With the holidays among us, some find themselves experiencing situations that threaten progress and can trigger feelings of uncertainty. It is so important to protect your happiness and stay true to your authentic self at all times, but that can sometimes be more difficult with a fully-packed holiday schedule and additional stressors coming from family, COVID-19, and everything in between.
If this sounds familiar, then it is time to implement some serious self-care. The term self-care can mean a lot more than face-masks and pedicures, I’m talking about the hard stuff, and if the holidays are both a time of joy and a time or stress, it may be time to spice up your self-care routine with some of these tips.
Firstly, allow this time of year to mean as much as you’d like for it to and don’t pressure yourself to participate in all social events. If staying home and watching a Christmas movie or taking a walk to look at lights with your dog brings you peace, then it is important and we make time for things that are important to us. You are always your highest priority.
Secondly, practice setting appropriate boundaries and speaking your truth. Remember, you are the expert in your own life and no one is granted unlimited availability to you. While this does not mean debating or challenging the opinions of others, living your truth and setting firm boundaries will help protect your peace through hectic times. By setting the standards of how you’ll be spending your time and energy, you’re practicing the type of self-care that results in increased confidence and feelings of power over your life.
Another practical self-care practice is to practice mindfulness and grace throughout your holiday plans. Sometimes it’s difficult to realize we’re happy when the moment is happening, it is only when the moment has passed that we are able to reflect and recognize joy in our lives. Allow yourself the time to recognize joy. Take five deep breaths, check-in with all of your body and show it some attention to truly recognize where you feel joy. Is it a lightness in your stomach? Is it in the ability to fuel your body with food and truly feel satisfied? Is it having a clear head for a few moments sitting with your loved ones? Grant yourself the time to recognize this.
As far as grace is concerned, by practicing mindfulness and grace it will become easier to recognize that other people’s reactions and actions have little to do with you. Every person is functioning from their personal truth and are often unaware of their impact on others. A practice of self-care is showing grace to others without internalizing their actions. Free yourself from the emotional burden sometimes placed upon you by others.
Self-care is the conscious act of protecting and caring for our bodies and souls. Sometimes that means putting ourselves first and really being intentional in our actions and energy. The holidays can be whatever you want them to be, and it is important to remember that whatever brings you peace is what is important. Enjoy this time and your rest. ——–CBrown