self love

Here we go. It’s December. The trees are increasingly bare, the chill is in the air, and we are entering that altered state, “the holidays.” Folks are running ragged, trying to keep up with basic responsibilities, economic realities, family issues, and additional demands of the season.

Taking care of yourself and ensuring you are good is not selfish; it’s self-love. Although the holiday experience can be daunting to many, there are positive initiatives you can engage in to support your mental health during the holidays.

Try these tools to maintain self-love during the holidays.

Gift yourself time. Time is precious, especially as we age. Taking time out for yourself can be challenging if you’re used to putting everyone else first. Kick the madness to the curb and make it your business to set aside a block of time each day to rebalance, revitalize, and reset.

When scheduling time for yourself, think of it as a business meeting. Make the appointment with yourself, prioritize it, and DO NOT cancel! It’s also not meant to be time alone to catch up on the chores on your to-do list. It’s also not supposed to be time spent with your partner, family, or friends.

Allow yourself a moment in time alone to process your thoughts and feelings. In these moments of solitude, you can also start understanding what type of self-care you need. You can experiment with different things you want to try and see what works best for you.

Gift yourself rest. The holidays can be incredibly taxing on the body. We are moving at a hectic pace, and often, resting becomes an afterthought. Take care not to overcommit to gatherings and ‘To-Do’ tasks. If your obligations seem endless, learn to say “NO” to trim things down. Get comfortable saying “No” as a complete sentence! And don’t hesitate to ask others to share your load.

Pace yourself and take mini-rest breaks throughout the day to not overwhelm your body. Take a few moments to put your feet up, and take a nap, if need be, to recharge before your next task.

Gift yourself wellness. The gift of wellness is something that keeps on giving year-round. Been putting off medical tests you need, like a colonoscopy or eye exam? Make those appointments to have them done. Want to eat healthier? Invest in a food subscription like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. Have you been dragging your feet about exercising? Join a gym or fitness class. Health is wealth.

Gift yourself passion. If you want to invite passion back into your life, get cracking! There are plenty of sex books on the market to help get your engine going again. Never toyed with the idea of introducing sex toys into your love-making repertoire? Amazon offers a treasure trove of sex toys from A to Z. If going the old-school route of spicy videos is more your speed, then have at it. Seasoned folks ain’t nothing wrong with adding something new to kick things up a notch in the bedroom.

Gift yourself inspiration. You need to feed your soul as much or more than you need to feed your belly! Inspiration is fuel for the soul that helps generate new ideas that make us excited to get out of bed in the morning. Read uplifting books or blogs. Watch a TED talk or listen to a podcast from someone who beat the odds. Associate with positive folks whose ideas and beliefs can help guide you to greater heights.

Gift yourself truth. Being over age 50 means tossing out the game playing. Love yourself enough to no longer accept the BS from those folks in your life whom you need to discard anyway! Speak your truth even when your voice shakes, and you will feel freer than ever before because you have banished negativity from your life.

Gift yourself forgiveness. The impact of unforgiveness can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. It also makes us feel angry, cold, bitter, and resentful. When we don’t forgive, we decide to hold onto the offense. We focus on our pain and choose to relive the moment that offended us whenever the offender comes nearby. Forgiveness is not easy, but we can rebound and move on quickly from life’s even most difficult situations when we wield forgiveness.