12 Days of Self-Care Challenge

Posted December 8, 2015 in self-care, holidays, healthy living, stress, being present, stress relief

While there are so many things that make this time of year wonderful - holiday parties, twinkling lights, wrapping gifts, baking goodies - the holidays can also be a bit stressful.

Our calendars are full of shopping dates, holiday events and so much more. 

I'm definitely feeling a bit stressed this year as I'm already working on big projects for the new year. I know you'll all have big goals for 2016, and I'm working on some exciting things in my health coaching business! 

But that stress can make it challenging to enjoy all the little things that happen during the holidays. This is one of my biggest struggles…being present. I'm a list maker, a dreamer, a goal setter and a doer, so I'm constantly thinking about what's to come. However, I know I'm sometimes missing out on the now.

I had a bit of a wake up call over Thanksgiving weekend. I really took a break from work. No blogging, no health coaching, no business planning, nothing. My niece and I had a sleepover, and in the morning we were snuggling on the couch. I was sipping coffee and running my fingers through her hair. She was clutching her blanket and watching a movie. She'd occasionally look up at me and smile. For the first time in a long while, I felt relaxed, at peace and totally happy. I didn't feel like I should be doing something else.

I know work is important, and if you're lucky, your work brings you joy. But moments like this one with my niece can often be overshadowed by our desire to get stuff done. 

So this holiday season, I want you join me in slowing down, focusing on the now and truly enjoying all the little moments that make the holidays great.

Join me in 12 Days of Self-Care! I challenge you to do something for yourself each day that brings you happiness, joy, peace, fulfillment, and allows you to be present. 

This time of year is all about giving, and I want you to give yourself the gift of care. Do something every day that is just for you. It can be anything! It can be the same thing each day, or it can be something different each day. It can be something that takes five minutes, or it can be something that takes an hour. 

What is self-care? Practicing self-care means that you are actively enhancing the quality of your health and your life. When you are caring for yourself, you are doing things that make you feel refreshed, replenish your motivation for work, family, fitness, social life, etc. and help you grow as a person. It's basically doing whatever YOU want.

Why is it important? Self-care nourishes your mind, body and spirit. When you don't take care of yourself, you're not able to serve others fully. One of my favorite quotes…"Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." - Eleanor Brown

How do you practice self-care? You must listen to your body. Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and anxious? Maybe you need to spend some in nature, or take a long walk or have coffee with a friend. Are you exhausted from a busy week? Maybe instead of going out with friends on a Friday night, you need a night of Netflix and red wine on the couch. Do what you need to do to rejuvenate yourself.

Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate self-care into your daily routine…

- Indulge in a weekday at-home spa treatment. Get up 10 minutes earlier. Light some candles and put on a facial mask before you get in the shower, and use a body exfoliator. Or create a spa atmosphere in the evening, and take a bath.

- Go to bed 30 minutes early and read a book.

- Meet a friend you haven't seen in awhile for coffee.

- Meditate

- Take a yoga class or do at-home yoga 

- Meet a friend for a walk or a workout

- Book a massage, facial or pedicure

- Create a peaceful nighttime routine. Drink hot tea, read a book and shut down electronics.

- Watch your favorite movie or TV show. 

- Make time to reconnect with your partner. Go to your favorite restaurant, go to a movie, make dinner together or go look at Christmas lights together.

- Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things you are grateful for each day.

- Give yourself a compliment each day.

- Do something on your to do list that has been there forever. 

- Change your routine. Change the order in which you get ready in the morning. Take a new route to work. Do something different when you get home from work. Change is good!

- Unplug for an hour. No computer, mobile devices or TV!

- Unfollow the negative people in your social media news feeds.

- Spend a few minutes taking deep breaths.

- Create a healthy meal plan for the week, pick up groceries and prepare a few meals ahead of time.

- Wear an outfit that makes you feel amazing.

- Take a nap.

- Journal.

- Splurge a little on yourself and buy yourself something.

- Plan your next vacation. 

Now that you have plenty of ideas on how to take care of yourself this holiday season, join me for 12 Days of Self-Care beginning on Saturday, Dec. 12! 

How will you practice self-care? Share in the comments below!

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