It’s challenging to go through the holidays without being emotionally triggered or stressed out. You want to be loving and peaceful with every encounter you have. You want to stay calm and centered and move through the season with ease and grace. Yet, the holiday season is upon you before you’ve wrapped your first gift, baked a cookie, or got your joy on. So how do you stay calm, centered, and intentional at this time of year? You consciously slow down, create sacred space, and give yourself precious self-care.
Precious self-care requires that you nurture yourself with all the kindness and love you would shower on someone you cherish. Too often during the holidays, you may set aside your own needs while caring for others, or put off self-care in favor of the endless holiday to-do lists, expectations, and obligations. However, disregarding your needs to focus on holiday activities you consider more important can take a toll on you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Putting off self-care may seem noble and selfless—until you become stressed, exhausted, or ill, and suddenly lack the energy to care for anyone let alone enjoy the season.
During the holidays, you may show more compassion toward others than to yourself. Your heart center is vulnerable to congestion because of the emotional processing that occurs here. Such emotional congestion can create compassion fatigue resulting in feelings of depression, anxiety, and lethargy, particularly if we are over-sensitive to others’ energies Rephrase “self-care” as “deep rest,” so you can stop beating yourself up for not being or doing enough. When you are tempted to ignore your needs, you must remind yourself that you are more than enough, no matter what you do or don’t do.
Here are 5 Ways to Preciously Care for Yourself During the Holidays:
- Set healthy energetic boundaries: By setting energetic boundaries, you become a more loving, compassionate person. Such “love fences” allow you to compassionately engage with others during the season, but still protect yourself from any unwanted energy. It is possible to be loving with another person while still holding them accountable for their behavior. Not holding them accountable for their energy or choices actually impedes their personal and spiritual growth.
- Practice restorative self-care: Such care doesn’t require a lot of money or time. Take a few minutes at the beginning and end of every day to meditate, journal, or relax; transform your daily shower or bath into a ritual to detox your energy field after a stressful day; or engage in activities such as walking, yoga, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, or energy work.
- Engage in acts of kindness toward yourself. Make a compassionate covenant to practice at least one act of kindness toward yourself every day during the holidays. Make a special meal, leave Post-it love notes on the bathroom mirror, book a self-care retreat, or arrange an amazing adventure. This gift to yourself promotes well-being, self-love, and joy while giving you more energy to serve others.
- Be forgiving of yourself if you react: When you react negatively to situations, bless yourself, and release blame, resentment, and judgment. Coach yourself by using supportive self-talk to clear negative thoughts and reactions such as “Bless and release,” and “Open your heart and let go.” Focus on the aspects of yourself you love. As you move through your day, notice any negative or self-deprecating thoughts, and replace them with positive affirmations such as: “I am kind, I am generous, or I am trustworthy.”
- Slow down and create sacred space: Be mindful of any transition whether it’s between one thought to another, one movement to another, or one choice to another. When you slow down, you become more aware of your breath, thoughts, feelings, and choices in any moment. Slow down so you can notice every moment and what kind of energy you are bringing to it. Some of the spiritual practices that can assist you are: mindfulness movement, meditation, yoga, and breathwork.
Taking precious care of yourself is no longer optional, it is an essential part of your self-love practice which then ripples out to others. Embrace the mantra: “Precious self-care is non-negotiable.”