As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving we try to take this time to be grateful for all the joy that has come to us over the past year. We reflect on the many events, people, and opportunities we have received throughout the year. Thanksgiving is often a time spent with family and friends sharing a huge feast to celebrate the blessings in our lives and in each other.
However, as Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, this can also be a stressful time. People feel the pressure to cook a big (and expensive) meal, make (again expensive) travel plans to spend time with loved ones, or feel the stress of the many commitments.
As the stress rises it is important to do little things to reward or “thank” yourself for all the hard work YOU do during this season. I find it interesting that in today’s culture we often feel guilty or selfish for taking time for ourselves, its like we need permission or a push to justify it. Well, I GIVE YOU PERMISSION and a PUSH! By practicing self-care you will be able to participate more fully and more happily in the joys of the season. Referencing a post I made earlier in the year (The Mirror Lies) here is a list of some things you can do for YOURSELF to help keep you going:
- Continually remind yourself that you are your own worst critic. Holidays don’t have to be perfect to be enjoyable.
Let people around you know when you need a self-esteem boost. Contrary to popular belief it is OK to ask people for reminders of how amazing they think you are (I know someone who will occasionally say to her husband, “I am feeling really down on myself right now. Please tell me 3 good things about me or that I do well, having nothing to do with looks”). The more you ask for what you need, the more likely you are to get it.
Take a luxurious bubble bath complete with scented candles and soft music
Go for a walk, by yourself if you need the space or with others if you need the bonding time. Often times growing up my mom, sisters, aunts, cousins (whoever else wanted to join) and I would go for a walk after dinner to catch up and work off some of that turkey (and make room for pie)!!
Do at least ONE thing EVERY day that makes you laugh, the healing properties of laughter have been proven time and time again (ie: have a dance/sing off around the kitchen with your loved ones while cooking ).
- Take 5-10 minutes every day to meditate. I have recently found a wonderful app that reminds me throughout the day to pause and take two deep breaths, as well as, provides meditation exercises when I have a little more time (to start my day or end it). It is called Mindfulness Daily, I love it!
Exercise! I’m sure I do not need to tell you the many benefits of exercise, however I have a very wise friend who told me there should be a few rules to your daily exercise:
The type of exercise should bring you joy (skip the 6 AM Spinning class if the idea of it makes you dread waking up!)
If you are exercising and you find yourself falling into negative or stressful thoughts or you are not enjoying it STOP and try again tomorrow.
- Get your beauty rest! With all the relatives in town it is tempting to stay up late into the night talking or cleaning up after the day’s festivities. Sleep is very important to regulate mood, improve your ability to process information and energy to do things (like dance around the kitchen).
With these tips in mind I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday and remember to take time for YOU!