Raise your hand if you get stressed out during the holiday season. You too? You’re not alone.
The holiday season can be hectic. Trying to find the perfect gifts for our people, making holiday trees and houses Instagrammably cute, going to countless parties that seem to take over every weekend night, and managing it all without breaking the bank, just to name a few things that weigh on our minds this time of year. Add to that news headlines that make the world feel like an overwhelming and scary place and the constant pressure to take on more and more and be perfect at it all, leaving us feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.
It’s no wonder self-care is everywhere. We seek out ways to forget these stressors, but for some reason it never seems to stick.
Self-Care >> Stress Cycle
We’re stuck in a ‘stress >> self-care >> stress >> self-care’ cycle.
If you’re anything like me, you let things build up until you can’t take it anymore and need to retreat. Binge watching Netflix with a pint of ice cream. Buying clothes that we don’t really need or have the closet space for. Having one-too-many cocktails or cookies. Eating a huge piece of chocolate cake from a hot tub surrounded by the scent of this season’s top bath bomb (doesn’t that just sound like heaven right about now?).
Don’t get me wrong. I love to ‘treat yo’self’ as much as anybody! I have a stash of bath bombs and Epsom salts ready for a good soak at a moment’s notice, and at nearly 27 weeks pregnant, my aching back is calling out for a massage. The relaxing happy-inducing endorphins these experiences bring are amazing and wonderful, but they don’t stick around long do they?
We keep stressing ourselves out to the max until we need another break, and another and another.
Self-Care = Self-Respect
Real self-care happens when you take care of yourself regularly, not just every once in a while when you’ve reached a tipping point and need to breathe. Self-care can be a lifestyle choice, a way of making our day-to-day reality better rather than a means of escaping it.
Self-care is about respecting yourself, not spoiling yourself.
As I’ve been thinking more about this idea, I realized there are little things I do every day or every week, and others habits I could, well, get into the habit of, to help break the stress cycle. They’re not all fun and glamorous, and some take a bit of discipline. But their stress-reducing and zen-inducing effects all totally worth the effort.
Who wants to join me in practicing real, unabashed, love-yourself-all-the-time, self-care?…