By Lauren Swanekamp
One of the biggest themes of the holidays is giving to others, doing for others, and spending time with friends and family. It’s a beautiful time of year for giving and being thankful, however, many of us go slightly overboard with this theme and end up exhausted, resentful and just plain burnt out come January. So how can you give and celebrate those in your life without the burnout?
Easy – give to and celebrate yourself too!
At first glance this may sound selfish but the point here is simple, you cannot give from a well that is empty. In other words, if you don’t take time to replenish yourself you will have nothing left to give.
So, the question I have you for today is this: what can you do for yourself, now and all year long, so that you can give from a place of joy and not from a place of obligation? What refills your “well”?
I encourage you to take the time today to reflect on this question and create a list of 5 pleasurable things you can do this week that bring a smile to your face and melts the tension from your body. It doesn’t have to be a massive list because often what restores you today will work tomorrow too. To help you get started I’ve jotted down some ideas below:
Go for a 5 minute walk in the middle of your work day.
You’ll be amazed at how leaving your surroundings and getting some fresh air can change your energy and your mood.
Schedule a yoga class at Princeton Center for Yoga and Health.
With a wealth of amazing teachers and a variety of classes, PCYH is an excellent place to build into your holiday routine to help keep stress levels low and keep your body strong and healthy.
Schedule a massage.
This is especially great to unwind and help relax and detoxify your body. Try scheduling an appointment for the day after a holiday party you are hosting or a big day of errands, this will help you relax the day of knowing that you have some self-care already scheduled for the following day.
Turn off your phone, your laptop, your iPad and your TV and curl up with a good book or your favorite magazines. Enjoy the slower pace, get cozy by the fire, and pour a cup of tea (or glass of wine!)
Take a bath
This can be a simple way to relax after a long day. Bonus points if your Google DIY spa tips and make some fun masks or scrubs to make it feel more luxurious
Say “no” more.
This two-letter word can really change your life. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be generous with your time and attention when it feels right, but I know that you know you’ve said “yes” to things that you really didn’t want to do. Start reflecting more when you are asked for a favor or to take on a responsibility and really honor the answer that feels true. Need help on how to say it? Check out this great post by Alexandra Franzen and this one by Brene Brown, two of my most favorite teachers.