There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by my self. – Brian Andreas.
Love can bring up all sorts of stuff.. elation, confusion, excitement, fear.
As if that is not enough to have on your plate, let’s add the holiday time to the mix.
This time of year ALSO brings up all sorts of stuff around connection, sadness, celebration, nostalgia.
Considering the sheer amount of things to have to contend with, what usually gets put on the back burner is self-care and self-nurturing.
What I want to give you as a gift, is the reminder to take care of your heart.
Now more than ever is a time to be mindful of how you are feeling, and love on yourself!
Some self-compassion can go a long way during a time when energies run even higher than usual.
Regardless of where you are at when it comes to relationship status (single, dating, committed, complicated, casual), the following are three ways you can practice exquisite self-care during this oh so interesting time of the year:
1. Slow Down
When things are running at 60 miles an hour, or multiple plates are spinning at the same time, it is easy to get swept up in the crazy. As a result, you forget about the most important person that needs regular TLC – YOU. Hard to be gentle and kind to self when everything is happening at the speed of light.
Here are some ways you can ‘find’ time even when none seems available:
Give yourself 5 minutes a day. Force yourself to slow things down even if it is a micro break so that you can have an opportunity to reflect.
Keep your schedule as light as possible. Create plenty of buffers in your calendar to regroup and recharge. Also, be mindful of all the extra curriculars vying for your attention. Think about if they will be adding to or balancing out the stressful energy of the holidays.
Say No. Radical I know, however part of the craziness of this season is there are a hundred invitations or demands on your time and we end up feeling guilty if we do not say yes to most of them. The world will still turn if you are not at every holiday event that you have been asked to partake in. Be selective with your chosen engagements. You will be in a much better head space if you are showing up from a place of desire and not obligation.
2. Check In
If you do not know where you are, how can you know where you are going? When it comes to self-care, if you do not know how you are feeling, how will you know what you need in order to change that up if need be?
When you know what is necessary, it is a lot easier to make it happen!
Here are some questions to ask yourself to aid in that ‘checking in’ process:
What do I need right now?
Am I speaking up about how I feel or what I want?
Am I living in a way that is connected to my best and ideal self?
What are some things I can do to feel better (calm, grounded, joyful)?
How can I take exquisite care of my self in this moment?
3. Reach Out
One of the hardest things in the world to do for us human beings is asking for support, whatever that looks like. We think we have to do it alone, that we do not want to be a burden for others and/or others will not know how to ‘be there’ for us in the ways we need them to be.
Thing is our loved ones are not mind readers. They want so badly to be able to take care of and love us in the way they know best, however they may not know what is needed or are unsure of exactly HOW.
Here are some ideas for how to lean on your loved ones:
Share your thoughts and feelings. Again, humans for the most part are not psychics. Let your people know what is up for you. This allows you to vent/clear and also clue them in to what the heck is going on so they can figure out how they can ‘be there’.
Make requests. Whether it is asking someone to hear you out and/or give you advice, or suggesting what you would like to do in terms of outings or plans, you won’t know unless you speak up.
Last but not least, receive! Solicited or not, people love to give, so take the help! It may not be the way you envisioned, but it is such a huge show of affection and care on the part of your loved ones. Your only job is to sit back and soak it up. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Here’s to us ALL having healthy and happy hearts this holiday season!
So do tell… what are some ways in which you take care of your heart during the holidays and/or suggestions you have that may help others? Please share in the comments below. Thanks for sharing!
Natalie Vartanian, CPCC, ACC, is a certified life coach and an expert when it comes to sex and relationships. She knows it’s possible to have amazing love in an unconventional way. Find her at http://nataliethecoach.com, get her free in-depth love wish list worksheet & sign up for her newsletter. Interested in working with her? Through the end of December 2013, she is offering hour-long coaching or tarot sessions for only $50 that can be redeemed at any time. Find out more here!
Main pic credit: Seyed Mostafa Zamani, Flickr.com.