In the song the ‘True Love’ sent so many gifts on the twelve days of Christmas. We can be so generous to others while we withhold love, nurture and support from ourselves. During this busy time of year our Self-Care often goes by-the-way as we race from one responsibility to the next. Gift yourself these 12 Self-Care practices to support you through the stress and pressure without becoming burnt-out.
On the First day of Self-Care Christmas:
Get a good nights sleep.
When I asked my clients the one thing that has the greatest impact on their wellbeing and health, most answered more or better sleep. When your sleep is inadequate or poor quality it doesn’t matter how well you eat or exercise, your wellness will never be great.
Tonight, put away those work emails, turn off social media, leave the laundry for tomorrow, and gift yourself an early night. Curl up with a good book instead of your device and relax. You’ll wake tomorrow feeling great.
If falling asleep is difficult, a few drops of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil on a cotton pad beside your pillow helps you nod off.
On the Second day of Self-Care Christmas:
We’re switched on all the time in this hyped-up world so taking a brief break soothes our nervous system.
If there must be madness and time crunches and chaos in your life, then let there be chaos. But find the strength and stillness to be the eye inside the storm. Allow these things to happen around you.,not TO you.
Find somewhere quiet where you can be alone. Close the door on the world, switch off the phone and just sit. Enjoy the experience of just being with yourself.
Tune into your awareness and notice what you notice. What can you hear? Smell? Feel in your body? Bring your awareness closer and go a little deeper. Notice your emotions and how you respond. As you bring your awareness into laser-sharp precision you engage your Higher Self and inner wisdom.
Enjoy a few minutes reconnecting with your Heart in the peace and stillness.
On the Third day of Self-Care Christmas:
Give yourself permission to NOT feel motivated all the time. We all feel lost sometimes.
Recognise when you need to stop or pause and allow yourself to be in this place without feeling guilty about it. Give yourself the space you need, do some deep breathing and push the pause button.
Gradually, as your motivation returns ease yourself into taking the steps you need to get where you want to be.
On the Fourth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Walk – Breathe – Walk – Heal • *´´¯`*•.¸¸.❧
Schedule time to walk outdoors in nature, even if it’s just around your garden.
When you walk at a steady pace and breathe deeply your heart gets a signal to slow down. As it slows, a soothing feeling of calm spreads through you, quelling that rush of stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol..
As your heartbeat and breathing synchronise in slow calm waves, your blood pressure falls and your heart pumps stronger. The stress response is interrupted.
On the Fifth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Stop comparing yourself with others. You’re on your own unique life journey, just as others are on theirs.
You have your own gifts, strengths, creativity, your own individuality. They are worthy, and they are yours.
Your life is a journey where you’ve struggled and persevered to win and achieve. Your achievements are every bit as deserving of appreciation as any you see in others.
Each moment of our life is unique and sacred. Envy steals those away from you. When we’re caught up in envy we don’t allow ourselves to appreciate our personal gifts and achievements.
Recognise that envy is a signpost to what you really want in life. Use it to guide you to take the actions needed to achieve your dreams.
On the Sixth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Cut yourself some slack!
So many of us (perhaps all of us) are our own worst critics. Your version of bad, is someone else’s version of best. It’s all in the perspective.
Of course try your hardest, apply yourself. But always remember nothing is set in stone. ‘Mistakes’ are often disguised gifts. There are always more opportunities to try again if it doesn’t work out. Beating yourself up doesn’t fix it.
Tell the critics inside your head to “shush!” Move on, be kind to yourself, forgive yourself regularly, and be open to new ways and opportunities.
You’ve got this!!
On the Seventh day of Self-Care Christmas:
Journaling might seem the activity of young girls, but journaling is a powerful tool for bringing clarity to a confused or worried brain.
Journaling is brilliant for reducing stress. It works by engaging both hemispheres of the brain which allows you to fully integrate an experience and let it go. It inspires ideas at the same time.
Scientific evidence shows journaling improves cognitive function, strengthens the immune system, counteracts the effects of stress and decreases the symptoms of arthritis and asthma.
On the Eighth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Bring the mystical tool of awareness to your body in the current moment.
Let the drone of running thoughts and monkey-mind chatter go.
Discover what it feels like to be in your body right in this moment. Scan your body from top to toe. Do you hurt anywhere? Send a loving thought to that spot. Do you feel any other sensations? Pause and identify what that sensation actually is.
Do any emotions arise as you focus on any particular part of your body or sensation?
Notice what you notice.
Thank your body for the ability to do whatever you’re doing.
Throughout your day, whenever you think of it, in the middle of whatever you are doing, practice letting go of the running thoughts about what comes next or what didn’t get done, and bring awareness to yourself.
On the Ninth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Sprinkle moments of Conscious Self-Care throughout your day.
Make YOU a priority so you feel grounded and happy in your day, and can continue to care for those around you.
Intentions and plans are great. But they’re way better if you can actually Make. Them. Happen. It’s great to read self-care suggestions. You might even brainstorm which self-care changes you COULD make. But it’s another thing altogether to actually implement them every day.
How often do your great intentions and big plans get sidelined because you ran out of time?
Instead of planning Big Self-Care Actions look for Self-Care Moments
At the beginning of your day, check your schedule for where you can add in moments of self-care. They don’t need to be big blocks of time, a few minutes can work perfectly.
But, you’ve got to actually put it in your diary or it won’t happen…you know that!
On the Tenth day of Self-Care Christmas:
Nobody is an island, call in the support of your friends.
You can’t go it alone in life especially if you’re in crisis or major transition, or you need to do the work to release the year that’s passed.
Reach out to friends if you are in need.
Good self care is not just about massages and enough sleep. It’s also knowing when you need to take it one step further and talk to someone.
On the Eleventh day of Self-Care Christmas:
Don’t say “Maybe” when you want to say “NO”.
Today make space for yourself. It’s OK to be alone, to retreat to nurture and renew yourself. It’s ok to miss a party, or a meeting, or even a family get-together.
Honouring your needs means setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. Which means saying “No” to what is not serving you, so you can say yes to more of what does.
Setting and holding the line of your boundaries is absolutely essential in developing healthy relationships with the people around you. Plus, it gives you space to breathe. A boundary isn’t a wall but an invisible line that defines your personal space on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. It gives you room to breathe and not be affected by what’s happening around you.
Boundaries are an essential part of Conscious Self-Care. They are healthy, normal and necessary. Developing and maintaining your boundaries means a happier and healthier you.
On the Twelfth day of Self-Care Christmas:
This year is almost done. Before you set intentions for the New Year make time to review and release the year that’s passed.
How will you look back and assess this year? What word will you choose to describe it?
How can you recognise the lessons it held? How will you honour those lessons it taught?
Create a ritual to honour this year and ground the lessons. This End Of Year Release Ritual will guide you.
Now you’re ready to consciously welcome new intentions and choices that truly reflect your values.
We can’t be authentic when we use ‘self-love’ as an excuse for losing ourselves in junk food or Netflix binges.
Stillness, enough sleep, firm boundaries, acknowledging our needs, and forgiveness, are just as important as eating healthy and exercising. True Conscious Self-Care happens when we live in awareness. Only when we stand in our own personal power can we truly nurture, nourish, and love ourselves and others
Like To Work With Me?
Would you love to develop deep Self-Care practices to keep you grounded and energised, and your heart singing?
Join me on the Indochine Queen Women’s Retreat in Vietnam in March 2019.
Find all the details here
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.