Taking Care of You This Christmas (Yes, YOU.)
When it comes to lists, the holiday season tops them all. To-do lists, guest lists, gift lists, decorating lists, food lists, and don’t forget Santa’s list! I bet if you looked on any of your lists, you wouldn’t appear in a single one.
This season many of us are so busy taking care of other people or making sure family and friends have The. Best. Christmas. EVER. that we forget that WE are a to-do. Taking care of ourselves is as important as everyone else.
The truth is, by taking care of yourself, it in turn makes you a better caregiver, friend, parent, or partner to the people you love. It really is the gift that keeps on giving, but you have to tend to it.
Approaching This Season Differently
No doubt about it, it’s hard not to find yourself falling into the busyness of the Christmas season. This time of year is filled with so many lovely things, but at the same time, nothing cranks up our stress and anxiety meters like the holidays.
So how do we approach this holiday season differently?
It starts with making a conscious decision to look after you and keep healthy. To be clear, I’m not talking about putting your feet up from now until January 2nd and just forget everything and everybody (although if you want to do that, it’s OK, too). I’m talking about making small changes to reduce your stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Start to clear space to enjoy the things about the holidays you do like.
Here are my top tips to start putting YOU on top of your own ‘Nice List’
Breathe in and breathe out
It’s so simple, and seems so obvious, but I’m telling you; taking breath in and then slowly exhaling, can almost work a Christmas miracle. Even if it can’t change the fact that you’ve been standing in line for 20 minutes and there is a supremely annoying person holding up the cashier. This breath just might save you from losing your temper and throttling someone. It can at least make the wait slightly less unpleasant.
A great way to combat stress in any moment is through the art of breathing. Taking a few deep breaths. Then get back to shopping.
I am all about shopping locally. But did you know that according to a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, 68% of people dread crowds and long lines? Actually, I’m surprised the number is not higher than that! Shop online and save your sanity from the chaos of people and the mayhem of malls. What’s better than saving money from the comfort of your own sofa (with or without a glass of Bailey’s on the side).
Setting a goal
I’m learning about the importance of goals and I’m trying to set more, and stick to them. This year set your own goal. When are you going to stop all your Christmas running around? It doesn’t matter if that goal is Christmas Eve, stick to it. This is your holiday too, and you deserve to enjoy it.
5 minutes of creativity
Not only is taking a creative moment a GREAT way to bring down your stress levels but it’s also a wonderful way to connect with yourself. Whether it’s going for a walk, taking the time to decorate while listening to your favourite Christmas music, or making a snow angel, try to find little windows of time when you can sit down and have a couple of minutes to rest. Need some help? Download this months FREEBIE.
We like to think we can do it all but the reality is, it leaves us tired and burnt out. Learning the gift of delegation can be one of your BIGGEST wins. It is really quite simple: ask for help. Even if you have guests in and you’re busy peeling all your veggies, what a great time to ask for help. Enjoy time with your company. Most people are happy to help. Put on your favourite music and enjoy!
Let go of perfectionism
All too often we waste time obsessing that everything has to be PERFECT. I confess I used to be right up there in this category. But over time, I have learned to be more selective over where I focus my drive for perfection. I have learned to “not sweat the small stuff”, because always striving for perfection, meant I often couldn’t enjoy the moment. More importantly, we can end up obsessing about making something perfect that most time is not even noticed!
Is there something you can let go of this season? As an example, I had my daughter wrap many of the Christmas presents this year for her cousins. It took all my strength to not want to ‘fix’ them, but it felt great to have the help and Lily did a great job!
However you end up taking care of yourself this Christmas, whether it’s one thing on this list or all of them, I hope you are able to enjoy the sprit of the holiday and all the lovely things it can offer.