Boundaries are a part of Self Care.

They are healthy, normal and

necessary.

Doreen Virtue

 

The Christmas Season.

A time of family and friends. Parties and socializing.  Deadlines for work. Deadlines for gifts. Deadlines for meal-prepping. Getting everything done – in time for THE BIG DAY.

At which point you can put your feet up and get back all of that energy you used up, yes?

For so many this is truly a time of stress. Whether it’s work-related, family-related, socially-related, it can be a hard time where you are “on” all of the time and with very little time for

You.

So – how do you do it all? How do you get through the Christmas Season when you are trying to tread water to keep up with everything?

There are answers, my friend and the secret to stress-success is this:

Being Selfish. Creating Boundaries. Sticking to them.

Not in a negative, “me”-centred way. In a positive, “your well-being” kind of way. Just as she says in the quote above, creating boundaries is literally self-care.

I’ve experienced this and if there is one thing I’d shout from the rooftops to anyone passing by on the road of “being all and doing all” for everyone else….it’s this important step in self care.

So I put together a small list to guide you through this Season – so you can not only start 2019 feeling rested, motivated and inspired….but get this: you can end 2018 that way too!

 

 

Plan. Plan. PLAN.

This is crucial. Yes. Part of me is “that” personality that lives by plans and lists…but there’s something to be said for them. My tips here?

Plan your days over Christmas:

  • Plan your menus (dinners mostly) over this month.
  • Plan your activity – for your health!
  • Plan your downtime
  • Plan your partner / family time
  • Plan your social media time (crucial!).

 

 

Determine what you'll say yes to. What you'll say no to.

This one’s important.

Now you have your plans in place – determine where your boundaries are; what you’ll say yes to and no to.

Take that a step further….follow-through on these. Keep “you” in mind. It’s not selfish; but every time you say yes to something you are giving a little bit (or a lot) of yourself, your time, your energy.

Is it making you happy? Will it keep you energized? Will it take from something else; time, money, health, family, energy, YOU?

Worth looking hard at these to see. This Season more than ever….get selfish with your time sistahhhs.

Practice your "no".

So now you’re on your way to figuring out what you’ll say yes and no to…practice what you preach.

Don’t get me wrong; we live in a world where spontaneity happens (and that’s great! Would be so boring if not!). I’m not in any way saying to live by lists for everything and to not be flexible. Oh gosh no!  Absolutely be flexible and have fun. I’m talking to the side of you that tries to help all and be all and do all over this busy time.  Let spontaneity occur and enjoy life; but for those things you can control….be cognizant you can’t say yes to it all if it’s going to take from you.

The next time someone asks you to do something over the holidays and it really is something you are unable to do; don’t wish to do…and would be doing it more for them? Say no. Just no. A polite no, mind you 🙂 but say no. You’ll see this fabulous thing happens when you do.

Absolutely nothing!  So no really is a full sentence!

 

 

 

 

Carve out at least one night - weeknight - for absolutely nothing.

Oh yes! Time can fly by and all of a sudden it’s the New Year, no? We MUST carve out time for ourselves. Our Sanity. Our Self-care. Our Mental Health. And if we don’t do it; no one else will.

It’s up to you…to make YOU a priority, my friend.

How?  Pick a day, evening, morning, hour, weekend. Whenever it is…. pick it, write it down in your calendar, highlight it (bright pink I say!) and swear by this.

Build around it. Someone asks you to do something then? Say you have an appointment, date night, shaving your legs. Whatever it is….build what you are doing around this. Make YOU important enough to do. I learnt this one finally early 2018 and have been doing it religiously. Not only do you feel recharged, but people respect you for this.

Write a happy list.

Ooooh I love this one!

Now you’ve planned your week(s), you’ve decided (for the most part) what you’ll say yes and no to. You’ve put in your planner time for you.

It’s time to get happy!

Have you ever taken the time to do this?  Create your happy list. Things you’d like to do. Anytime, anywhere, anyhow.  This is for YOU. No one else has to see it. No one is going to comment on it, judge it.  I had a client do this, in the summer.  It was mind-boggling yet at the same time she not only wrote this but it kept extending and even better? She followed-through and DID these. Activities she’d not given herself the opportunity to even think about.

Your list can be anything: drink a coffee/tea in the morning with a blanket on. Go pole dancing, zumba, bollywood! Maybe it’s creating something or doing crosswords.

