This is the time of year for giving thanks, celebrating, giving gifts and preparing for dinners and parties, all packed into a short period of time.
Many are stressed by their schedule and by trying to please family and friends, while seeking perfection.
When friends ask me for help with their stress, I ask this question; ‘If I asked you to write a list of the people you love, how long would it take for you to write your name?”
I usually receive a blank stare. It is not something they have been asked before and prompts a discussion that they struggle with. The thought that their priority should be on loving themselves first before they spend too much time doing for others just does not register.
For many, tradition and expectations create a kind of “holiday fog” of deadlines, activities, obligations and stress. This whirlwind of activity eventually leads to exhaustion and wondering, “Why do we do this?”
Prior to embarking on a commitment, take a moment and ask yourself, “Is this consistent with really loving myself?” “Is the situation I am suggesting for myself something I would require of someone I love?”
This season, consider your choices for food, beverages, activities, activities and traditions, and ask, “Will this nourish my body, mind or spirit?”
Some loving choices for nourishing your body, mind and spirit might be, for example, exercising, meditating, taking a warm bath, eating healthier food and smaller meals, limiting alcohol intake, and getting plenty of sleep.
To uncover a hidden form of nourishment ask yourself: “What about receiving? Is this easy for you?”
Most people have not considered that by becoming comfortable receiving, expressing appreciation, responding graciously to help or gifts, you strengthen your connection to others.
Accepting what others give you is a form of loving yourself because it reinforces that you are worthy of receiving love from others. It is all part of your “love bank”. Connecting with the love inside you by loving yourself first will build love to give to others.
So, when you are faced with seeking perfection, hectic schedules, overeating or drinking, or adhering to traditions that are tiresome, take a moment and, instead, choose nourishment.
You will be a better host/hostess or guest and maybe find a new way of being. Wouldn’t that be lovely!