December 23, 2019
Take Time For You This Holiday Season
There is absolutely no doubt about it. No matter how much you love the holidays, it’s a stressful season. Now you have fancy holiday stress on top of your normal every-day stress, regardless of what you celebrate. We’re inundated with things to do and buy and places to go and parties to host. We can’t escape it, no matter how hard we try. More than ever, taking time for yourself is essential. If you’re not able to keep up, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Here are some things you can do to take time for yourself this holiday season.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about self-care lately, but some of the information is contradictory. What exactly is self-care? Is it making sure you come first? Is it taking a long hot bath on a stressful day? Is it an acknowledgement that your mental wellbeing is important?
Psychologically speaking, self-care is anything we do that supports our mental, physical, and emotional, and spiritual health. So, when you prioritize going to the gym every day, you’re practicing self-care. When you decide to have a quiet night at home, that’s self-care.
The important part is that self-care should help us recharge, relax, and feel good. It improves our mood and reduces anxiety. It’s also something necessary when we care for others. Many caregivers suffer from burnout because they are unable to take time for themselves. But when we embrace self-care, we’re better equipped to provide support to others.
There are several paths to self-care, including an increased prioritization on the things that make you feel comforted and good about yourself. But here are just a few things that can get you moving in the right direction.
Meditation is very popular, but many people feel like they don’t have time just to sit in silence and clear their mind. But that isn’t all that meditation can be. There are many, many forms of meditation used by many cultures around the world. One of the best to help you get into the practice of self-care is mindfulness.
With mindfulness, you’re not actively trying to push thoughts from your brain or focus on your breathing. Instead, it’s an active engagement in whatever activity you’re doing right now. For example, right now, you’re probably reading this paragraph. But are you reading it for real or are you skimming it? Instead, focus on the words on the page and let them speak to you.
One of the best ways to employ mindfulness is when you eat. We live in such a rushed culture that food is often just a means to an end. We wolf it down between activities and don’t even bother tasting it. But mindfulness encourages you to slow down. Focus on all of your senses. How does the food look to you? How does it smell? What is the texture on your tongue? Experience the flavors. That’s mindfulness.
Have a Healthy Attitude
Have you ever heard that your attitude affects everything else around you? For example, when it snows in Asheville, are you frustrated by the inconvenience or delighted by the sights and sounds of a snowy day? Someone on the internet once said, “If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”
It’s all about your attitude. Negativity breeds more negativity. Positivity works the same way. Try to find the positive in all situations, including some of your worst moments. When something goes wrong, take a moment to feel your anger and frustration but then step back and look at what things have gone right.
Give it Your Some
You always hear people telling you to, “give it your all.” But what does it mean to give something your all? We want to “play hard, give 110%” all the time, but even on our best days we know that’s not always possible.
On days when you’re just not feeling it, know that it’s okay to give it your some. It was in an interview with a celebrity, though I can’t remember which one, who told a story of a bad day on set. She told her director she couldn’t give 100%. The director told her that was fine, if she only had 30% to give, give 100% of that 30%.
In other words, it’s okay to give it your some instead of your all. Somedays you won’t have the ability to perform on all cylinders. That’s okay. Do what you can and celebrate the small victories.
How will you be able to practice self-care this holiday season and throughout 2020?
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