I dare you to start with 10 and go from there (and remember – you are doing many of them in your down time over the Holidays; that’s the goal at least.).

Cross ONE item at least off your happy list (ie...follow through...)

I’ll add to this one.

Not only are you to cross an item off each day/ week over the Christmas season (remember – this list is NOT to stress you out or add pressure. Quite the opposite. You might find your happy list is reading chapters from a book each day. No, this list is about forcing you to take time for yourself; even if it’s 15 minutes each evening and do things that make you happy, relaxed and recharge you.) at a pace which works for you….

Try to introduce Meditation into your world.

If there is ONE message I have (and there are so many bubbling at the surface for me to share)…it’s incorporate meditation into your life. Start easy; 5 minutes. No pressure. No forcing. Just lying there.  Switch off. Let the thoughts come and go (I liken them to “trailers” in a movie; view them and let ’em move on).

Want help? It’s so easy and SO beneficial that I’d love to. I have apps I can offer AND I can help you learn how.  Just ask! Click HERE for more info. I’m SUPER passionate about helping others start this since it was and has been literally life-saving (or more to the point, mental health-saving) for me. No joke.

If there’s ONE thing you try to start over Xmas this is the sparkly number one for me!…

Carve out 10 minutes every day for activity. Just 10

More carving. I know.

But as much as we don’t want to do this sometimes. As much as we are tired. As much as we feel it won’t hurt.

We need to be active. For our bodies, our health, our mindset, our happiness, our balance, our aging quality…

SO many reasons!  We can’t keep pushing it aside.
Find something you love.

Make sure you get your heart-rate elevated whatever you do.

Find time for strength training – as we age it truly IS imperative.

Over Christmas flip things on their head. Okay. We are pooped. We’ve got a lot going on. But look at it that it’s going to benefit you. If you’re tired it’ll wake you up. If you are feeling sad, stressed, overwhelmed; it’ll get you out of the rut! If you’re feeling unconfident…it’ll help you puff up that inner-strength!  And if you’re a woman aging…which technically we all are….it’ll help you be strong, capable…and live a life full of quality.

 

Switch off technology.

Can we talk? Here’s how I feel about social media. It’s here to stay; rather than trying to push it away, we need to figure out how to have it in our lives in a way that doesn’t affect our mind or spirit.  We know that many are affected negatively by what they see: they can feel “less than” or have imposter syndrome as a result of seeing everyone else’s HUGE successes leaving them feeling failures.

We need to control this and it is very doable. Back to my number one point, it really is about creating a plan.  There are so many “tricks” to the trade from having set hours you don’t allow yourself to be on your phone or electronic device. Having a room (ie kitchen so dinners are device free) that no one uses theirs in.  Putting apps on your phone that punt you out of apps when your time limit is hit (yes! they exist!).

I have small things I do also:

  • I have an app called Moments that tracks the time for me. I make myself stay “in the green” (healthiest option) for device time (totally separate to my working on my laptop for my business).
  • When I go out walking – or am stand-ing in a line up, I am not allowed to look at my phone. This makes you say hello to others, make eye contact, create conversations even. Good for the soul.
  • No devices after dinner.
  • Or…NO devices/ technology at all….for at least an hour before bed.

There are so many things you can do.  And please remember: when you are looking on social media: facebook, instagram etc…you are seeing the BEST of everyone. Please….look at others; their accomplishments and achievements. Their smiles and successes.

But please don’t let any of theirs take away ANYthing from you!

Honestly, the number of hours we look at technology – just decreasing this alone over the Holidays will have you jumping for joy 🙂

De-le-GATE 🙂

Don’t need to say much here but this is huge: don’t do it alone. Don’t take on all the roles, chores, gift-buying and wrapping…doing it all that Xmas morning you are sweating on the couch relieved it was all done in time.

Delegate. What can others do (it’s tough to let go…but let ’em help!)? You cook dinner so they clean it up? They cook dinner so you clean up? Share the duties!

You’ve got this.  Give yourself the best gift this Season: the gift of self love and self care.  Head into 2019 shining bright.

You deserve that.

And lastly; one of THE BIGGEST but smallest pleasures I get in the Xmas Season? Turning on our Xmas lights; Enjoying them. Sitting looking at them (can get old but never does lol) and playing beautiful soothing music.

Whatever does it for you…I highly suggest doing it.  First step to anything – is starting.