Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.
– Etty Hillesum
During the holidays, many of us place our happiness on the back burner. There are just too many parties to plan, too many gifts to buy, and too much work to get done before the end of the year. We tend to put ourselves last in an effort to please others. Which as you know, leads to exhaustion, stress and illness. I have a handful of friends experiencing this right now and it breaks my heart. Especially when something can be done about it.
I've talked about self-compassion before. And sadly, our society tends to view it as selfish, lazy or overindulgent. This couldn't be farther from the truth. When we care for ourselves deeply and deliberately, we naturally begin to care for others in a healthier and more effective way. Happiness spreads!
Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line.
– Lucille Ball
If you ever hear yourself say, "I'm too busy for ____", then maybe it's time to make self-care a priority. Here are a few helpful tips....
1. Ask yourself the big questions. Where am I feeling deprived? What do I want more of in my life? What do I need less of? What is causing me to feel resentful and why? Knowing these answers will help you with the next two steps.
2. Make a NO list and honor it. Get honest and write down things that are not serving you well in health and mind. Set strong boundaries. You can say no to taking on new projects at work. Over-committing to social situations. Rushing around to the next destination. Checking your phone during meals or conversations. One that should be on everyone's list: feeling guilty when implementing your NOs.
3. Make a YES list and calendar it. This is the fun part. Write down 3 small things you can do each day to honor and nurture yourself. Listen to what your body and soul are craving. It can be anything from spending 5 extra minutes in the shower, reading a chapter of the your latest novel, bringing home fresh flowers, journaling before bedtime, taking an after-dinner walk, allowing yourself a power nap, or even something as simple as looking up at the moon. Anything that gives you a moment of bliss, however brief.
When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.
– Jean Shinoda Bolen
If you're at all like me, things don't happen in my world unless they are scheduled in. So I created a printable calendar to keep you on track....
Write down a YES for each morning, afternoon and evening. And make it a part of your routine. Make it a ritual. Sure, we've all got a lot on our plates - balancing work, business, family, health, and friends is no easy task. But that's why it's so important to carve out time for yourself. Remember, no matter how busy a person is, they always manage to make time for the things that are most important. So make yourself the most important thing. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
Your finest work, your best movements, your joy, peace, and healing comes when you love yourself. You give a great gift to the world when you do that. You give others permission to do the same: to love themselves. Revel in self-love. Roll in it. Bask in it as you would sunshine.
- Melodie Beattie