Did you read the title and wonder if it was a mistake? It's not likely that you may actually think of the holidays as a time to honor your own self. Yet, if we don't, it can go south. Fast. This is why it is so important to make the choice to manage our energy, our thoughts and emotions with more mastery. Doing this becomes easy if we commit to small self-honoring choices. We are poised at the perfect time to make the bold decision to front-load our holidays with the decision to self-honor. It may mean the difference between experiencing a joyful anticipation of all the wonder the holidays bring rather than the dread of a sweeping, non-stop rampage of holiday events, parties and what may seem like an insurmountable to-do list.
We truly are at a perfect and pivotal moment to plan for using self-honoring choices before we dive head first into the "holi-craze." Getting ahead of it means making what will become for you, some very grounding, loving and honorable decisions to protect your joy, your energy and your health. So many of us get run down this time of year in the flurry of it all and without even realizing it, end up feeling tapped out. It's usually not until we experience a symptom, like coughing just a time or two too many, feeling a sore throat or the sniffles coming our way that we take notice. But by then, we may already be on the downward spiral of burning the candle at both ends.
There are, thankfully, many little things we can do to keep us at full strength throughout this joyous season. I am a big proponent of baby steps and this is why: it is so much easier to find a minute in a busy day, than to plan some elaborate self-care regimen, even though that might sound amazing. Although a weekly massage would be ideal, I'd venture a guess that most of us don't have that luxury of either time or money, especially at the time when we are likely planning and buying for others. This is exactly why a small self-honoring choice can be so valuable and powerful. As we begin to stack up those little darlings, we actually begin to build a powerful energy saver, and become far less likely to feel like we are scraping the bottom of our energy buckets.
To help you build the momentum of self-honor, here are 8 quick, simple, and powerful self-honoring choices (that cost nothing and can be done anywhere):
1. Sync your breath with your footsteps. Inhale for 3 or 4 steps, exhale for 3 or 4 steps. Feeling really stressed? Try exhaling for even longer, 5 or 6 steps. Slowing down your exhale can help your breath drop into your belly and out of your chest, signaling the body to relax and the mind to slow down. This is a way to put a positive spin on those moments when someone takes that coveted parking spot from right under you nose! Remember, now you get a few more steps in to relax and recharge!
2. If you are at a stop light, come back into your body. By this I mean, feel your feet on the floor, feel the heaviness of your legs and hips on the seat, feel your spine pressing against the seat. Get out of your head, returning to the sensations of the body and real time.
3. If you are talking on the phone, put your hand on your belly, so you can feel, gauge and encourage the breath to settle deeper into the body. A little awareness goes a long way.
4. Turn off the phone when you are in the car. Listen to relaxing music, or intentionally listen to the sound of your own breath.
5. Be willing to check-in multiple times everyday. Ask yourself this question, "How am I feeling right now?" Train yourself to ask that question morning noon and night. It's a great way to gauge how well you are using your energy and what the reserves or deficits might be at any moment in time.
6. Create a self-honoring ritual to transition from one errand or responsibility to another. It might be you speaking aloud, "I'm done with that errand. It feels good to know I have one less thing to do." Or it could simply be taking a few rounds of slow, deep, intentionally clearing breaths as you transition.
7. Praise yourself. Tell yourself that you are doing a great job. If you have a mirror handy, even better. Honor your self with a few kudos so that you aren't stuck waiting or expecting someone else to notice or appreciate you or all you've done.
8. Stay focused on the positive. This one is my favorite. Let's face it...it is a rare holiday season when every single thing goes perfectly. Yet, when we think about holidays gone by, we may not even remember what the challenges were that seemed so important in the moment. What is the most self-honoring? To embrace the perfectly imperfect nature of all that the holidays bring. Focus on the joy. The laughter. The fun. There is always a positive or even comical side to any situation if we are willing to see it.
I hope you choose self-honor this year so you too can experience the wonder that the holidays can truly bring. May yours be holi-joy full!
Always for You,