The next two weeks have the tendency to get very busy and stressful in many households. We seemed to have veered so far away from the original meaning of holiday periods: family, reflection, and gratitude. The focus is now often on excess, presents and hosting the perfect celebration meal for extended family and friends, complete with table settings, perfectly paired wines and elaborate desserts with molten centres!
It’s no wonder this season can leave you feeling run down and exhausted.
Starting from today, your goal is to take 20 minutes a day for yourself. That’s it! sounds easy enough but it will require real effort on your part to stick to it.
Set an alarm or schedule a meeting with yourself – whatever it takes to set aside 20 minutes a day, with no other distractions
I know this is especially hard in households with young children, when you can barely pee alone without a small person walking/crawling into join you! But just do your best.
In fact, it’s a great lesson for our children to learn. Self care is important. Perhaps seeing you take time for yourself and the benefits that follow, may encourage them to adopt this practice in their lives.
Studies show just 20 minutes a day, away from work or other obligations, increases concentration, energy and creativity. Plus there is the added value of lowered stress levels, making it the perfect step for this time of year.
Not sure what to do for 20 minutes?
- start a journal for doodles, ideas, brain dumps (literally writing down everything your busy brain is thinking about)
- Stretch- this video from Adriene is just lovely
- Nap! Even a 20 minute snappy-nap has huge benefits according to research
- Take a quick walk – just around the block or to the end of the road and back to breathe in some fresh air
- Just sit. No phone, no computer, no book. Focus on the feeling in each part of body from your toes to your head. Once you’re at the top try to clear your mind (as best you can!) Allow your thoughts to enter and leave again with no judgement. If you feel yourself getting attached onto one thought and your mind starts drifting, or you are making lists or plans (Sound familiar?!) then just gently pull away from that thought and get back to the place of just observing.
- Breathe. In for 4 counts, hold for 2, and out for 4 counts. It is is not a normal breathing pattern so will require some thought. It is deeply healing on a cellular level and feels amazing. Try it!
You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain with the activities in this step. It may feel weird and very indulgent to take this time for yourself when there is so much going on and SO many things to do, but your body and mind will thank you for it.
If you know someone who you think could benefit from some self care and support in their health and well-being, be a friend and invite them to join you for each step.
Take good care of yourself, friend.
Wishing you the most wonderful week.
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