December 11th, 2016
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Giving is fun.

Whether it’s something you meticulously made with your own hands or something you spent a long time searching for, giving to others is a wonderful feeling.

I sometimes feel that giving a present to someone is more exciting than receiving.

Watching the other person’s reaction while they are opening your gift is part of the fun and contributes to that good feeling of giving and letting them know they are special.

During this holiday season, which can easily turn frantic as we get closer to the time of celebration, I think it is also important to give ourselves a present.  I’m not particularly thinking of a material present, even though those are ALWAYS nice.

I have something else in mind.  The gift of giving yourself a personal time out.

The gift of giving yourself a break from whatever you trying do whether it is shopping, cooking, crafting or just working in general.

For those of you who find yourselves trying to manage the holidays without a deceased loved one or being a caregiver to a loved one who is critically ill, you deserve and need to set aside some time to emotionally regroup.

Some time to feed your soul.  Be willing to think about yourself.  Not in a self-centered way, but in a way that you decide to set aside time to care for your inner spirit which may feel a bit battered these days.

Taking care of someone you love and grieving for that person is more work than you may realize.  You are absorbing the other person’s anxieties as well as your own and then trying to do for the other as they would if they were physically able.  Figuring out how to live your life without a treasured loved one is extremely difficult.

I believe that the holidays also accentuate other kinds of personal crises such as losing your job divorce, or being separated from a child.  Holiday music and decorations make us yearn for lives that are problem free but the reality is that we all have problems of one sort or another that we are trying to find solutions to.

A break of any sort is a healthy thing to do.

Trust the voice inside you.

I bet you have been thinking that you are starting to feel some emotional or physical fatigue.  I don’t think it’s helpful to wait and see how much you can handle and then take a break.  Small incremental breaks can go a long way to giving you some relief.

Find some time to disconnect.  Let yourself find the path that works best for you.

Here are some suggestions of things I do when I need to reboot myself:

— Take a quick walk and purposely take deep breaths.

— Read some mindless magazines.  Flip through the pictures and let your mind unplug.

— Pray to a higher being.

— Write about your feelings.  It doesn’t have to be in a journal.  Just put your thoughts on paper.

— Turn off all electronic devices. Close your eyes and sit in quiet.

— Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee.  Just the act of making tea is calming.

While you are running around and trying to accomplish all that is on your list of things to do, remember yourself.

My wish for you this holiday season is that you, my dear resilient friends, recognize the importance of caring for yourself.

Take the time to support your beautiful self.

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