Series: Thriving Through the Holidays
Skill 5: Practice excellent self-care.
Self-care is not selfishness. We need put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we can help others. We also need to recharge to avoid burn out. Self-care is a necessary piece of dealing with the stresses of life.
Self-care looks different for different people. For some it’s a massage or a pedicure. For other people, it is curling up for an hour with a good book. Self-care also can be meditation or exercise. Maybe a long, hot bath is what self-care looks like for you. Self-care is time spent with yourself that feels rejuvenating.
Of course, the other skills that we’ve discussed are also part of self-care. The goal is to reduce the number of things that are stressful and minimize our stressful reactions to everything. Being mindful, listening without judgment, visualizing our bubbles, and saying no are all things that can help us reduce stress and increase joy.
Many of us put the needs of everyone else ahead of our own. Let’s give ourselves permission to take care of us, too! I ask coaching clients to find a picture of themselves as a child, and to remember that the child is still there inside of them. I tell them to look at the picture of their young selves and ask questions like:
- Would I let her stay up late all the time and eat bad food?
- Would I say harsh things to him?
- Would I not allow some time for this child to run and play?
We would all protect a child and do what is best for him or her. We need to feel comfortable doing the same for ourselves. Each of us has our childhood self inside who is depending on us!
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