During the holidays it's go-go-go! We easily become stressed, short-tempered and overwhelmed. I have a very simple suggestion for you that might seem obvious, but I don't see a lot of people (outside of my clients!) doing it!
Take time for self-care!
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Seriously. I'm listing some ideas here to help you fill your oil lamp, put the oxygen mask on yourself first - however you want to see it. Taking care of you is vital to your, um, vitality! As well as your sanity.
It's also worthwhile to understand that you are teaching others, by your behavior, how they should treat you. If you are playing the martyr, not asking for help, doing or giving too much, others will continue to expect that of you. When you begin to realize that:
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- It's okay to ask for help
- Your home doesn't have to be perfect
- It's fine if the home décor doesn't reflect a Martha Stewart magazine
- Everyone deserves time to refuel
- Sometimes good enough is perfect
... you will enjoy yourself much more, and teach those around you how to treat you. You'll also be a role model to remind others about self-care. (When you teach by example - whether to your kids, friends, or colleagues, this is actually a position of leadership! Imagine what your kids, etc. might learn about taking care of themselves. Isn't that what you want for them?)
So, I'd like to offer some slightly different suggestions for self-care. I'm a big fan of the mani-pedi, or get a massage or facial, but here are a few things you might not have thought of, and that don't cost a cent. They should all last between 15-30 minutes, although some can be "quick-fixes" during stressful moments.
- Breathwork: Stop and take time to relax. Using your breath is one of the most effective and efficient ways of oxygenating your blood vessels, relaxing your muscles, de-stressing, and improving your mindset. Here is a simple exercise: lengthen your exhalation to twice the length of your inhalation. So, if you naturally inhale to the count of 4, try lengthening your exhalation to 8. This will slow your heart rate pretty quickly. You can also just spend a few moments breathing into your heartspace. Simply think of people and things you love, and breathe that. If a negative thought begins to enter your mind, simply acknowledge it, and let it go.