Self-care, Satisfaction Guaranteed

During yesterday’s #CADAChat about finding joy during the holidays, one of the questions was about self-care – the most important gift of all, and often the one we forget about. Midwestern Mama took notes to share.

When it comes to the holidays, several f-words come to mind. No, not that f-word! The ones I’m thinking of are Festive, Frantic, Frenzy, Frazzled …

The only antidote that I can think of is the gift of self-care. What’s more, it’s the gift that keeps giving no matter what time of year. It’s the gift that guarantees satisfaction for yourself as well as the ones who matter most to you.

Addiction takes a toll on the whole family. That’s all the more reason to take care of yourself. I used to feel that it was up to me to hold it altogether to prevent chaos – sometimes that worked, but mostly it frazzled me even more than the chaos itself.

Some of the ideas that we talked about during yesterday’s #CADAChat included the following:

  • Time Out! Take a break away from the hubbub. When the crowd is gathered to celebrate the holidays and the conversations are just too much, step away for a few minutes. Find a quiet space to decompress before returning to the festivities. Thanks @Virtual_Nadine for that great tip.
  • Buy It! While you’re out shopping for others, find a small gift for yourself – something small that you always pass on because you don’t really need it. Recently, I picked up a pack of felt-tip pens for grading my students’ papers instead of using the same old ball-point; it made it that much more rewarding to score their final projects.
  • Do It! Is there an opening at the local nail salon? Just walk right in and get a pedicure. Thanks @JamieArmin for that suggestion! Sometimes, you just have to seize the moment to do something for yourself. Don’t even think twice.
  • Move It! Getting some exercise works wonders. @DrugAbuse mentioned looking forward to a run – that sounds ambitious to me; I’m more inclined to bundle up and take the dog for a walk – good for both of us.
  • Sip It! There’s nothing like a cup of hot tea or cocoa to help us slow down. It’s impossible to down it right away. You have to let it cool, and while it does, the almost ritualistic act of blowing on the hot liquid lets you anticipate the soothing beverage.
  • Eat It! Amid all those calorie-laden treats, make sure you eat some healthy, energy-building meals as well. Good food nourishes and when we eat the good (healthy) stuff first, we can enjoy the “really good” stuff without going into a sugar coma. (Do peanut butter chocolate balls count as healthy?!)
  • Schedule It! This time of year gets so busy with invitations and places you need to be. Our calendars are filled almost beyond capacity. Instead think forward and schedule a few coffee dates with friends for January and February. It’s nice to have something to look forward to when the winter blahs set in, and you’ll have more time to actually chat and catch up when you’re not rushing during the holidays.

Here’s wishing you the gift of self-care this holiday season!

Midwestern Mama

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