For 11 months out of the year, we focus our energy on working, raising the kids, maintaining our relationships – both romantic and platonic, and trying to live as balanced a life as possible. In the midst of juggling all of these responsibilities, we go through periods of neglecting and/or feeling neglected by our significant others; under appreciated by our immediate family; emotionally and physically distanced from our closest friends; disappointed with what’s going on at work; and disconnected with the most important person of all: ourselves.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we find ourselves adding time, energy and money exponentially to all the people we didn’t get to spend as much time with as well as the ones who are the most important. We celebrate the season with countless holiday parties, grab bags and Secret Santa gifts. Ugly sweater parties and “catch up” drinks with friends we rarely get to see. And, of course, shopping. Shopping for the kids, the coworkers, the significant others, the friends, the parents, the siblings, the boss and everyone else.
With all this energy expended on everyone else for 11 months out of the year – not to mention the remaining month when 100 percent of our beings go to giving – when do we ever take a moment to do things for yourselves?
So in this spirit of giving, I want you to find some time over the next few weeks to give little “gifts”to yourself.
What does that look like? It’s feeling overwhelmed while hurriedly trying to get everyone’s gift in your very limited free time and taking an hour to get a massage. It’s sitting down and eating a healthy, leisurely meal instead of grabbing the easiest thing and inhaling it on the way to your next event. It’s dressing up and spending extra time on your makeup or putting on those sweats and feeling comfortable, whatever makes you feel good about you at that time. And its countering the negative self talk (that usually isn’t true) with positive, truthful statements about the incredible person that you are.
Amidst the chaos of the holidays, remember the true spirit of the season. It is the season of giving. Yes, it’s giving to others. But it’s also giving to yourself. Like the suggestions I mentioned before, giving to you means doing little things everyday that enhance your life and help you gain peace and find harmony in the go go go holiday rush.
While it’s amazing to show family and friends your gratitude for their place in your life – definitely give to those who truly deserve your care and devotion – remember the spirit of giving also extends to yourself. Be gracious, kind and loving to yourself. Use this time to appreciate the whole: your friends, your family, yourself and your place in this universe. If you spend time each day – even if it’s only five minutes – you will find so much more joy not only during this time of year, but also the remaining 11 months.
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