5 Gifts You Can Give to Yourself to Combat Holiday Stress or 5 Ways to Love Yourself
Love is a verb. Love is an action. It is not merely positive thoughts or pretty poetry. Pretty thoughts might be a difficult thing to focus on as we elbow our way through the grocery store with our piles of lists during this time of year. Love has wonderful qualities like acceptance, patience, and kindness, but we sometimes forget how to do that toward our flawed selves. Here are 5 ACTION STEPS you can take towards self love right now. Just like the heart pumps blood to itself first, loving yourself first is the best way to begin the gift giving process. If you can love yourself you will have more energy and patience for others. Tis the season of sharing, right? Start with the one person you spend the most time with,YOU.
- Wear comfortable shoes.Your feet are the foundation of your body. They are literally performing under the pressure of every step you take. During your time of running around, through ice and snow, give some love to your feet by keeping them warm and comfortable. Do they need a little extra love? Give them a foot soak in some epsom salts and essential oils or an orange peel at the end of the day.
- Drink more water. It’s a dry time of year and water is the simplest way to energy and clear thinking. Skip a coffee and go for the pure stuff. Here is an inspiring article of all the reasons to drink more water. And this study shows how dehydration affects clear thinking. Or if you want a spiritual outlook about water, imagine your next shower as inspiration and ideas raining down on you, flowing over you, to solve that one issue you can’t seem to work out.
- Go outside. If it’s not too cold. Nature is where we can reconnect to all that is wonderful and simple about life. We can see firsthand the cycles and season that we are in and going through at this very moment. Nature helps us accept the place we are at. Remember that “this too shall pass.” A wonderful quote
- Take a few minutes and focus on your breathing. In fancy terms this can be called meditation but in these busy times trying to empty our minds and all the pressures just the word “meditation” brings up may seem impossible. Instead, take a moment to focus on your breath. Breathe slowly and deeply like you are in a deep sleep. A simple visualization that I continue to refer back to during turmoil is to imagine my heart is a little red bird. Imagine this bright bird flitting around in wind and turbulence, for this time of year we could imagine a blowing snowstorm. As you close your eyes and think of this little bird out in the weather watch it come to a branch and land, take a couple little bird steps, ruffle it’s feathers and then settle onto that branch. Now, whenever you are stressed see that bird, see it land and see it sit quietly nestled while all that goes on around it is wild. Remember that you have this still place inside of you that you can always retreat to. With every inhale imagine inhaling the strength and clarity you need to do all the things on that to do list. With every exhale push out all doubts and worries about getting everything done.
- Give a willing participant a hug. I want you to connect with someone through touch. Touch is the first way we come in contact with the world. Read this article that talks about the healing power of touch. How much time do you spend touching a keypad instead of another person? In our rush to communicate with text we avoid touch.
I propose another option to #5: Get a massage. Compassionate touch is my mission. I have chosen to be a massage therapist because I love connecting with others and I love connecting others to their own supportive and healing capabilities. If you are too busy to take a quiet moment for yourself then why not go to a professional that has set up a space away from the noise of the world? Massage can address the mind, body, and spirit in one session. First it manually relaxes tight muscles and offers structural balance to the body. Second, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated to put the body in a state of rest and repose. In this state the mind is allowed to relax in the same state that meditation takes you to. Third, you have a moment to connect with another human being on a tactile level. I believe that the basis of our life is us connecting with others. Isn’t that what you are running around trying to accomplish right now? Aren’t you doing this for your family and loved ones, all this stress and work? When you get a massage you can get to go past the small talk and right to that one-on-one touch. The power of touch heals, nurtures, offers compassion. “ “massage therapy” may sound like some weird Berkeley idea, but it’s got hard science on its side. It’s not just good for our muscles; it’s good for our entire physical and mental health.”
For the month of December I am offering a FREE 30 minute upgrade to any $80 gift certificate purchased. That means for the price of an hour massage you will receive a 90 minute massage. It’s my gift to you. I hope you will take a step towards loving yourself or pass on the gift of self love to someone else this season.