The Christmas race is on to be the best mom, parent, friend, colleague, hostess, sister, daughter and boss. We are told we can win this race by buying the best presents, hosting the biggest parties, making the most creative house decorations, cooking the most extravagant food and going to every social event. The media screams suggestions from the sidelines and our internal voices keep reminding us we have to do better.
In this magical world there is no room for illness, sadness, grief, loss, anxiety or depression. As if all this frenetic planning and activity can somehow banish the human condition. In my clinical work I see moms running as fast as they can to create the perfect Christmas, struggling to win an unwinnable race and wondering why they feel sad, angry, resentful and burnt out.
This Christmas you can choose to give yourself the gift of self-care and self- compassion. You can drop out of the race and find some clarity and contentment for yourself amidst the chaos. You can say no, ask for help, seek out a friend, sit in the sun, go for a walk, give yourself a hug, make a quiet cup of tea, meditate, light a candle for someone you have lost or when in doubt just breathe out.
When I suggest to moms to take ten minutes out every day for themselves they look at me like I have lost my mind. The concept of putting themselves first especially at this time of year seems inconceivable.
Like children, sometimes we want to have a tantrum when we are irritable, lonely, sad, disappointed and exhausted. Ask yourself how you would you soothe your distressed child and then do it for yourself.
The best gift to those you love is to care for yourself. Give yourself the gift of self- compassion and self care this Christmas. Consider setting aside 10 minutes a day for yourself. Never forget that your friends are in the same struggle and by talking about your challenges you are helping them get out of the race.
Guest Contributor: Gail Rice – www.intofocuscommunication.com.au/
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