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At the holiday season more than any other, I often find myself overwhelmed and exhausted. Here in New York, the month of December can often feel like one long slog of holiday parties, work events, school functions and traffic.
And like just about any other working woman, the thing I sacrifice the most at this time of year is myself.
It’s of critical importance, however, that we engage in self-care at this time of year, because as my friend Elena Lipson often reminds me, if we don’t show up for ourselves, it’s really, really hard to be at our best for everyone else.
That’s why this week, I’m offering you some FREE resources on how to engage in self-care this holiday season.
I had a major realization last week when I was investigating some stuff related to adrenal fatigue and the parasympathetic nervous system (you know me, some light reading– LOL).
I realized that it had been a long, long time since I had consciously engaged with JOY.
Don’t get me wrong, I have snippets of joy in my life every day– like when I go in to get my always-giggling son out of his crib in the morning, or when my daughter sings Let It Go at the top of her lungs with her own invented lyrics.
(Kids are joy-factories, par excellence.)
What I realized I was missing, though, was joy that I was cultivating for myself.
The kind of joy that allows me to take pleasure in work and in life, because I know that I am creating exactly what I want in both arenas.
The kind of joy that allows me to rise in the morning and go to bed at night in a state of calm, smiling appreciation for the journey that is my life.
I’ve been missing out on that state for quite some time now– like maybe a couple of years. And my health and my well-being have suffered for it.
And with good reason.
In recent weeks, a theme has emerged among a number of folks in my practice and in my life: the theme of how we sacrifice ourselves for others.
Among my friends, clients, and colleagues, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time lately unpacking what we’re willing to do to meet the needs of others to the detriment of meeting our own– and the price we pay for doing so.
We’ve all had this experience to some degree. Maybe we fall head over heels for the high of early love, and neglect ourselves and all other relationships completely in the process. Or maybe we set out to care for our parents, our children, and our partners, and in the process fail to care for ourselves.
The place where I’m seeing it the most, however, is in women who are primary breadwinners for their families, who are uniformly making extraordinary sacrifices to meet the needs of others at work and at home.
And the consequences for this can be pretty dire. Your health, your relationships, your well-being and your mental stability can all be compromised when you put your own needs last.
So this week I’m offering a reminder that you may need: