This is NOT a list of things to buy, clean, cook, prepare or even do for the holidays. This is a list for YOU and by YOU of sanity-saving Self-Care tips for the season. It doesn’t matter if you were naughty or nice. Feel free to get creative and add even more. Then print, post where you can see it frequently, and pass it along!
____Remember Your Breath. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by family obligations and holiday parties, then turn to your breath. It is always there for you like a loyal, unwavering friend. From the very first moment of your life, your next breath is provided for you, without a thought. Be greedy with your breath and take in as much as you need to calm, clear and nourish yourself. You can also invite a friend, colleague, or spouse to take a few deep breaths with you!
____Be Generous to Yourself. During this season of giving, don’t forget about what YOU need. This does not necessarily mean to go buy yourself an expensive gift. For every external wish, there is an internal want. So take a moment and tune out all the external voices and non-stop holiday music. Get quiet, maybe meditate, then ask yourself, what do I really NEED? Listen for the voice inside of you. The answer may surprise you. Then take action and do what the voice says!
____Feed your Spirit. With all the socializing combined with stress, sometimes we self-sooth by overeating, drinking and indulging. So when you experience Hunger, Desire, Cravings or even Addiction this season, be sure to feed yourself with what you really need. So before you stuff yourself, see what Soul wants. Is it a hug, a phone call with a friend, to pet your dog or cat, or perhaps a moment alone?
____Get Conscious About Your Emotions. Spending time with family can be amazing but also challenging. No one can press buttons like the ones you love! If heavy emotions arise for you, like Anger, Fear, or Guilt, don’t suppress them, trust them. Of course, you don’t want to explode either. This may feel good for a few minutes but will not bring the results you want. So take a walk, do some yoga, and get conscious. This way you have the choice, and your voice, to use your emotions effectively.
____Take the Pressure Off. Sometimes our minds can conjure up what the perfect holiday should look like. Or maybe we saw it in a movie. Or we see someone else and imagine she has the perfect tree, haircut, family and life. But if we compare, we are doomed. This is the time to focus on what we have rather than what we feel we may lack. Take a moment right now to acknowledge the gifts in your life. You probably have more than you think! Perfectionism can be punishing and life is an ever-changing cycle. This Christmas or Hanukkah will be different than last and will definitely be different than next. The key to contentment is accepting exactly what is, right now.
My Self-Care tips: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________