Self-care won’t always feel good

As the holiday season begins to appear on the horizon, the pace of life can pick up and many people get caught in a conundrum between being able to see the ‘finish line’ and also wondering how on earth they’re going to fit it all in. If you feel this, I invite you to pause and consider the possibility that things could be different as you close out this year.

When we talk about self-care, many people think about taking long baths, getting a massage, or spending time in nature, and those things are lovely and delicious, and can cultivate great feelings inside us, but self-care doesn’t always have to look like this.

Sometimes self-care is uncomfortable, sometimes it’s:

… Speaking up when you are worried about what others might think of you.

… Accepting that people may feel you’ve let them down by turning down an important social invitation because you need to rest.

… Having a tricky conversation with someone you care about.

… Making the effort to prepare nutritious food for yourself, even though you’d rather sit on the couch.

… Prioritising some of your income towards quality products and organic food, that serves your health, even when they cost more than cheaper alternatives.

… Getting up from your desk, even when you don’t have the time.

… Acknowledging that sometimes people just need to wait a little while for a response from you—be that a text, a call or an email.

These actions of self-care can all be just as nourishing as a long bath, if not more so.

As the holiday horizon approaches, you might like to reflect on how you can bring in more actions of self-care into your day. Here are some reflective questions to consider and you may like to journal your answers:

Do you really need to ‘fit it all in’ and what would really happen if you didn’t?

What are two small things you could do each day, that take less than five minutes, as a way of looking after you?

How could you approach the holiday season differently this year, from a place of self-care?

Remember that self-care doesn’t have to be something you save up for a special occasion or undertake only once you’re feeling totally depleted. As we move towards the end of the year, I hope that you’re able to acknowledge your small acts of self-care and finish the year with immense kindness towards yourself.