December probably is the most important month of the year to really dig deep and practice your own self care. No other time of the year are we trying to bring perfection to our home, family, and community like this month while also making sure all the “normal” routines are in place. Impossible? Yes if you run yourself too thin and forget that you can not keep running at high speed without crashing. Let’s take the 12 Days of Christmas and maybe focus more on self care! Who’s with me?
Day 1 – If it feels wrong, don’t do it. Or just say no. This is where we listen to that little voice and know that’s it’s ok to not do everything.
Day 2 – Say what you mean. This one is a little harder for those not wanting to make a “scene” or to just swallow the situation but at least try to speak up. Your body will thank you.
Day 3 – Don’t be a People Pleaser. Your health is more important than just keeping the temporary peace. Find a way to make sure others hear your words. Then also little to your inner voice.
Day 4 – Trust Your Instincts. This goes hand in hand with listening to your inner voice. This busy time of year (or any time) finding peace is often the result of realizing that we know what we can do and want to do.
Day 5 – Speak Positively to Yourself. Stop internal complaining or worry about what you can’t control. If you can’t make the homemade cookies for the school bake sale, tell yourself it’s ok because the great bakery in town makes perfect cookies and you’re supporting local small business too!
Day 6 – Don’t Give up on Your Dreams. Anything that makes you happy then continue steps to get there. This can be big dreams like travel around the world or maybe it’s the dream of reading that new book while enjoying a glass of wine. Dreams are dreams they don’t have to be big to provide a great, positive result to the body.
Day 7 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say No. It may “feel” right or be a great event/idea/item but you are allowed to say no for now.
Day 8 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say Yes. The greatest regret in life is being afraid to do things or go places or making excuses that you can’t. Instead of “can’t” figure out a way IF it makes you happy.
Day 9 – Be Kind to Yourself. We try to put a smile on everyone else’s face but our own during the busy holidays. Take the time to do something for just you…even if it means saying NO to something else. You are allowed to deserve it.
Day 10 – Let Go of What you Can’t Control. This is the big one. We worry. We anticipate the future. We take on everything even though we have no control in the outcome. Some things need to just play out and we need to realize that our health and happiness comes from just those events or things we have any control over.
Day 11 – Stay Away from Drama/Negativity. Take a few minutes to really think about the people/places/things that give you stress. You don’t have to volunteer at every event. You don’t have to show at markets if you find it uncomfortable. You don’t have to cook everything from scratch. You don’t have to visit all the family every holiday. Figure out the solutions and take charge of your health.
Day 12 – Find Beauty in the Little Things. This is the one that gives me the most stress relief and therefore the healthiest to me. When I stop several times per day to just look at something with “fresh eyes” or maybe to view the snow storm for the beauty that it is rather than the headache it’ll cause for the day. Or maybe stopping to play with your toddler or making cookies from scratch. The beauty in something can be the physical sight of it or how something makes you feel good.
Hopefully these are some tips to make sure you are thinking about your mental and physical health this month. Enjoy the season and the spirit of the holidays. Later this week we’ll explore some examples!