Who do you love? (And how to love yourself a little better)

Oh, what fun it is to ride... yourself into the ground.

I’ve always put everyone and everything before myself. When I host holidays I sit down last, often disheveled and wearing a treasure map of everything I just cooked. Sometimes I even forget to take off my apron.

I go nuts planning holiday gifts, too. I comb Etsy and local shops for something unique-while-affordable for each of the 16 family members and dear friends on my list. This year I’m also making infused honey and homegrown herbal tea blends to give because why not, right?

Log rolling should be an Olympic sport

Then there’s work. While some clients fall blessedly silent in anticipation of new budgets in January, others are blessedly in a sudden rush to finish projects before the end of the year.

By early December I’m feeling like a log roller training for the Lumberjack World Championships. (Log rolling, by the way, is under review to become a Winter Olympics event. It’s going to happen and when it does, you’ll see why this is a great analogy.)

It’s kind of like the white-knuckle ride we’re all taking to the year’s finish line, except there’s no Olympic event for generalized multi-tasking. There should be, but life is unfair in many ways and that’s one of them.

Like real Olympic athletes, though, we’ve got to save some juice for the finish line. New Year’s will come and go before we know it, leaving us parked at the doorstep of everything 2019 has in store. Easier said than done, I know, but I have a few ideas. Voila, my first-ever listicle!

Five ways to connect with your breath this season

  1. Quit doing everything. Do you make 10 kinds of cookies? Try four instead and see if anyone cares. If they do, offer them all 10 recipes. Put up only your most special decorations. Say no to party invites if you don’t actually WANT to go. Work with your clients to move work into January.
  2. Play hooky. If your water heater exploded or your child needed to see the doctor you would skip work. But why save your off-time for bummer-only occasions? Self-care is a vital part of a person’s well-being, whether you acknowledge it or not. You don’t need a whole day. Take yourself out to a nice lunch or a matinee. Take a bath. Or a nap. It’s all within your reach.
  3. Take the long way home. When you’re running after-work errands, detour to the park and watch people ice skate for 10 minutes. Take a drive through a neighborhood with great holiday lights or stop into your favorite coffee shop for a seasonal beverage. While you’re there, buy some gift cards. Everybody loves coffee shops, so boom! Stocking stuffers achieved.
  4. Enjoy every celebration. I know I just suggested not going to parties you don’t want to attend, but you can’t always escape. If you find yourself in the middle of a white elephant gift exchange, just smile. We observe group rituals for a reason, so don’t be crabby. You’re there, so have another cookie and laugh at that atrocious Pegasus unicorn wall clock no one wants.
  5. Do something nice for your body. We never take enough time to honor the temples that always carry us we want to go, then do all the work once we arrive. And that’s kind of weird, because your body is the only thing you both enter and leave the world with. Kiss yourself - duck out for a pedicure or hot shave, maybe find a health club where you can have a swim and sauna.

We think we don’t have time to stop and revel in small pleasures: we’re wrong. The world isn’t going to burn down if we buy ourselves a movie ticket: no single one of us is that important. Give thanks for that, and don’t forget to breathe.

 

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