Make Self-Care aPriority, Not an Afterthought
Does anyone else feel a low-grade holiday induced anxiety sneaking up on them like a mild cold masquerading as "just allergies"? Or is it just me? I have a feeling I'm not entirely alone.
I started out with good intentions. My kiddo is two this Christmas season which means he's pointing out Christmas decorations as we drive and requesting Jingle Bells & Joy to the World. We put our Christmas tree up the weekend after Halloween, talking about the lights and naming all of the ornaments that adorn it. My partner and I recognize that he's at an age where we can begin our family traditions surrounding the holidays and want to make it special.
I may have gone a little overboard.
Has anyone tried making sugar cookies with a two year old? If you have, I truly hope and pray that you enjoyed it and that it was a wonderful experience full of happiness and connection. Please share your secret with me! If you haven't done it, I personally can't say I recommend it. He was very helpful when it came to making the dough, but when it came to rolling, cutting, and baking...forget it! He just wanted to smash it all like play-dough which makes sense since we usually have open-ended activities.
Between the disappointment over the sugar cookie incident and the underlying busyness and financial strain of the season, compounded with upcoming transitions for my family, I find myself a little more moody, needy, & sensitive. I've been trying to keep it together but I find myself impatient with my partner and mentally/emotionally/physically exhausted at the end of almost everyday lately. Even though I've practiced self-care and personal reflection for years, it still takes awhile for me to recognize when I need some R&R.
A huge part of my self-care routine involves self-awareness. I can't care for myself if I don't know how I'm really doing. Here are a few questions that I ask myself to help spark a bit of self-awareness that can hopefully prompt you too. Feel free to change the wording as you ask yourself in whatever way feels better to you. Different words trigger mine and my partner's reflections so that might also be the case for you. Find a cozy, safe space and use these questions to prompt your heart.
EXAMPLE OF LIES
"I'm such a terrible mom & always will be."
"I am only loved if I am productive and helpful."
"I can't afford to focus on myself because my family's schedule is too packed"
Whatever comes up for you in this space, I wish you grace on yourself and those around you. May it be a healing exercise and not one of shame. You are a unique person with your own story. Your journey will look different than your friend who maybe has a similar situation but turned out "better." You are worthy and you are enough regardless of how much you accomplish or do. I hope that in this holiday season, take some time for yourself, even when it seems too hard to pull away from the activities.