Friday, November 24, 2017


Maybelline says, "This road trip is making me tired.  I'll just steal Becca's pillow."

’d love to hear from you?

Is self-care difficult for you?
Do you do anything special this time of year to help you cope?

I’m too busy; I don’t want to inconvenience anybody; There just aren’t enough hours in the day; My family will hate me; I don't want to be selfish; Others need me more; My boss expects more of me this time of year.

Have you said those words or others regarding practicing self-care?  The list of reasons not to take care of ourselves this holiday season could go on ad infinitum.

While last week we discussed what the basics of self care are, with this holiday season coming up on us, self-care may not seem as much a priority against the plethora of activities surrounding the holidays.

Trying to recover in good times is difficult; add in family, shopping, food , and the overall chaos that ensues and you have all the elements brewing for a possible emotional breakdown.  And you can’t steel yourself against  or talk yourself out of a breakdown.  The only way to avoid an emotional collapse is to make self-care a non-negotiable prerequisite to the eventual stress.  

Twitter user Mana @fallingstar_x tweeted recently, (used with her permission)

  • “I'm doing the best I can. Well, we are. Just have to get through the holidays. I can fall apart in January, not before, please not before. I'm struggling so much.”  

In response to a couple of my questions asking why she HAD to hold it together, she tweeted,

  • “Because my family has enough to worry about and we're quite busy until after Christmas. I don't want to ruin anything, don't want them to hate me.”

Privately, she wrote to me (also used with her permission):

  • During Christmas I always freak out and relapse. Nothing seems to help during that time and I'm really busy finding something I can do when I get overwhelmed, without offending my family . . . “

I would offer that Mana’s response is not uncommon.  

However, I wonder if families would really hate another member if they needed some downtime. I also wonder what we might discover if we stepped back from that thinking and really assessed how our loved ones would react to our taking care of ourselves. What if we asked them?

As for me, when I’m with my family and it gets to be too much, I say eff it and go do my own thing.  If I want to be at my optimum, I have to take care of myself, do things for myself, regardless if it inconveniences them or they disapprove.  That’s just the way it is.

Think of animals.  Of course my dog Maybelline comes to mind.  When I rescued Maybelline from the animal shelter, she was neglected, sad, peeking out from downcast eyes, listless, and with no spunk or enjoyment of life.  Now that I’ve been taking care of her, such as taking her for walks, feeding her, rubbing her belly, and playing with her, she is thriving and returns the love in kind with kisses and snuggles.  

The same is true of you.  If you take care of yourself  and practice self-care, you will put yourself in a better position to be balanced, happy, and engaging for yourself and for those close to you.

It is true, however, that our family, friends, and employers may not understand the concept of self-care.  My thoughts are that their approval is not predicated on whether I take care of myself.  Self-care is not selfish or inconsiderate.  It's for preservation. I am reminded of the quote below:

I laugh, but it’s true.  Self-care not only benefits me, but it improves my relationships with others. I can’t imagine how I would handle the world right now if I didn’t have some “me time.”

So when it comes to your sanity this holiday season, think of the benefits below.  Self care:

  • Prevents burnout
  • Makes you more energetic because you feel better
  • Boosts confidence
  • Maintains a healthy relationship with self and others
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps you refocus

Aristotle said we are what we repeatedly do. So if we repeatedly neglect ourselves, we burn out and will probably not be much use to anyone. However, if we repeatedly take care of ourselves, we will be in a position to contribute to the season, to our family and friends, and especially our sanity.

Next week in another addition of Friday Feelings, we’ll explore what to do if we feel we don’t deserve self care.

I’d love to hear from you?

Is self-care difficult for you?
Do you do anything special this time of year to help you cope?

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