December can be a tricky month. It involves the holidays, which means more company than usual, parties, house cleaning and decorating, extra expenses, and usually gift giving. But all this extra giving does not feel good unless we’re giving from the heart.
Self-care is critically important, especially during the holiday season, to avoid stress, burnout, resentment, exhaustion, and overindulging in sugar and alcohol. We must fill up our own cup first before serving others. We all know this, but it’s not always so easy to do during the holiday season.
Remember, “No” is a complete sentence! It requires no further explanation. And there are many ways to say it: “Oh, no no no, but thanks anyway” or “Thank you so much, but no.” If this feels too uncomfortable, you can always say, “I will have to think about it and get back to you. If you need an answer now, it would have to be no.”
The reason to say NO is so you can say YES to something else! Here are some ways you might want to practice saying YES to self-care:
- Carve out “me” time (block it out in your calendar!)
- Take time for quiet reflection
- Prepare nourishing meals to share with people you love
- Take a luxurious bath
- Make time for daily stretching or yoga
- Snuggle up by the fire and ready a book
- Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with a dear friend
- Walk in the healing beauty of nature
- Have fun playing with your dog or cat
- Do a new craft project (to give as gifts?)
When we take care of ourselves, we create the opportunity to think of what we actually want to give others, and it feels so much better. And it’s important to keep in mind that gifts don’t have to be things or cost much money.
WE ARE A GIFT. Our time is one of the most precious gifts we can give others. It could be something we have spent time making with our own hands. Sometimes designing fun experiences to share can be the best gifts of all. A gift does not always have to come in a box, although an idea could be written down and placed in a box for added surprise (or sprinkle clues inside several boxes for extra excitement).
Our creativity will begin to emerge, but only if we have taken time for ourselves first.
The greatest gift we can give is to take really good care of ourselves so others won’t have to. Self-care sets an example for others to follow as well.
Honor the gift of who you are.
Blessings for a warm, cozy, and healthy holiday season!