I'm getting ready to head to California for the holidays in a couple days.
And I'm SO excited. I love California and 75 degree weather (yes, please!) but I also love the chance to hang with family, slow down and be reminded of traditions.
My mom always puts out this kinda scary Joker Christmas doll that we love to tease her about.
And my dad without fail brings out a trash bag the SECOND we start opening up presents. He likes things neat and tidy.
And my brothers gets me a vanilla scented candle every single year.
It's the funny, familiar things that can make you pause, laugh and appreciate the people in your life.
But sometimes, the holidays can bring up a lot of different emotions. You might feel sad at certain points or nervous or stressed.
You might be working on balancing family time with self-care time.
You might feel excited one minute and overwhelmed the next.
And I've been there. I feel like the holidays can bring up a 1,001 different emotions all at once.
That's perhaps what makes them so beautiful - all of our human emotions come up to be seen. There’s just more going on.
My #1 Tip: Practice a TON of self-care around the holidays.
I find that when I don't, I can become a stressed out mess and I wind up not being fully present with the people I love.
It's a tough lesson at times for me to remember, but when you take care of yourself, you show up with more love and compassion to give everyone.
It's like Oprah says, "You don't have anything to give, that you don't have. So you have to keep your own self full. That's your job."
Click here to watch her saying it.
So in case you need a gentle reminder, you're worth the time to take care of yourself in whatever way works best for you. There's no right or wrong way to go about it.
But when you show up for yourself, you show up with more LOVE to give.
Here are some of my favorite ways you can take care of yourself during the holidays:
Baths (yesss, with epsom salts, please)
Alone Time if you need it (simple - a walk around your neighborhood)
Lay on your floor - spread out and pretend you're making Snow Angels on your carpet.
Netflix comedy specials
Meditation - Headspace is awesome
Call or text a friend
This breathing exercise - breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale out for eight seconds.
Watch this video of golden retriever puppies
Journal - check in with yourself
Place one hand on your heart and breathe (simple, but so good)
Remember - When you take care of yourself, you show up with more love for everyone else.
I wish you the best over the rest of the holiday season, however you're celebrating.
You're worth the time. You're worth the self-care.
From my heart to yours,
Devon McLeod, LCSW
ps Here's some delightfully relaxing piano music to listen to if you need a moment of calm right away. <3 <3 <3