This time of year can be a bear for self-care. There are so many things to derail us. Gatherings. Sugar everywhere. Winter weather. Family. Tight finances. Parties. Commitments. Expectations. Oh, those expectations.
But we know what to do, right? It’s simple. Just follow all the advice on Facebook and Instagram. You know, those images with the words on them?
Exercise. Breathe. Do yoga. Meditate. Organize your life. Read self help books. Nurture your spirit. Be present. Avoid sugar. Stretch. Don’t drink tap water. Don’t drink too much. Avoid toxic people. Be honest with yourself. Take breaks. Sleep more. Eat more protein. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Sure, yes. All of those things. But then there’s reality. Here are some thoughts to help you figure out what it is that WILL work for you this holiday season.
Fact 1. It is impossible to do everything.
No matter how awesome you are. No matter how great you are at everything you touch, it is impossible to do everything. Every single one of us needs to prioritize that which is most important. And I mean really important. What are the important things for your health, your relationships, your energy? Who do you want to be, how do you want to show up? This leads us to fact 2.
Fact 2. There is no answer.
It’s easy to follow a program, a book, a dogma, for a week, a month, even a year. But what happens when you slack off of that? You’re back where you started and then some. You drink green juice every day then at some point you miss a day and *BOOM* you’re back to that extra cup of coffee and the only green thing you’re drinking is the old creamer from the back of the fridge. The bottom line is there is no right answer for the long haul. Your values, desires, and needs change. The trick is how to keep an eye on that and how do you determine what is right for you in any given moment?
Fact 3. Everyone has a sweet spot.
Life can get in the way of doing everything we need to do to feel our best. And regardless of this fact, we are responsible for what we choose in any moment. And if it isn’t choosing an action, it’s choosing a response, or an emotion.* In order need to get clear about how we want to feel so we can identify our non-negotiables, the things that need our attention the most. Those with the highest cost-benefit ratio.
I’m going to be diving into all of this in much more detail over then next few months with ideas about how you can drill down to the things that are most important.
In the meantime? Enjoy your holidays. Take care of yourself the best you can. And don’t give yourself a hard time for straying off the path a bit. You can’t fail at self-care, it’s an ever-changing, ever-moving, ever-evolving process. So if you need to, step back, get your eye on where you want to be, and reset. It’s all good.
*there are some brain chemical issues that literally keep us from choosing our emotions, that’s another post