Simple & Soulful Self Care Practices for the Busy Holiday Season

Simple & Soulful Self Care Practices for the Busy Holiday Season
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Do you feel alive and filled with gratitude? Filled up by a sense of celebration, joy and community of the holiday season?

Or do you feel exhausted and heavy with resentment? You've been giving too much of yourself away and it's is wearing you down. And fast.

If I was sitting across from you right now, the first thing I would say is, thank you for being so loving and kind. I know you probably gave some extra gifts for those who didn't expect it.

You were extra kind and gracious to the cashier when you were shopping this week. You gave your time. Your energy. Your kindness to the people you met.

I know you did. Because you care. A lot.

Then I would wander across the room and pour you a delicious cup of sweet tea. We would sit and visit and laugh. Enjoying the quiet of night and the company of kindness and friendship. Celebrating how far you've come this year. And remembering how many wonderful things have happened in the past 12 months.

Because you deserve to be celebrated. Just as you are.

I know that your whole life may seem crazy at the moment. And even though you really enjoy the holidays, it can be hard on your mind, body and spirit. You are endlessly giving... maybe baking special treats, cooking delicious meals and wrapping those "I hope I got the right one" gifts.

You might find yourself ignoring your body's signals for extra rest. Or more nourishing foods. You may even pretend that you don't want anything extra for yourself. That you are happy just as long as everyone else is happy.

But you know what. Your body will eventually remind you that you need to take care of yourself.

Remember last week when I invited you to let go of judging yourself for wanting to eat special treats and surround yourself with the friends and family that you adore?

This week I want to add you that treating yourself doesn't only mean enjoying your favourite desert or staying up late to watch your favourite Christmas movie without guilt. Giving yourself a break doesn't have to mean giving up on self-care and self-love in the name of the holidays.

A lot of the time, treating yourself also means...

► Just saying no to more. Let yourself skip the second or third helping of dinner even when someone else thinks you should eat more. Listen to your body and learn to tune into the feeling you have when you are content, and not overwhelmed with food. It is your right to take care of your body, and if that means less. So be it.

►Filling up a beautiful water bottle with fresh water, bright orange & lemon slices to enjoy all day long and keep your body hydrated and help flush out the extra salt and sugar you are most likely enjoying. Fresh clean water is powerful. So make it fun and drink up!

► Going to bed early when you feel utterly exhausted. Skip the late night chats & facebook sessions when your body has had enough. You know when that is, because you will start feeling cranky and uncomfortable in your body.

►Moving your body. With love and joy. It might be unbelievably cold outside, but go for a walk. You will love it. I promise. Or lay on your bed and do some restorative yoga poses...get out of the shower and stretch (yes. naked)!

+ Instead of telling yourself that you CAN'T have something, try eating as much fresh healthy food and water as possible early in the day. When your body is fully nourished and filled with real food, then you will be less likely to fill up on the not-so-energizing stuff!}

It's almost Christmas day. Today you will be busy. You will be surrounded by life & energy.

Family and Delicious Food.

Laughter and Twinkling lights.

Generosity and Giant Hugs.

But eventually, the lights fade and the extra family will go home. You will be left with yourself.

So for now, I want to invite you to let yourself enjoy the company of the people you love by taking extra special care of your body.

Because when you feel better in your body you can be more PRESENT for your loved ones. You have the patience to sit and listen to them lovingly. You have the energy to do the things with them.

And the most valuable gift you can give to your friends and family, will not fit under the Christmas tree. It is your presence.

So today, tomorrow and for the rest of the week. Treat yourself both inside and out.

Share your most precious gift to those you love. Your love and attention.

Allow them feel surrounded by love when you are near them. And start with yourself.