Earthquakes, elections and Covid… oh no! On top of our everyday stresses, it seems we’re now bombarded with scary news on a regular basis. It’s hard sometimes to stay grounded and positive in the face of that, but if we want to stay sane and calm through the holidays, we better ramp up our self-care practices big time.
Anything but selfish, “self-care” is all about tending to your own very real and often-neglected needs on every level – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What makes this radical is the fact that so few of us do it and in fact, have been taught to take care of everyone else first… a destructive little bit of socialization that women seem to have done a particularly good job of internalizing. Unchecked, this tendency results in a full-blown case of co-dependent behavior in some or all of your relationships.
Simple first steps for ramping up your personal self-care practices
So, what can we do to restore a healthy mind/body/heart/spirit balance as we start to prepare for the hectic holiday season?
You can begin by creating a little sacred space for yourself. Sit yourself down in a cozy chair, sipping a cup of tea/hot chocolate/decaf, listening to your favorite music, maybe lighting a candle. Are you starting to get the idea?!
Pull out the beautiful journal you’ve bought for the specific purpose of ruminating about and recording all the nurturing things you can do for yourself. (One of my clients calls it her “luscious notebook”.)
Make a list, either in separate categories or free form, of all the ways you love to nurture your body, stimulate your mind, sooth your heart and nourish your soul. Think simply – a daily walk, read poetry, floss. Think big – a trip to the spa, clean your closets, take a course.
Go a little crazy and get creative. Put a muzzle on all the little gremlins in your head saying, “oh I couldn’t possibly…” or “I don’t have time for that”. And if you get stuck, you’ll find plenty of tips and articles online.
The idea is to create a vision of radical self-care in all areas so that when you really need a break and your brain is too fogged to function, you can pull out your list and grab on to one as a lifeline.
Care-full work habits
The next step is to look at how you can engage in radical self-care in the midst of your busy workday so you’ll be upbeat and ready to deal with whatever the holidays will look like this year.
Start by modifying your self-care list to focus on habits you can incorporate in your work. Here are 5 tips to get you started
1) Make a commitment to get outside in the middle of the day. When you sit on Mother Earth, you’re creating the quintessential grounding experience! Even just a walk around the block or your backyard will get your juices flowing and clear your mind.
2) Keep a bottle of water on your desk. You’ll digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients better and also detoxify liver and kidneys at the same time. Some nutritionists say that 80% of the population are de-hydrated. So, drink up!
3) Carve out some periods of no phone, quiet time just take five slow, deep breaths. If nothing else, you’ll be re-oxygenating and re-activating your brain cells, ready to tackle the next project, challenge or phone call.
4) Create your own little sacred work nook. This is especially important since so many of us are working at home right now. Revitalize your space by using innovative design concepts, non-toxic materials, natural fibers, full-spectrum lighting, Feng Shui, and air and water purification technologies
5) Read (or re-read) Steven Covey’s business classic “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People“. Pay particular attention to his last principle – sharpening the saw – which Covey describes as “exercising all four dimensions of our nature [physical, mental, emotional & spiritual] regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways”. In his model, it is this habit that surrounds all the others because it’s the one that makes all the other ones possible
You may not be able to change the seeming craziness of the world right now, but maybe with a renewed commitment to your own self-care, you can bring some peace to your own little corner of the universe and anticipate the holidays with joy and optimism!
Hi — I’m Deborah Roth and I’m a Life Transition Guide, Relationship Coach, and Interfaith Minister. I founded Spirited Living™ to help overwhelmed, under-nurtured women reclaim their sanity and their soul-selves. You can read about simple but powerful ways to do that when you download my e-book, Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman”, or contact me at Deborah@SpiritedLiving.com to schedule a free 30-minute introductory coaching session.