t forget to be kind to yourself as well!
Before each meal, send a silent thank you—to the farmers who grew the food, the shippers who brought it to you, the market that made it available. A moment of thanks will slow you down, relax you and your digestive system, and increase your mindfulness and enjoyment of your food. Plus it will give you a chance to think about how the food you’ve selected will contribute to your health! Take a moment to be grateful for the nourishment you are about to receive.
Tidy up your space every evening. Clutter agitates the brain; indeed, one study showed that having a cluttered home increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Once it becomes a ritual you’ll need only five or so minutes each day to neaten your surroundings, put away your clothes, sort the mail and get the kitchen in order. Tidy surroundings reward you with a peaceful mindset.
Set aside time for Sunday solitude to rejuvenate. Solitude is literally getting away from it all, a chance to collect your thoughts, go inwards, restore, relax completely, and get back in touch with you! Disconnect the digital devices and take a long, leisurely bath with Epsom salts. Journal about your week and the one coming up. Maybe just sit in a comfy chair with a cup of herbal tea, the cat on your lap and listen to quiet music you love.
As you gear up for the holiday season, there is much to look forward to. Taking time for you will add a new dimension to the pleasure!