Holiday Self Care
Do you wonder how to fit the holidays into an already full schedule? Do you wonder how you can make this a time for joy, togetherness, peace and happiness instead of one filled with deadlines, commitments, unmet expectations and heightened stress? This holiday you can give yourself the gift of creating a different experience!
As life gets busier and more complex, it is easy to feel a loss of control of both time and energy. Often we feel the obligation and responsibility attached to events rather than being able to relish the experience and take pleasure in the moment. Outside demands take precedence and we neglect to take care of ourselves.
Holiday Self Care Begins with Awareness
Begin by identifying what you need, and how much you can realistically give of your time, money, or energy. As you move through each day remain aware of your needs, emotional and otherwise. Notice when circumstances are becoming overwhelming and learn to say NO. Giving from an “empty cup” is a recipe for stress, resentment and blame toward others for taking too much. It is neither kind nor gracious and other people recognize this.
Holiday Self Care: Maintain Your Energy Level, Schedule and Inner Balance.
To do this effectively it may be necessary to look at the deeper roots of why self care is so difficult. Turn up the volume on the conversations that go on in your mind. We all have them–old messages & beliefs formed earlier in life. We usually are not aware that we carry perspectives that may be outdated, or that may be influencing our behavior in a negative way.
Some of these ’beliefs’ are probably good solid values. There are others that served you well at the time, but need revision to fit effectively into your current life. Discovering and honestly acknowledging what thoughts, attitudes and beliefs are behind over-commitment, hectic schedules and lack of time for yourself is one way to begin to design a stress-less holiday and a stress-less life!
It is important to recognize what needs your patterns may satisfy. Your needs are not wrong, but the way you are trying to meet them may be ineffective. Successful change requires releasing old habits and filling your needs in positive ways.
Holiday Self Care Requires Attending to Your Heart and Mind
Creating more fulfilling choices for yourself comes from a clear recognition of how each choice affects your whole being. How different would your life be if you evaluated how your decisions affected your heart and mind before you made them? We often run our lives from our heads, from the world of ideas, concepts, shoulds, oughts and musts. Sit quietly with each decision you make and notice how your heart and mind respond to it. This process can be enlightening. When there is a conflict between the mind and heart, it is almost certain that you will experience stress and eventually a variety of difficulties will manifest in your health, relationships and performance.
Self care is an inside job! Creating change from the inside out begins by listening more closely to our heart. The holiday season is a great opportunity for us all to commit more joy and less stress!