This time of year often leads to busy schedules filled with holiday parties, shopping, baking, decorating, family get-togethers, children’s plays, and more. All of these things make great memories, and are important to have in our lives, but at the same time, they pull us at us and might leave us feeling like we’re going non-stop and sometimes being pulled in a million different directions. This may cause stress levels to rise and possibly start to affect the decisions we make. These same decisions can often affect our weight loss or maintenance efforts.
During this busy season it’s important to find time for self-nurturing. What is self-nurturing? Self-nurturing fosters both the physical and psychological health. It is taking care of ourselves in a loving, respectful, prudent way. It is taking time for you, nourishing your needs and wants. When we take time to nurture and care for our self, it’s easier to be happy and have an upbeat mindset. Challenging tasks become manageable. Let’s take a moment to step back and take inventory with a few questions:
- Where is your time being spent? Where would you like it to be?
- What is most important to you at this time in your life?
- Are there areas that need your attention – health, relationship, work, financial concerns?
- Is there a dream or desire that keeps getting put on the back burner?
- What needs less attention? What needs more?
Time being one of the biggest factors consider the following ways to make more time for self-nurturing activities:
- Let phone calls go to voicemail
- Consolidate errands
- Let the housework go
- Turn off the TV
- Ask for help
Now that you’ve made more time for self -urturing activities, make a list of what you love to do. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Get moving! Get reconnected with nature and take a walk outside. Find a local trail to check out. Put on some fun music and dance around the living room. Try hoola-hooping! Activity doesn’t happen only in a gym.
- Relax! Go somewhere comfortable and just sit back for 15 minutes. Maybe bring a book or magazine with you. Or, rest your eyes and take a nap!
- Get a massage. Massages are great for relieving stress, reducing anxiety and depression. Massages can also improve sleep, boost immunity, and soothe aches and pains.
- Reconnect with a dear friend or family member.
- Practice being present and in the moment. Observe your surroundings, your breath, and how you are feeling. Allow yourself just “to be”.
- Do a craft or something creative. Working on creative projects or crafts helps improve our creativity in other areas of our lives as well. Not feeling inspired, simply pick up a coloring book and crayons.
- Watch a funny movie. We should all have at least one movie in our arsenal that we can go to for a good laugh. Laughing can decrease blood pressure and lower stress levels.
If you find yourself feeling stressed this holiday season, instead of reaching for comfort foods or over indulging, try practicing one or more of these self-nurturing techniques.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-nurturing?