The holidays are such a joyful and exciting time for many — it is also a season that can be the perfect platform for chaos within your relationships.
Stress levels can build with increased travel, time with family, financial strains, holiday events, and relationship expectations. Our sleep can suffer and our overall mood can be compromised.
Our relationships are often the first to suffer — consider it the trickle out effect — once upheaval occurs within ourselves, it spreads across all domains within our life. We no longer have the stamina to deal with even the smallest of issues, leaving our short fuse in charge, firing off at any and all speeds, unrelenting, and targeting those we cherish most.
Of course you do not intend to hurt the people closest to you.
But sometimes you do.
This holiday season, giving yourself the ultimate holiday gift: self-care.
We know we know. The term “self-care” is soooooo over-used nowadays. We talk about the importance of self-care all of time — especially if you are a parent, caregiver or if you work in the helping professions. As commonplace as the term is, it is actually not something that many of us in this culture of particularly skilled at actually doing.
Remember: You are not only giving yourself this gift, but you are also allowing your relationships to reap the benefits of this gift too!
Self-care can be challenging but remember this: self-care is simply the time we take to care for ourselves.
Self-care can be as unique as each individual person. Yet the goal of any self-care activity should aim to create an outcome where you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Creating time for self-care is like creating an opportunity for checks and balances to take place within your life. This allows you the chance to check in with yourself and see how things are going, and have the time to dedicate brain and heart power to dealing with any issues that come up. Often times, we allow all of our mental space and energy to be taken up by other areas within our life (read: healthy and attending to others) and leave little, to no room, for factoring ourselves in.
In order to become more accustomed to factoring yourself in, you need to practice doing so….and by practice, we mean take some bit of time…Every. Single. Day.
The more concrete tools you can rely on in the beginning to implement your self-care, the easier of an adjustment it will be. Think about creating reminders for yourself; consider actually scheduling in this time to ensure that you do it. (Yes, that means using an app or a reminder on your phone.)
HOT TIP: We schedule things that are important. That includes time to check in with yourself.
Anytime you are engaging in something new, or unpracticed, it’s also important to consider what type of learner you are (ex: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or linguistic), as this may impact your success rate in creating change. Additionally, you want to ensure that you are working with your strengths. Therefore, if you are aware that you are a visual learner, creating visual reminders will be a tremendous value to you.
The next important area to consider is time.
So many of our clients say: “But I don’t have any time for myself!”
Okay, so start with 30 seconds of simply noticing your breath while you are sitting at a red light. Feel your hip resting in your seat, notice if your shoulders are jacked up into your ears, notice if your tongue is pressed to the top of your mouth. Just take 30 seconds to pay attention to yourself…that is the start of self-care.
Self-care doesn't have to be an hour+ long event every day!
Self-care can be as brief as 30 seconds or 5 minutes. But ultimately, taking care of yourself (just like taking care of your marriage, your child, your relationship with your best friend) takes regular, quality deposits of time.
Finally, use this time to do something fun and/or relaxing. The idea is for you to have the space to be doing something you actually want to do and that you may even want to do repeatedly! Consider what brings you joy, what connects you to your core, and what allows you to relinquish your stress and relax. It may be dancing in the kitchen to a favorite hip hop song, taking a yoga class, going for a run around the park, or shopping online. There are so many ways to weave in some personal nourishment throughout your day.
Commit to a few minutes a day to attend to yourself and notice how your relationships transform!
Not sure how you will proceed? Call us now at (720) 457-3342 and let one of our licensed therapists help you create a personalised self-care plan that will support your relationships and your life.
Call now and give yourself the ultimate holiday gift!