Long before the Thanksgiving holiday, numerous notifications lit up my phone regarding upcoming “Black Friday” sales. As it turns out, many of those sales began long before the Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of cool things are out there up for grabs, right? And at those irresistible prices.
Gifting is a beautiful thing. It expresses love and cares for another. Here are InMindOut, we want all our readers to be reminded to give one’s very own self some tender loving care this holiday season.
All too often we tend to abandon ourselves, thinking that we have to put everyone else’s needs before our own. Yet we are learning more and more about how very much self-care matters in the reduction of stress and anxiety. Most of us know the basics of self-care. Good nutrition and exercise and time for oneself are crucial.
But the nitty-gritty things are more individual. What are the things that are most necessary for your good mental and physical health and well-being? For me, it’s reading and kayaking and hiking and creativity. And music, the universal language. Yes, take time to listen to the music you love. There are daily or weekly and monthly things we can give ourselves that give us energy. Listening to your mind and body regarding what you need most to thrive. Schedule and practice those things.
One of the things I give myself at the end of every year is a Passion Calendar. This calendar helps individuals keep themselves accountable for whatever goal they might be working on. I like to get all the color pens and make them beautiful. There are calendars with inspirational quotes. Many people prefer digital ones. Looking at one’s week, month, year in advance can prompt us to organize our lives in a way that allows us to live out our best versions of ourselves.
The Meditation page-a-day calendar is a good investment. (Netflix released an episodic report of research in neuroscience that depicts the incredibly impressive benefits of meditation). Gandhi, the revered leader of India’s nonviolent independence movement against British rule, knew something of self-care. On the day of a most important political meeting, he was asked by his caretakers if he would forego his morning ritual of an hour-long meditation. He responded, “ I have so much to accomplish today that I have to meditate two hours instead of one.”
Give yourself compassion. One mantra at InMindOut is this: Selfcare isn’t selfish. What about a good movie or book? Oh, and weighted blankets are becoming popular because this blanket gives one the sense of being hugged and can even increase serotonin and melatonin. This year I also ordered a small picture collage for a close friend who, during a hard time, would be reminded of the words the Beatles sang: “I get by with a little help from my friends.” And now I’m thinking how much I would like one.
Self-care is not indulgent. It’s one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves. There’s an age-old analogy about self-care that you may have heard from your therapist: When we travel by plane, the attendant always has something to say about the oxygen mask. The attendant instructs us to put on our masks before we do anything else. Why? Because only when you are not in jeopardy of losing your oxygen can you focus on helping those around you.
Show up this season. Remember that it is not selfish to show selfcare. Be there for yourself and spend a dime on yourself this Holiday Season.