By Amy Latta
When it comes to a balanced life, self-care is an item that often falls off the scale as we try to shift focus from work to family and back again. And in December? Oh boy. The holidays, the parties, the decorations, the presents! The stress, the food, the stuff, the shopping! On a list already packed to the brim, taking time to take care of you may seem like a laughable prospect. But life is too short not to enjoy every bit of it, so if you want to savor this season instead of just muddle through, here are my tips to take care of you so that you can take care of everything and everyone else!
You owe it to yourself and your family to at least cover the basics. Make sleep a priority, at least seven hours a night. (Yes, even with the holiday parties and movie marathons.) Make sure workouts are on your calendar by blocking off least 30 minutes a day. Establish a minimum for each day - even five minutes of intentional body movement is better than nothing at all. The combination of good sleep and good body movement will keep your stress levels down, plus you’ll sleep soundly knowing you at least met your minimum workout for the day, even if that was just walking the dog. When it comes to fueling yourself, create a list of go-to meals you can count on so that you do not find yourself in the drive-thru on a busy evening. I repeat: do not end up in the drive-thru! Stay hydrated, and try to start your day with 16 ounces of water - even better than that coffee kick!
Self-care is no place for an all or nothing mentality, so the goal is not perfection. Every bit counts.
Taking Care of You, Next Level
Find some sanctuary. In your bedroom: clear the clutter, remove the distractions, and create a place of calm this month, not chaos. In your mind: aim for 10 minutes of mediation or devotional time in the morning or evening or both. Quieting our brains provides incredible clarity!
With family: set boundaries. Family can often impede on our search for calm, so set and communicate boundaries with them. For example, you could let everyone know that #BESTSELF through December you will be unavailable every morning until 8:15 a.m., after your water and quiet time. You also can decide to pick up random items around the house and put them in the garage during the holidays because the house needs to stay company-ready. Boundaries are about what you will do if someone else does not honor your space, but understand that no one has to do what you want them to do. The key is learning not to tie your happiness to the actions of others.
Overall, sanctuary can be found in pausing, cherishing, and noticing. Do not overlook the simple act of slowing down when everything starts to feel ramped up. Walk a little slower. Think before you speak. Resist the urge to rush anything or anywhere. Tune into the good in your life.
Don’t Forget Fun
When is the last time you did something you enjoy, just for the heck of it? Take a spa day, even if it is just in your own bathroom. Watch your favorite holiday movie. Take in some Christmas lights or holiday festival. Get outside in nature, which can rejuvenate your soul, even during the cold months.
Savor down time with mindless activities. Find opportunities for laughter. Embrace your inner Buddy The Elf and smile at everyone you see. View the season through the eyes of a child and embrace the joy of this time of year.
Plan It In
Lastly, like Kelsey wrote about last month, it’s essential to plug everything into your calendar so you can physically see it all come together on the page. Often, we only put our workout in our calendar, if that, and we forget time to read, journal, nap or meditate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, use a journal to get your anxieties out of your head and on paper. When journaling or scheduling, always keep your priorities in mind. Many times stress comes from the fact that our biggest priorities are being neglected, so schedule your top three priorities for the month in first, family time, self-care time, and let the rest go. Being intentional with our time is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our families!
This article originally appeared in the December Issue of our monthly magazine alongside articles from other great guest contributors and Kelsey, such as How to Truly Have It All, plus behind the scenes details from each December episode. To get the magazine subscribe here, issues are FREE but they expire each month so sign up today and download as soon they're available or you'll miss out! Subscribe
Amy Latta, the businesswoman’s health coach, is a certified life and
weight coach, helping woman business owners and entrepreneurs exhausted
by years of dieting learn how to succeed where they have failed before – by
taking back their time and stopping the self-sabotage. For a full calendar of
daily tips to help you thrive, not just survive, this holiday season, click here.
When she’s not binge watching Netflix, you can find Amy on her yoga mat or
experimenting in the kitchen. When in doubt, bring her guacamole.