OK. If you're a dedicated people pleaser then these tips are likely not for you, however, if you have the understanding that your self preservation means you have more energy and presence to give to yourself and others then read on...
Why is the holiday season so energetically draining? It may be the extra foods, lack of sleep and worries over spending (see Surviving the Holidays Part 1) but perhaps its something closer to your soul. Putting yourself "out there" whether entertaining or visiting takes a lot of mental and physical energy...AND...when you are out there in the midst of family, friends or shopping at the mall, already feeling drained, you can be a magnet for the negativity, fear or anger energy that others are emitting. So what can you do to take care of you?
You'll need about 10 minutes, so brew a cup of tea or coffee, find a quiet space, take out a pen and pencil and let's get to this. I'll admit that some of these suggestions are not going to be easy for some of you the first few times you put them into place but see if you can give 1 or 2 a try.
First, take out a calendar or print one for the month of December.
Next, on a separate piece of paper, write down the absolute have-to-dos on the calendar (include how much time you'll need as well). Keep this to the definites and not the maybes, such as, have to show up for work because the bills need to be paid or must take time to make dinner for the kids, otherwise they turn into hungry monsters...those kinds of things. Then fill them in on your calendar in pencil.
On another piece of paper draw a line down the centre. The left column will be labelled "Shoulds" and the right colum labelled "Needs".
The needs column is the first one to fill out and that should include everything you like to do for yourself that makes your soul sing. It can be as easy and simple as taking a bubble bath, walking in the rain, taking time with good friends, getting lost somewhere for a day with your phone turned off, going for a massage or pedicure (or both), shopping, making delicious and nutritious meals, spending time with your kids...make it as complete as possible.
Then, without scrimping, fill in how much time you need to do each of these things to make your soul sing. For instance: you could take a 15 minutes bath to soak your muscles and get going again. (Personally my soul singing time slot is an hour and that bubble bath will include music, a good book, a cup of tea or glass of wine and candle light.) Don't scrimp on your needs, remember this is just on paper.
OK, Here's the first hard part!
Take 10 needs and put them on your calendar, in ink! Then put them into your phone or whatever reminder system you use. These are dates with yourself that you will not break.
If this is too hard then try 5 to start.
These are often the "shoulds". You know those things that you really think you should do but when you think about them your energy just drains away? Those little (or big) jobs that need doing, the relative you should visit, the gift for someone ... Think about them and fill them in on the right column labelled "Shoulds".
Time to get a little reflective now... on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being a total energy drain that makes you feel bad and 10 being a soul singing experience that lifts you up and makes you feel great. Take some time to be harshly honest with yourself...no one is going to know. It really doesn't matter what people will think or say about your energy draining shoulds so be straight forward with you.
If there is any room left on your calendar fill in time for those shoulds that you rated between 7 and 10 for how they make you feel when you do them.
And now the hard part....DON'T fill in the rest, throw the list away now. So how many of you said to yourself "I couldn't do that, what would others think, say, etc?"
In this busy month when self care is your priority, how could you not?
If you're still not convinced here are some links to study, listen to or read that may help you.
Increasing Self Worth - a Guided Meditation
How to Stop People Pleasing
How to Improve Your Self-Esteem: 12 Powerful Tips
Wishing you a Happy and Fun filled Holiday Season!