A very brief holiday self care guide
These wintry days are chilly and dark and the holidays can be tough, so I thought I'd send you a little inspiration to nurture yourself through the end of the year! Although the reminders below are particularly relevant for tending to yourself during the winter holiday gauntlet, they apply year-round. Especially if you are grieving or low (and even if you’re not), please give yourself permission and tenderness to continually check in with what’s right for YOU.
1) You don’t have to tolerate food or body shaming. Your body and how you nourish it are YOUR business. Here are a few ideas for navigating other people’s food shame while protecting your body image. 2) You don’t have to accept guilting about your life plans. Your romantic, reproductive, career, financial, and other statuses are yours, too. Be gentle with yourself. You don't have to defend where you are in your life right now. 3) You don’t have to participate in other people’s drama. It's ok to excuse yourself to walk the dog or make a phone call to extract yourself from the crossfire of other people's conflict. 4) You are allowed to create new traditions and celebrations! Maybe you want to give plants, experiences, or charitable donations instead of gifts. If you think there will be mutiny and it's giving you anxiety dreams, giving family a heads up now could ease them into the idea for next year. 5) You are allowed to say no to parties, gifts, and shopping. When you do say ‘yes,’ keep checking in with how you’re feeling. You can leave whenever you like. 6) You are allowed to carve out solo time. When you’re with family and always, having quality time alone is an important part of self care. Time alone doesn’t always reveal itself easily, so you may have to intentionally create space for it in your schedule. Even 10 minutes can be a retreat. Some of these, especially if they break years-old habits, may be hard. Change often is, at first. Today, it may feel better to just choose one to experiment with. However you approach it, know that you always have the opportunity to create a little more space, comfort, and freedom for yourself this holiday season and always. Sometimes knowing that we have a choice for more self care is a comfort in itself. What self care are you ready to allow yourself this holiday season? I hope you have a warm and bright close to 2016!