Taking Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself over the silly season.
Taking care of yourself is a priority, as we know too well, we can only give what we have… So, if our cup is empty, there is nothing left to share with others. We can easily over commit at this time of year, so a practise of pausing and checking in with how you feel in that moment before filling the calendar will be helpful to manage your energy levels and unrealistic expectations of yourself. Firstly, be compassionate with yourself when you do have to decline an invite, take a moment to breathe, or perhaps leave an event early – release any guilt that may arise or feeling the need to over explain your decision. YOU must look after YOU, even if that means being misunderstood by others.
Of yourself to feel differently and of others to act differently. Allow yourself to feel however it is you are feeling. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Maintain curiosity about your feelings rather than judgement. Create space for them to be there without trying to change them. Softening our expectations of others (colleagues, boss, family members) to act differently can be helpful given their actions are out of our control. This means we will not be too shocked if they don’t behave any differently and happily surprised if they do. Any expectation comes with the potential to either excite or disappoint us, so being aware of their presence and releasing the attachment to any outcome will be a helpful practise in the long run.
How often do we think we are the only ones experiencing an extreme emotion such as feeling anxious about the end-of-year party or distressed by your seemingly strange and dysfunctional family?! This is friendly reminder that you are not alone, and we all navigate varying degrees of uncomfortable and difficult experiences. Please be sure to reach out to those around you if you are feeling overwhelmed during these times, knowing they are quite possibly feeling or have previously felt something similar. You do not have to struggle alone. We are here to support and celebrate each other and unite in our shared humanity.
Showing up Sincerely…
It is a tough act when you are somewhere you don’t want to be, doing something you don’t want to do. You know it and so does everyone else. When calendar planning this season, acknowledge if you are feeling like you ‘should’ do X,Y,Z and be curious about why you feel that way… Is it coming from a place of people pleasing or obligation? Then take responsibility for your choice – to do ‘the thing’ or not ‘do the thing’. When we take responsibility for our choices, it can minimise our tendency to blame others for how we are feeling and ease any resentment we may then have towards them. This allows us to show up sincerely with respect for our needs and in honour of our choices.
The greatest gift we can give someone is our time, our undivided attention, and full presence. To be there with someone, physically, mentally, and emotionally, is a rarity these days with our attention being pulled in so many directions. But to gift someone a moment where they are heard, they are seen, and their extraordinary existence is acknowledged is a powerful present.
Put Them Away
So, this Christmas try to leave the phones off the dinner table, have them out of sight when speaking with Grandma or the long-lost cousin, and embrace the beauty of an uninterrupted face-to-face interaction. Your full presence will be the most rewarding and irreplaceable gift under that tree this year.
Sending you all the courage and clarity you need to make the best decisions you can for your personal wellbeing during this festive season. Be sure to gift yourself the present of acceptance, curiosity, and compassion. Wishing you times of relaxation and restoration ahead…