As the holidays approach, the change of pace presents us with the opportunity of a bit of time and space. Considering the unprecedented nature of the changes that we experienced in 2020, using the holidays as an opportunity for self-care may be more important now than ever. Here are a few suggestions for using this time to take care of your most valuable resource – you!
Set Your Intention
Using the holidays as a time of rest and rejuvenation starts with the intention to do so. If your mind works anything like mine, as soon as it sees a bit of empty space in the calendar it automatically begins churning out a list of things to do. Soon that empty space is just as full as every other time of the year and I’m left wondering what happened to the holiday. Leverage the power of intention to create the holiday as a time for self-care. Do this by declaring it to yourself (in writing via a journal entry or note to yourself is even more powerful) and by sharing your plan with those around you to create buy-in.
Get Over Feeling Guilty
For those of us who are type-A over-achievers, it can be difficult to take some much-needed downtime when we’re being goaded by that little voice in the back of our head. “But think of all the productive things we could be doing,” it says! Remind that voice that the research shows otherwise. Balance is one of the main productivity principles suggested in the Forbes article “Finding Your Productivity Rhythm.” The article refers to the work of Tony Schwartz, author of Be Excellent at Anything, who suggests we approach our professional lives like world-class sprinters. First, work intensely with focus, concentration, and discipline. Second, take purposeful breaks to renew, restore, and self-manage.
Do a Digital Fast
The explosion of working from home during COVID has meant more screen time than ever in 2020. A digital fast is a way to intentionally unplug from your devices for any amount of time you choose. Whether you view digital technologies from the perspective of an addiction problem or a connection enhancer, taking a short break could be of benefit. Abstaining from your screens for a few hours or a few days allows you to decompress and clear your head without the extra pull on your attention and mind space.
I’m not talking about stuffing your face full of holiday treats, though a few here and there may be appropriate for the season. I’m talking about engaging in rejuvenating activities that feed your whole self. A few suggestions include restorative exercise, outside time, attending to your emotional wellbeing, and practicing gratitude. If you historically have trouble affording yourself the TLC you deserve, remember the Inverse Golden Rule: treat yourself as you would like others to treat you!
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