This time of year can be a time of great joy, and togetherness, or in some cases great sorrow and loneliness when we are away from those we love or are experiencing loss or trauma. But in any of these instances, stress plays a significant part of our daily lives. It becomes more important than ever to take care of ourselves to help to balance the effects of stressors.
It seems that at times the phrase self-care can be overused to the point that it feels expensive and intimidating. True self-care is neither. It could be something as simple as stopping for a moment and listening to soothing music. It could be a short nap, or a hot bath. Maybe it would feel restorative to take a little walk outside and take in some fresh air and notice the beauty in the natural world. Perhaps you could make a cup of tea and find a quiet corner in which to be present and peaceful. Sometimes a few mindful moments can be all it takes to calm the stresses of the day and refresh us enough to continue with daily activities in a more calm and peaceful way.
The most important part of self-care is to be in a state of non-judgement. We can actually judge ourself harshly for needing moments of self-care. Let's leave the judgement behind and simply be observers. If you need a moment to breathe, don't judge it or tell yourself that if you were stronger you wouldn't need it. Let's just look at what is with a loving and curious heart. What do I need in this moment to restore my peace? Take a tiny step. Breathe, walk, create, bathe, light a candle, sit in quiet. It doesn't have to be a spa day or a massage. Those are wonderful things. But in a matter of minutes in very simple ways we can shift our feelings, our outlook, our perceptions, our mood, our day. Treat yourself with the same love you would show to your best friend or your beloved. Look at yourself through eyes of love and a heart of compassion. We deserved need to experience unconditional love from ourselves. Sending you light and love!