When you’re in the throes of shopping for holiday presents, donating to food drives, giving gifts to the bus monitor, planning and attending events to make the season special for the people you love, I just want you to remember: You, yourself are in need and deserving of your own thoughtful giving too.
In fact, without taking the time to do nice things for yourself, all your giving can backfire by making you run down, burnt out, and maybe even sick or depressed. And that doesn’t do anybody any good, least of all you.
Make this the year you put yourself on your own holiday list of people to do nice things for! And I’m not talking about buying yourself a gift while you’re out shopping for everyone else (“one for you, one for me,” anyone?). There’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a bauble, but I’m not talking about giving new stuff.
I’m talking about quick but profound self-care strategies that can give you the space you need to slow down, get quiet, and give yourself the gift of feeling good.
It could be:
- The party or meeting you don’t go to because you need to recharge
- The alone time you take where you can get it, whether that’s in the bathroom or the car (Gabrielle Union talks about pretending to have diarrhea so she can get some solitude in the midst of her family life in this great profile in the New York Times written by a woman I used to work with at iVillage.com back in the day—go Hayley!)
- The five minutes of yoga you do before you get in bed—here’s a link to watch a video of a jammy yoga routine I created when I was blogging for Acacia TV. It changes your night’s sleep for the better, I promise you!
- The vitamin D, probiotic, and omega-3 supplements you take religiously so that you don’t get sick and get forced to take downtime because you feel so crappy.
- The minute you spend standing still with your eyes closed and face tilted up toward the sun, just basking in the moment and the fresh air. (There is a woman in my neighborhood whom I’ve seen doing this a few times now and just seeing her enjoy the sun on her cheeks makes me happy.)
- The sitter you book even when you don’t have plans, just so you and your partner can get some grown-up time together where you don’t have to make dinner and cajole the kids into jammies.
- The reiki session, acupuncture, or massage you get so you can put yourself in a position where you are likely to get so relaxed that you doze off in to that most restorative of sleeps.