Give Yourself The Gift Of
Self-Kindness For The Holidays
The holidays can take a toll on us if we neglect our own needs. It’s easy to get lost in focusing on other people and events, and trying to check all the boxes. Holidays are a time for connecting with the people we love, and it’s important to take care of ourselves too. Focusing on kindness is one way to help get you through the season without feeling too drained.
It is not about being selfish, or cynical: self-kindness helps us to be generous and loving to others through the Holidays while offering the same love and care to ourselves.
So, with that in mind here are gift ideas of self-kindness you can give yourself these Holidays.
The Gift Of Permission
An especially valuable gift is to allow yourself to let go of expectations. Holidays can be a minefield of shoulds and obligations–from self and others. It’s important to give yourself permission to participate in the Holidays in a way that takes into account your own desires, energy levels, and a strong sense of who you are.
This involves consciously setting some boundaries. A nice way to think about boundaries is that you don’t create boundaries to keep other people out, you create boundaries for your own energy, to ensure you have what it takes to connect more meaningfully with the people you care for.
The Gift Of Time
The Holidays often descend into a dizzying blur of activity. It may seem impossible at first, but try taking the time to plan a little and slow down. Then slow down some more.
Think about where you might be able to give yourself some time buffers here and there. Can you cut some time from your shopping trip? The wrapping and preparation? Food preparation? All of these activities can get away from you if you let them. If you can’t cut time out can you spread little breaks for yourself through the time you’ve already committed to?
The Gift Of Presence
Christmas is such a sensual time and filled with beauty, too. Make sure you taste the food, smell the smells, enjoy coming in from the cold into a warm and cozy space.
Connect with yourself whenever you remember to. When you’re seated at the dinner table feel your feet on the floor, appreciate all the faces around you, take in the decorations, be present as you can with each conversation.
The Gift Of Rest
The Holidays can often take an emotional toll on your body, whether it’s people you love being around, or not, emotions can get triggered. Underneath everything, there’s a whole lot of emotional processing going on.
Be aware of that and allow yourself some downtime to let all this sink in and settle.
The best way to do this is to build in opportunities for rest. Take care to not over commit to events or tasks. If you have a long list of things to do, build in mini-rest breaks so you can pace yourself better through the day.
Put time for yourself on your to-do list! Give yourself a half-hour somewhere to just put your feet up and recharge before you move onto the next task or social event. Planning these mini-breaks ahead can really help. (Hint: Other people don’t have to know about this!)
The Gift Of Meaning
What are the most meaningful memories of the holidays for you? It’s important to remember these and make the most of them. If your memories of the Holidays are not appealing, then give yourself permission to create your own rituals and ways of celebrating.
With the focus on family and the sometimes overwhelming commercialization, the Holidays can be stressful. Many people are excluded and forgotten in the crush, and it can be the most difficult time of year for many.
Reaching out to people having a hard time is a great way to connect more deeply, and remember the real meaning of the Holidays.
Falling In Love With
Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room. – Nora Roberts –
Christmas is the day that holds all time together. – Alexander Smith –
“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.”
“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.” – Tome Baker –
“Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don’t quite know how to put our love into words.” Harlan Miller
“As for me, I like to take my Christmas a little at a time, all through the year.” – David Grayson –
“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.” Ben Franklin –
“Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.”
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Theresa –
“May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.” “Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” – Dr. Seuss –
“Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind.”