Tis’ the season for giving, right? A time to scurry around and find gifts for everyone and hopefully, a time to donate your time or some gifts to those in need. However, I also feel that our society needs lessons in gifting to ourselves for a change. I don’t mean in the material ways. I do think we have that pretty well covered. I mean in the ways it really counts. All year long we work long hours, rushing to meet deadlines for other people, focusing on errands, cooking, cleaning, kids, pets, spouses, friends. We tend to overlook our self-care. The goal is always to get things done for other people and then if there is any time left, we take care of ourselves. Most of the time that feels like it will be sometime next century. To-do lists grow twice as fast as we check them off and we never even seem to get a moment alone.
My challenge for you this holiday season is to change that. Normally, this is the most chaotic, stressful time of year. In addition to our regular deadlines, we pile on more, never stopping to think that perhaps we should reduce the load. We buzz through it, seeing flashes of ribbon and a glimpse of a tree without ever stopping to take a deep breath in and enjoy the smells of the season. Functioning from obligation rather than joy, we forget that this should be the time of year for FUN! Before you know it, it’s January and the idea of a New Year’s resolution just seems exhausting. No wonder most resolutions don’t last! We’re recovering from the holidays!
While I dont mean that you should stop gifting to others this season, it’s definitely time to start prioritizing yourself. That drained feeling after a long day isn’t necessary & it’s also not healthy. It’s time to find at least one way that you can gift to yourself. Will it be a bubble bath every Sunday? Maybe a trip to the Christmas parade or perhaps just a moment alone to lay on your back and close your eyes, letting your mind wander. It could be anything that makes your heart sing. Maybe this year you skip a tradition because you just plain don’t enjoy it. You could opt-out of the sugary drinks and add a vegetable to the meal or make GF stuffing so you don’t suffer after Thanksgiving. The point is to find something and do it, just for you.
Society is tired. We are fatigued and running into the ground. We need to change this way of living before we simply collapse. Change starts in the home, and it starts with you. Imagine if everyone took a few minutes each day, or even each week, to spoil themselves in wholesome ways. What if it was mandatory to get a weekly massage? Maybe we wouldn’t need so many material belongings, or so much food to stuff down our emotions. Maybe we could learn how to be relaxed and happy again. Then we could go out and spread that feeling in our town. It’s a ripple effect that could upgrade society. Just imagine if everyone you walked by smiled or took the time to apologize when they bump you. It’s the small things that make a big difference.
It’s not about being selfish, it’s about thriving instead of surviving. There should be no guilt when it comes to self-care or self-love. Know that when you love and care for yourself, you can then love and care for others in a more effective way. So this holiday season, try to focus on you first, and then everyone else. Notice what changes. This may be the best season yet!