November and December, for many, are trigger months. Having to be with family for Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays can bring up old hurts, reopen wounds, and sometimes confirm how we don’t belong where we took root.
The need for self-care takes on fresh significance in the season of shopping and planning and baking. If you don’t pause or make time for the practices that ground you, overwhelm can very quickly hijack your life.
As much as you want to take care of your brood, take care of you first.
Here are six simple practices that take little time and will keep you centered as you navigate the twelfth and final month of 2022.
Move slowly. Fast is better is a myth that we’ve been indoctrinated into by a capitalist system. Moving slowly with awareness and intention helps you get more done because it helps you create more energy and efficiency. Slowing down is a mindfulness practice that keeps you in the moment.
Pause to notice. When you feel like you can’t handle one more demand, take yourself out on a ten-minute walk to breathe and center. Notice the wintry white in your world. A flash of color in the white landscape. The color of the sky. Your boots crunching. Just being present to the moment helps you drop out of that mental whirl and into your body.
Listen deeply. To the silence. To yourself. To your favorite Christmas songs. When you listen to yourself you hear your body speak to you. I need a nap, it might say. Or We could really use some alone time. Or Movement feels like such a good idea. When we’re out of sync with our body’s needs we’re swept up in everyone else’s needs.
Create space. Life can get very crowded as you’re making lists, buying and wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, planning the menu…Be sure to carve out pockets of time to do what anchors you in peace whether that’s reading a few pages of a book, curling up in front of the fire with your pets, or giving yourself the luxury of a sleep-in.
Do less, Be more. We’re so conditioned to believe that the more we get done, the more value we have. The holidays become a time of frenzy. Many have secretly shared with me that they “dread” the holidays and long to return to the normalcy of regular life. If this is you, maybe you need to opt out of the people-pleasing and give yourself permission to do less. Do YOU. What feels like a spacious celebration? How can you let go of traditions that no longer feel meaningful and make way for new traditions that are your own? At the end of the day, the gift of your presence is the most valuable gift you give to others.
B-R-E-A-T-H-E and C-E-N-T-E-R. The more calm you are, the more of you there is to go around.
Lots of love,