I hear from dozens of men and women who are absolutely worn down from the holiday season.
We give until we almost give out because we think self-care is a bonus and not a necessity. But when you are run down from exhaustion or worse, you realize that your self-care can’t be compromised because that neglect compromises everything else.
Come January, riddled with exhaustion and fighting a cold, we think, “I should have taken better care of myself” while wondering “how in the world could I have done that?” Making the time and taking the effort to care for ourselves is the surest way of sustaining our ability to do what matters most to us.
The holiday season is weeks away, and it is time to make a commitment to yourself that this year will be different. While you know what you most need to feel nurtured, you may not know the best ways to work that care into your calendar.
Here are three easy ways suggestions for building your self-care habit before the holidays even start so you can sustain your new commitment through the hardest and happiest time of the year!
1 Put it on your list. What keeps you on top of things on a daily basis? For some people, it’s a calendar. For others, it is a to-do list. I write two or three self-care items on my daily to-do list, and then they get factored into my day just as much as anything else, keeping me self-sustaining because my care is actually worked into my system. A lot of times we think that self-care is a bonus if we have the time. When we’re laid out or exhausted, we realize that’s not the case. Claim your care by putting workouts on your calendar and other supportive behaviors on your to-do list.
2 If it’s a maybe, then it is probably a no. One of the primary ways we drain ourselves and our energy is by saying yes to everything we are invited to do. But you are not required to say yes just because you are invited. If you hesitate at the invitation, you probably don’t really want to do it. Don’t say yes and hope it’s better than you expected; that is setting you and everyone else up, too. Say no and give yourself some grace – and time.
3 Think small. There aren’t a lot of big windows of time in our days, but there are some small windows that we probably don’t use in the best ways. Try to dedicate some of those small windows of time for greater self-care. One minute of a five-minute break at work can be dedicated to stretching. Ice or heat a tender spot on your body while watching television. A few minutes of your commute can be used for meditation, prayer or to call someone you have wanted to connect with. How can you use small pockets of time to garner a greater sense of fulfillment?
Rosie Molinary is the author of “Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance.”
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