The Season of Giving: Don’t Forget About Yourself!
‘Tis the season of giving and merriment, joy and celebration. Right about now, you’re probably making lists and checking them twice, trying to find or create the best gifts for your loved ones. This is an excellent time to remember to take care of, and pamper yourself, as well.
“Giving to yourself” may initially feel like a self-involved act; however, one of the easiest ways to lose compassion for those around you, is by neglecting to take care of yourself. Treating yourself will leave you revived and re-energized, ready to give of yourself to those around you.
You might be so caught up in the idea of showering your friends and family with love and holiday cheer, that you forget to show yourself the same affections and graces.
Read on for ideas about how to treat yourself this holiday season.
What is Giving?
The holidays evoke visions of celebration, tinsel, strung lights and perfectly-wrapped presents. The word “gift” comes from the Old Norse word “gipt,” which is related to “give.”
The idea of “giving” and “gifts” go hand in hand, however, a gift is not always a tangible object wrapped in festive, shiny paper. When you think back on some of the biggest “gifts” you’ve been given by your family, friends and the universe, there are likely many ethereal presents for which you feel grateful.
The introduction to a wonderful new friend, a positive shift in your career, a sunny day when you expected rain, or even the musings of a poet can feel like extraordinary gifts from on high.
How do you treat yourself this season? By giving to yourself - not necessarily physical objects, but the loving energy you give to those around you every day. Let’s take a look at some ideas to give yourself the energy and attention you deserve on these crisp, chilly days.
Treat Mind, Body & Soul
Life gets so busy and hectic, especially around the holidays, that we often forget to take a time out. Taking time to be in quiet, mindful solitude is a healing, regenerative practice. Carve out an hour for yourself, and find a safe, loving place where you can be yourself. Light your favorite candles, pull out your comfiest, coziest outfit and put on your most relaxing playlist.
Consider burning sage or incense to clear any negative or tense energy. You can use this time to write, meditate, sing, paint, collage, draw or do any creative, focused activity that your heart desires. Allowing yourself a bit of time to relax, and unfold your innermost qualities, will connect you with the earth, the universe and yourself.
Dig deep within yourself and pull out those sparkling fragments, the ones that have been lost in the chaos of daily living. Dust them off, put them on your mental alter and admire their shining, brilliant luminescence.
Have a Spa Day
Sometimes we avoid treating ourselves for fear of frivolous spending. It seems that everyone feels the monetary crunch this time of year. A day at the spa might sound far-fetched right about now; however, you can inexpensively bring the spa to you.
Go to your local florist and buy yourself an array of petals. Rose petals range from $0.70 to $3.00 per cup, a small price to pay for the healing properties provided by roses. Additionally, you can substitute or add rose water or rose essential oil, however, rose petals provide a certain aesthetic appeal that soothes the senses.
Prepare two slices of cool cucumber, or more if you like a spa snack. You may freeze your cucumber slices while you prepare your “spa.”
Now pour yourself a cup of warm tea, or glass of succulent wine, grab your favorite book and draw a bath for yourself. Sprinkle in rose petals or oil, liberally apply bubbles and sink into the warmth.
Close your eyes, and rest the chilled cucumbers upon your lids. Sink into the tranquility and relaxed atmosphere, allowing any tension to leave your body. Soak in the healing qualities of the rose essence, and feel the loving embrace of the universe.
Use Your Imagination
There are so many ways to connect to yourself, and no one knows what makes you happy better than you. Get creative with the gifts you choose to give yourself. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
If you’ve always wanted to take a kickboxing class, or you want to spend a few solitary hours in your local library, go for it. Don’t worry about whether or not you can afford to use this time for yourself and your own activities; you deserve to indulge yourself with relaxation and solitude.
Let the giving spirit of the holidays envelop you, encouraging you to include yourself in the process. You’ll thank yourself later.
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