What is the key to keeping healthy through the holidays? Self-love! Can you imagine giving yourself the gift of love and taking care of your emotional needs before you give to your family and friends? It's a big challenge, I know. You are worth it. I know what you are saying: prioritizing taking care of "you" is selfish and self-centered, two of the worst characteristics you can imagine. But it's not true.
Yes, you have been taught that, but remember the "oxygen mask first" advice you're given on an airplane? Self-love is the oxygen mask for daily life. You must have love flowing through you, first! Self-love is as individual as our fingerprints. What you need to nourish and rejuvenate yourself is subjective and it changes day to day. Take your time finding what works for you.
Explore if you need time alone, time to relax with your children, playful time in the kitchen, to pull out your paints and play with color, exercise, or take a moment outdoors. Use this holiday season as an adventure in getting to know yourself a little better by experimenting with how you love yourself. Your capacity for fully experiencing life expands as you get to know yourself and learn what makes you feel nourished and energized and ready for each day. Start with this practice and notice what you learn:
- Set a five-minute timer and sit still. There should be no distractions.
- Feel your bottom on the chair, your feet on the floor.
- Now breathe.
- Visualizing breathing in from the bottoms of your feet and let the oxygen fill every cell in your body; notice how that feels. If you are used to going really fast, it probably feels like a mini vacation. It's a moment where you vacate the outer world and return home, to yourself.
- Take a few long, deep, revitalizing breaths.
When the timer sounds, take a moment and notice if there is anything you need to do to follow up on that practice. Did you get a mini vacation and liked it? Schedule a five-minute "me" break each day for the next week. Did you realize you need to cancel a commitment that doesn't fit with your priorities? Did you remember you were going to exercise today and haven't gotten to that on the to-do list? Have fun getting in touch with your inner knowledge and notice how much ease flows through you this holiday season!
Susanne Menge is a Single Mama, Author, Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Body Worker, Speaker and Entrepreneur guiding every person she contacts back to their own inner knowing, supporting them in dropping the distractions of the mind and listening closely to the body and the quiet voice inside. She has a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology, rich journey as a professional athlete and Ironman Triathlete, is a certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer, skilled Body Worker and past Emergency Medical Technician. Susanne has grown from a go harder, faster mentality early in her career to uncover that it is a combination of work and play, discipline and creative space, focus and freedom that lead us to our greatest capacity physically and mentally. Training the body for living well doesn't take a lot of time, but it does take commitment.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or to sell any product.