The holidays are filled with family and gratitude, but also stress, overwhelm, and feelings of inadequacy. While the holidays may be over, you may still be reeling from the emotions. End this cycle in your life and find peace and joy in your work at any time of year!
Peace In Simplicity
The beginner's mind lets go of pre-constructed ideas about a subject and is open to learning something new. This approach has taught me there are two ways to find peace in your work.
- "Intensive" self care.
- Letting go of thoughts and feelings that do not serve you.
I know what you are thinking— “Get real! I don't have time or energy for this!"
Well, that is exactly what you do need.
You need real things that really work, but only if you're willing to shut off the chatter, listen, and release the junk.
Intensive Self Care
You're thinking that anything intensive cannot be peaceful or easy! I promise you, it can. I use the word “intensive” because you have to be passionate about caring for yourself. Finding love enough for self, especially during the holiday season and because we often put ourselves last, can be especially difficult for women.
If you are not intensely caring for yourself during this season (and all year round), you run the risk of pounding yourself into the ground. We all know what happens then. We become burned-out, overstressed, under-slept, and just all around not pleasant.
I don't know about you, but when I find myself irritated with myself and others, no one wants to be around me. These are times when I am neglecting self-care by not eating nourishing, loving food, taking time out for myself or making time to be still.
In this case, not only will your home, work or business become a chore during the holiday season - it will contribute to being overworked and the issue of burnout many of us experience.
The word “intensive” is meant as “with purpose, resolve and attention”, so intensely caring for yourself is simply paying attention to yourself and reaching for what you need.
I have found when I don’t take time for myself to receive deep love and attention, I become drained and depleted. This causes deep resentment to creep in, then shame, blame, pride, punishing, guilt, and fear. I have found that I get sloppy with my boundaries. Additionally, I perceive that I am not appreciated and feel overworked. The problem with this cycle is that we end up giving and giving and giving more than we have. By the end of the day, we are starving for appreciation, quiet moments alone when someone does not want something and the recognition that we've done a good job on preparations.
Here's the deal--- when we have completely emptied our cup and are looking for someone else to fill it—- there is often no one there to pour into it.
The fact is that we are responsible for our own happiness. We must fill up our own cups. We take time to fill ourselves through quiet time out, time away, a time when we are not engaged in 'doing". We must become more receptive to the help and love that is always around us. Organic love and support flow in and out of our lives and are sucked out when we are over-controlling and burned out.
Once upon a time, I was in this place and stayed there for far too long. I am certain you have, too! As women, we have cultured ourselves to go to this place more than men because we are nurturers. The world tells us we have to do it all and not complain about it!
This illusion is not the feminine way.
Feminine energy is supposed to be receptive energy, the vessel that receives in order to give. Feminine energy is not the other way around. So you might need to ask someone to help with the kids for a few hours a week or thirty minutes a day. Do it! I have found that most of the time people are happy to help. When you return, you will come back to with peace, more presence, fulfillment and be genuinely happy. This type of self-care and being intensely vigilant about getting it is how we can begin to create more peace and joy in our homes and work. It starts with you and pours out over every part of life as it runs into the lives of others.
Take care of yourself these last few months of the year. Here are a few things to consider:
- Take time every day to do something that brings you joy, that truly nourishes yourself. That may mean fasting from Facebook and/or Instagram. Oh, I know that pinched didn't it.
- Connect to nature, your inner guide and the universe’s beauty. You will be able to do this by shutting off the noise around you and meditating for just 5-10 minutes a day.
- Let go of things that do not serve you or the world around you. Let it all go. Write down something that is bothering you, write down all the ways it bothers you and why it's hurtful or bothersome. The simple process of getting it out of your head and onto paper helps you release it.
7 Ways to Self-Care
Here are some ways you can practice intensive self-care every day from now until the New Year (and beyond).
This is a sacred time for self. A time to stretch all aspects of self and disregard shame, blame and comparison, and lean into the tightness where we hold the things we need to let go. Breath-work will ease the tightness and help you let it go. You can find free yoga on YouTube with the likes of Yoga With Adrienne, through a paid app like DownDog, or locally in classes.
We can be resistant to this, especially to do it consistently. I still struggle with it from time to time, but meditation is medicine for the mind and quiet for the soul. It can be done in three minutes a day!
There are plenty of guided meditations out there right now, whether in app form or on YouTube.
Getting your thoughts on paper is a detox of the mind. It can be incredibly therapeutic. It doesn't have to be beautiful or written in a certain way, just to brain dump! This is only for you! It can also be really exciting and empowering to look back on journal entries and see how far you have come and what you have let go of.
This incredible energy work is life-changing. If you can find a quality Reiki practitioner in your area I would recommend going either before the holidays, after, or throughout!
5. Massage or Acupuncture
To keep your “chi” flowing nicely (Chinese description of your energy flow), massage and acupuncture allow you to not get energy lost in knotty muscles.
6. Consume Nutrient-Rich Foods
This is the spice of life, feeding the body, mind, and soul. It does that because it opens good communication flow between all organs and the brain. Add more color to your plate with salads and vegetables.
If you load up on the good stuff and have smaller portions of all the things you love, you will enjoy yourself much more.
7. Drink Loads of Pure Water
I know it sounds simple, but sometimes we just don’t drink enough water. Staying hydrated is a form of self-care and can really be beneficial during the holidays with all the indulgences. Bonus— it keeps you from snacking and overeating.
Listen to your body and your soul- don’t feel like you have to spend every waking minute moving and working over the holidays. That’s exhausting and depleting. Make sure to take time for yourself. Take a walk, sit and read that book you have been dying to finish, sneak away for a quick 10-minute meditation, or just find some time to sit in silence.
I promise you this will fill you up in so many positive ways that you will then pour over into your interactions with your loved ones. Little respites can break up the stagnant and sometimes erratic energy we see around the holiday season.
Energy Balancing Spa
Here is the recipe for an energy balancing salt bath I created for you:
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- ½ cup of sea salt
- 1 Tbs coconut oil
- ½ cup baking soda
- 10-12 drops essential oils (arborvitae, frankincense, geranium and/or cedarwood)
Place all the ingredients in your tub and fill it with hot water.
Relax in the tub, light candles, turn some music on, turn out the lights and soak for 15-20 minutes.
Make sure to pour the magical water over every inch of your body, including your head. Once you are done rinse off with clean, freshwater.
I want to hear from you! What are some of the ways you practice intensive self-care in stressful times? Add a comment below and keep the conversation going!