Self-Care During The Holidays
Are you feeling depleted this time of year? I have to remind myself about the importance of self-care, slowing down, and using my "no" during the holiday season. It is easy for me to give, give, give and forgot about receiving in all the chaos the holiday season brings. Don't get me wrong, I love the get togethers, times with family and friends, delicious food to eat, lights to see, etc, and I notice I need to pay extra attention to my needs in all the holiday cheer.
The first step for me is slowing down. Slowing down enough for me to tap into my internal experience to recognize how I feel, what I need, and how to move forward with honoring myself. This is a challenging step for me. I like to be busy, complete to-do lists, and be with family (especially when family is in from out of town). In order for me to be present and connected, slowing down to tune into how I feel and what my body is asking for is an important beginning step.
Step two: Do I need to step away for an hour yoga class? Go on a run? Sit for 15 minutes? Take a bath? Drink a green smoothie? Splash cold water on my face?All are examples of self-care and little ways I can take charge of my life when life feels chaotic.
Step three shows up with my "no." I need to say "no" to attending events, dinners, and socializing when it feels like too much. The word and concept of guilt creeps in... Is it ok for me to say no and take time for myself? A question I offer you, Did you do anything wrong? Many times we feel guilty because we didn't do what another wanted us to do, and in these situations, did we do anything wrong? Did you act outside of your integrity or your truth? In my case, no I didn't act outside of my integrity. I am acting within my integrity to take care of myself and continue with the holiday events when I feel regulated, ready, and recharged.
Self-care can show up in little ways, weaved in your day to help you stay grounded and connected.
Self-care and ways to take care of YOU:
-take a bath or shower
-splash cold water on your face
-listen to music, sounds around you
-smell an essential oil, light a candle
-move your body- yoga, dance, stretch, run, bounce, legs up the wall, walk
- lay down on your bed or floor with front line of your body connected to the bed or floor
- sit in silence for 10-15 minutes, bring your mind back to your breath as thoughts arise, stay in present moment
-gently squeeze or tap areas of your body (arms, legs) to experience sensation
- listen to your breath, 4 to 6 count inhale and 4 to 6 count exhale
-drink warm tea, chew gum, eat your favorite meal
-cuddle with a soft blanket, pet, person you feel safe with
-connect with nature
-mantras, positive internal dialogue
-art, visualizations, color
-talk to a friend, family, support group
If none of these work, reach out to a professional. There is nothing wrong with receiving additional support, and allowing yourself to feel and express your experience and emotions. I seek support from a professional and benefit from it. I am here to help whether that be for a referral, ideas for help, someone to talk to. Please reach out and we can work together to find you the support you need.