We all know the stresses that come along with the holidays, what with the hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking things we aren’t good at cooking, and family gatherings with people we may or may not get along with. It’s easy to slip into cycles of anxiety, or even forget ourselves during this time of the year.
It’s time to be present this holiday season, and make sure you don’t forget the necessities of self-care. Here are 12 tips to stay present and maintain a positive mindset as we approach Christmas!
DAY 1. Take Six (not three, but six!), slow deep breaths. What has changed in your body after doing that? Take time to notice and simply EXIST in this moment. What’s changed about your perspective of the situation? What thoughts are you having? Be. Here. Now. Repeat this step as needed.
DAY 2. Walk half your normal pace today. What?! Yep, you can do it. Be deliberately slower than usual. Feel the difference? Slow down. Consider why you’re moving so quickly in the first place, and decide how necessary it is to get there so fast. Is it worth it?
DAY 3. Notice your thoughts and observe them the same way you might observe artwork in a museum, admire them for their uniqueness and analyze why they exist as they do. This is called consciousness. Be so aware that you smile! Be so aware that you’re awestruck! Look around and notice the meaning you’ve attached to your surroundings.
DAY 4. Truly notice others around you. Look people directly in the eyes today when speaking with them, and embrace more deliberation interaction. Actively listen to what they tell you, and ask them a genuine question about themselves. This is consciously connecting.
DAY 5. Smile at yourself in the mirror today. Be intentional about smiling at those around you. Be happy today! Know that happiness often happens on the outside and works its way in, rather than the other way around. Find something about your body that you love and admire. Literally, do this in the mirror!
DAY 6. Take a long shower or bath and use all of your favorite “feel good” products that you’ve been saving for a special occasion! I don’t care if it is soap on a rope y’all, just do it and take your time! Savor the self-care and appreciation you’re giving your body. Remember, self-care is not selfish, nor is it meant to happen only on holidays. Self-care should be something we deliberately opt to happen on a regular basis.
DAY 7. Write down three things you’d love to experience MORE in your current lifestyle. Do you want more rest, love, and travel? more rest? Consider what you’re willing to do to achieve these things, and what has been holding you back so far. Write down what you’ve uncovered.
DAY 8. Buy a postcard or jot down a message on a piece of paper, then mail it to yourself today! Now, don’t be boring here. This is CREATIVITY time! Be nice to yourself and encourage yourself for all that you’re capable of doing!
DAY 9. Call an old friend or family member and thank them for a fond memory you have had with them. They are going to LOVE YOU for this! Your relationships grow and flourish when you stop focusing inward and start extending positivity outward.
DAY 10: Stand still outside, preferably near trees, grass, a garden, or something similar and examine what’s around you for five solid minutes. Notice every detail. The fresh air won’t kill you, I promise! Oh, and don’t forget to breathe!
DAY 11. Go online and search costs for that trip you’ve always dreamed about! Figure out what’s necessary to get you there and make it a reality. Jot down everything that’s needed to make that trip happen, then figure out the plan to put it into fruition.
DAY 12. Celebrate YOU today. That’s right, YOU. What would you like to celebrate about yourself? Celebration of yourself isn’t bragging, it’s self-love. Go ahead and celebrate all that makes YOU on this day of celebration! Know that you are worthy and valuable in the world!