Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Care this Holiday Season
This time of year can be so full of to-dos that it may feel impossible to make time for yourself. Between shuttling the kids around to their activities, tending to work responsibilities, doing holiday shopping, or just keeping up with LIFE, the idea of adding one more thing feels impossible.
But I’m here to tell you that taking care of yourself during this festive time of year is crucial. If you want to enjoy yourself and not get burnt out, if you want to feel the joy of the season and not stress, sadness, or resentment, it can really help to practice a bit of self-care.
DECIDE TO GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SELF-CARE
What does self-care even mean, anyway?!
To me, self-care means practicing self-love. It means connecting with my self in a space that is free of outside distractions, and treating myself super well.
When I say self-care, I’m not talking about a full on day at the spa (although that would be amazing!). I’m talking about finding small pockets of time to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Time to focus on the habits that bring you a feeling of calm, healthfulness, and strength.
I can hear some of you thinking:
“That’s all well and good, but isn’t that a little selfish?”
“Self-care is totally indulgent.”
“Easy for you to say!”
“I don’t deserve it.”
Whew. I hear you. In fact, I’ve said all of those things to myself! But I would never ever say them to a friend. So, why are we so judgmental with ourselves? Why don’t we deserve to treat ourselves well?
Listen to me when I say this: You cannot afford not to practice self-care. Especially this time of year!
Still not sure? What if you replaced the word “self” with “health”?
Health-care isn’t selfish or indulgent or unnecessary.
This subtle shift in perspective really opened my mind to possibilities. Because healthcare isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! I have to take care of myself to be around for my family and my business.
If you thought of self-care as a form of health care, what would it look like for you?
BLOCK OUT THE TIME IN YOUR DAY FOR SELF-CARE
Do you think it’s possible to find a pocket of 10-15 minutes in your day where you focus on your needs, your dreams, your desires?
Take a look at your calendar for tomorrow. Where can you fit in 15 minutes for YOU?
This could easily be at the very beginning or end of your full day. For me it’s often in that window of time after the kids are in school before I head in to work. Other times it’s after they go to bed. I sometimes use part of my lunch break.
The dishes and email and social media can wait. YOU cannot.
If you keep a calendar, planner, or bullet journal, write yourself in. Schedule the time in your day for self-care. Once it’s on your to-do list with all the other things you’ve got going on, it’s difficult to ignore. Plus, you get the added satisfaction of crossing it off when you’re done!
CHOOSE ONE ACTIVITY THAT FEEDS YOU
There are so many things we daydream of doing later, when we have “more time”. Building in these pockets of 15 minutes a day give you that time in an accessible way. Don’t spend them on Facebook. Spend them doing something that feeds you: body, mind, or heart.
Here are some of the areas of my life where I practice self-care:
Taking care of my body – yoga, walking, eating well, drinking enough water, taking baths
Taking care of my mind – reading, knitting and writing daily
Taking care of my heart – being in stillness with myself while making or meditating
If I do one of these things every day, I feel great. More than one, and I’m #winning!
Your self-care will look different than mine. It’s important to hone in on those activities that fuel you.
Now it’s time to brainstorm some activities or ways to practice your version of self-care.
Spend 5 minutes quickly making a list of all the things you wish you had more time for, things that connect you to YOU, activities that nourish who you are. Don’t censor yourself, just get it all out onto a piece of paper.
After you’ve brainstormed some ideas, choose one activity to start with today.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s just for you, and not a chore or obligation you’re dressing up as self-care.
Why spend time practicing self-care?
Because when you spend time on an activity that feeds your soul, it gives you energy. That energy can fill you up and fuel you to tackle any number of challenges and opportunities in your life.
Doesn’t that sound good? Who couldn’t use a little more of that soul-fueling energy to power through the day with gusto? I know I could, especially this time of year when I feel overwhelmed. Taking that short break to reconnect with myself, even for just a few minutes, can really turn the day around.
Look at your daily to-dos and schedule your time. We make time for what matters, so I want you to put yourself on your own to-do list. Be uncompromising with this time. It’s only 15 minutes – protect it fiercely!
Over the past couple of years, it’s become a mission of mine to encourage you to make time for creativity everyday. We make time for what we value. And we should be valuing ourselves, too, don’t you think?! Loving yourself and caring for yourself is not selfish, and it certainly shouldn’t come after caring for everyone else.
Here are a couple of our most popular posts about making time for creativity and self-care:
So now it’s your turn: how do you practice self-care? Any special tricks for making time for self-care at the holidays? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments!