Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Our fast-paced world is made even faster during the holidays, and while we’ll all agree that self-care is important, many people don’t really know what it is, so, don’t experience the benefits of it.
Self-care is an amazing gift we give ourselves, and others around us. There’s a lot of wisdom in the old phrase “when mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” or another way to say it is “when mama is happy, everyone’s happy”. When we take care of ourselves, and fill up our love tank, we’re in a better position to reach out to help and serve others. Some days that seems easier said than done but honestly, it’s on those days that you need to listen to your body all the more and take time for yourself.
Here are five ways to practice self-care that will help you thrive through the holidays;
Schedule time to spend with yourself each day; read, nap, workout, go for a walk, have a bubble bath, watch a sappy Christmas movie, build a snowman, learn something.
Forgive family or friends even if they’re not sorry. Forgiving others frees you from worry, stressing, and giving too much attention to the person who has wronged you, and it allows you to get on with your life. Forgiveness can be done without the participation of the person who hurt you, by asking God to help you forgive and heal your heart. There’s a good chance you’ll want to pick the hurt up from time to time, and when you do, just remind yourself that you’ve already forgiven that situation and you’re free. It’ll become easier over time.
Go to bed at a reasonable time. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep each day. It’s hard to get the things we want to done when you’re running on little energy, and when you start falling behind, it’s easy to get cranky with yourself and others.
Let your yes be a yes, and your no be a no. How often do you go along with what others want to do or where they want to go, only to be super frustrated with yourself? This holiday season, say exactly what you want to do or where you’d like to go, and if something doesn’t work for you, say no. Don't overwhelm yourself with perfectionism or with the habit of pleasing. You want everyone to have a good time, but remember, it's the gathering of people you love that counts, not how perfect something is.
Do one thing every day to help you prepare for the big day. When you’re not rushing to get everything done in a few days, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays and enjoy your company and the fruits of your labour. Here are a few ideas to get your started - gather recipes, plan a menu, grocery shop for your gathering, bake, cook ahead, clean one room a day, keep the house tidy. And for good measure, invite someone on a date and do something fun together.
Write a list of self-care ideas that you’d like to incorporate this month.
Then, start loving on yourself a little every day!