Monday, December 14, 2015

The Gift of Self Care This Christmas

Often times in life, we put our wants needs and desires behind those of our families, friends, bosses and neighbors. Most of us do this act of self sacrifice because we want to be the best version of ourselves for our loved ones, and Christmas is prime time to think about others. We have been told to be unselfish. We have been taught to give everything to our families. We have been told that the way to show that we care is by caring for those around us before caring for ourselves, and if we do this, we will feel fulfilled. But, I say down with self sacrifice this holiday season! Putting ourselves last over and over again actually works in the opposite way we think it's going to. This behavior only depletes us and creates resentment when we neglect our own needs. Make this Christmas a time of balance. As we are focused on gifts, activities, cooking, decorating and baking, let's reduce stress and engage in daily acts of self love. 
As a fairly new mom, I have diligently cared for my baby every single day for nearly 2 years. I have skipped meals, showers and social functions to tend to the needs and whims of my son. More days than I care to admit, I've been a walking zombie. I forget to do important chores, I've felt stressed, tired and maxed out most days. I've really neglected myself in pursuit of being a great mom. But here's the funny part; I was a better mom on days when I placed myself at the top of my to do list. On those very rare occasions when I had a massage or allowed myself a relaxing long shower, I had more quality time and energy to give to my family. You see, we cannot pour from an empty cup. We must take care of ourselves first, and fill up our own cup if we want to show up fully for others. Right here and now I give you full permission to take care of yourself; have a relaxing cup of tea, give yourself a neck massage or call up a good friend. Put the demands of work, responsibility and holiday expectations aside for 5 minutes and be good to yourself..... Guilt free! These small acts of self care will leave you feeling more like giving to your loved ones. Fill your own cup first, and your cup will overflow with love and giving to others this holiday season. Merry Christmas!

Jennifer Szabo
Transformational Wellness Coach
Zumba Fitness & Yoga instructor

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