As the holidays are fast approaching, it’s easy for overwhelm to creep in. In addition to our regular goings on, we add in family gatherings, extra shopping, and more stress that can come with it all. For most of us, any self care that we do is often pushed aside to make room for the seasonal obligations.
But what if it’s not pushed aside? What if – and hear me out – we make this The Selfish Season?
As a child, I was taught that being selfish wasn’t good. You probably were taught that as well. And I’m not disagreeing with that ideology completely. Where I’m changing my mindset, though, is within the definition of the word “selfish.”
In thinking about what a new definition of “selfish” would be, I find it’s easier to think of what it means to be unselfish.
Coming from a long familial line of martyrs, I have to keep this aspect of myself in check. So anytime my inner dialog turns down the path of “Oh, I don’t have time to do _______ (fill in the blank with self care stuff) because I have to do _____ (fill in the blank with some b.s. ‘priority’),” I take a moment to determine if that “priority” really is super important in that moment. If it can wait a little bit, then I put the excuse aside and do the self care item instead.
The reality is our important daily tasks will get done, so we might as well put ourselves higher up on our list. This helps us from paying a bigger price down the road when it comes to our health and well-being. It’s that whole “you reap what you sow” thing.
When the pandemic first began, it was a huge wake-up call for me. Maybe it was for you, too. It shined a bright ol’ light on how little I was actually taking care of myself, which led to me reassessing all sorts of things.
Now, each morning I take the time to do a morning self care ritual, setting up my day blissfully. During this time, I close my door and begin my meditation, journaling, reading, and self-massage to help reduce my pain levels. Next I stretch, go for a walk, and then shower and get the day going. There are a few more things that I do to help cultivate my Zen, but you get the gist.
If I don’t do these self care techniques in the morning, they won’t get done. I’ll inevitably find a billion other things that need to be handled, and before I know it, it’s bedtime. Are you the same?
What if, instead, we look at this time for ourselves as sacred? When we’re coming from that place, then our self care becomes our non-negotiable.
If trying to take on bigger self care goals during the holidays is just too much to handle, then commit to January. Or start with a few minutes of self care now and take it up a notch or two at the beginning of the year. There are options, it’s just a matter of making that commitment to yourself and sticking with it. Easier said than done sometimes, I know. But committing to your Selfish Season is absolutely worth the effort.