It’s the month of December and many cultures will be exchanging gifts this season. Something that can help you be intentional during the holidays is setting aside time for you. This season, I want to address self-care. Often we forget about ourselves when we are making our busy to-do lists. Scheduling time for yourself is so important!
I recall Rachel Hollis saying it best:
“Imagine a tall, glass vase standing under a non-stop flow of water. The vase symbolizes you, and the flowing water stands for the things you need (sleep, nutrients, self-care, love, etc.). Around you, there are several empty cups (your kids, your spouse, friends, work, etc.) waiting to be filled. As you see the needs of those around you, you tip yourself and pour from your stores into the empty cups. You keep tipping and pouring, and before long, you have tipped so far that you’ve fallen over. You are empty and no longer receiving what you need, and you can’t help those around you. What if, instead, you stayed standing tall and allowed the things you need to fill you up until they overflowed from you and filled those around you. When we take care of ourselves first, it is much easier to care for those around us.”
How often do we give from a place of exhaustion instead of a place of wholeheartedness? I know each holiday season, we scramble to get gifts for everyone. All while making sure we have everything for each event you must attend. If we happen to be hosting those events, there is, even more we must be concerned with. Such as having a spotless house, making a great meal, and baking the best cookies.
Although each event has the opportunity to be fun, if you are like me, you end up stressing to the point you forget to have fun at all. Or, if you do remember, it’s with several glasses of your favorite beverage.
Trust me, I get where you are coming from. I, too, want a “perfect” holiday season with all the things it offers. But perfection is not attainable and we need to embrace the season with intention instead of anxiety.
Self-care is the gift that keeps on giving!
For you to be able to get the most out of your self-care time, knowing your love language can be beneficial. If you don’t know your love language take the easy quiz here. When we take time to show ourselves the love language we use we are able to make the self-care more personal and cater to your own needs. Self-care is not a one size fits all model and is unique to each of us. Below are some great ideas for how to express your love language to your self-care times.
Something I realized when working on self-care is that I was not practicing self-care in the love language I use. My love languages are quality time and words of affirmation. When I was trying to have alone time, I would get distracted by my phone or concerned about other things. This made me feel just as exhausted as when I started and left me wondering why I was even bothering. By applying my love language of quality time to myself I was able to recharge. Now I remove distractions, journal about any concerns needing to be addressed, and focus on the things that I most enjoy.
For words of affirmation, those lovely distractions would usually result in me thinking about how I was failing at self-care. When I can meet myself with grace and love, I feel much better about my alone time. I do this by thinking about what I would say to a friend and say it to myself when I do get distracted, and really take the time to acknowledge my accomplishments. Becoming my own internal cheer leader and learning to speak words of affirmation to myself has made a huge difference in my internal dialogue.
A way to ensure you can be with your family this season is by taking care of your needs first. We must start small because you may not be able to plan a whole night of self-care, but you can at least plan 15 minutes a day. Ask yourself, what is one thing I can do each day that will take care of me?
I know it may seem simple, but by adding just 15 minutes a day and applying your love language to your self-care routine, you can overflow your vase and fill those other cups.
That is all your family wants this season. By giving yourself the gift of self-care, you are giving your family the best of you instead of what’s left of you. I know this may seem like a selfish topic during this giving season, but you cannot give with a full heart if you are running on empty. When we take time to fill ourselves up, we can be intentional this season. Never forget that your family wants your presence, not your presents