It’s the MOST wonderful tiiiiiime of the year!
We’re busy making lists, checking them twice, socializing and enjoying… we’re VERY busy doing, doing, doing! Many of us go into over-drive making sure this IS (so-help-me-god!) the very most wonderful time of the year – for everyone else.
But are YOU on your list?
When we hit overdrive (now or any other time of year), we sleep less, spend more, eat and drink more, and generally don’t put ourselves first – until we are run down or sick. All this doing may seem wonderful in a holiday-giving kind of way, but when we are running on empty, there’s not much to give – and certainly not joyfully.
If you find your name on that list, it’s time to take care of you while you deck the halls for those you love.
Here are a handful of simple ways to manage self-care through the holidays and take care of You this season. (Bonus: this is also a great way to create a structure for your New Year goals!)
Create a morning routine. Hint: Looking at your phone for 10 minutes before the snooze alarm rings – again – doesn’t count. Carve out a little time for yourself first thing. It can be as structured as a morning meditation, or as simple as milling over little things you’re grateful for as you sip tea. Even 5 just-for-you-minutes like this will start your day with more intention and ease.
Take a walk. Make it gentle. Notice how beautiful the morning light is. This walk has no goal. Pay no attention to counting steps, or burning calories… just take it in. Research shows that just 15-minutes of light mindful movement every day will reboot your emotional system. That’s reason enough to rejoice!
Eat well. Indulge, yes! But eat well 85% of the time. Try adding greens to every meal to make that 85% a cinch to reach. Not only will this keep your immune system strong, you’ll really enjoy the holiday splurges! Did you know that the first bite of a favorite food provides the greatest enjoyment? It’s true! And food studies have shown that eating for pleasure (as opposed to eating to finish or to get value for what you paid) is inversely related to portion size. In other words, the less you eat, the more pleasure each bite provides! Try it out – I give you permission to NOT finish, rather really enjoy what you do have.
Cancel. I like to call this UN-decorating for the holidays. Look at your schedule. What feels overwhelming? What aren’t you looking forward to? Reflect on what you DO and DON’T want to do this holiday season, then bow out of non-essential commitments and make room for spontaneous magic to occur with those you love.
Unplug for just a bit. This is a fantastic time of year to connect via honest-to-goodness face time. No, not the Apple version. Try setting aside devices while you decorate the house, have holiday cocktails, or teatime with friends. Taking in a whole conversation without being interrupted by a device is a new luxury, and one that will leave you with a warm sense of connection.
I just read an interesting piece in the Huffington Post that said, “PBS KIDS surveyed millennial parents and found that young parents don’t want a high-paced, tech-overloaded holiday this year. This is the most tech-savvy generation in history, but they are craving a simpler season with less shopping, less stress and more quiet time with the family. The survey found that 82% desire more family time and 80% want to spend more time playing with their kids this holiday season.”
We could all do to unplug more and just play.
Take a nap. Schedule some time for self-indulgence. Take a nap, draw yourself a bubble bath, take 20 minutes for tea and a magazine… whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy, do it! I find that scheduling this (reminder alerts and all) then sticking to this date with Me is a sure-fire way to make sure it happens. If you wouldn’t bail on lunch with a dear friend, don’t bail on time for You.
Show yourself some love this season (and beyond) – self-care through the holidays is the best gift you can give you and those you love.