The art of holiday self-care. (i.e. Grinch prevention plan)

I’m writing this as a snow storm is loving on Denver and I am SO freaking excited. I love snuggling up on the couch, watching Hallmark Christmas movies, sipping hot holiday chai tea, and feeling like I’m in a snow globe. Add-in some time to bust out my wanna-be Martha Stewart DIY gift skills and girrrl, I am one happy camper.

Last year I took off almost the entire month of December (incredible, right?) and totally indulged those desires of mine. But this year… well, the grand opening of KDO Studio is next week (eeeeek!) + prepping for a whole lineup of LIVE class awesomeness AND online program awesomeness for 2014 (calendar coming soon!) + holiday travel to see and celebrate with the people I love.

I truly get really excited about all of this and still feel like I have to pinch myself at this beautiful life we get to create (mega dose of gratitude).

Buuuut if I’m being honest…there was also a little bit of nervousness creeping in the week before Thanksgiving.

And the worries, “shoulds” and questions rushed in…

  • Am I going to be able to enjoy the holidays this year like I did last year?
  • Are you going to be so busy that you burn your adrenals out again? Get sick again?
  • Will it be a blur or will I be present enough to really create incredible memories?
  • Will I seriously be able to pull together cute holiday outfits? I need to go shopping. I need to paint my nails.
  • Should I (do I even have time to?) send out holiday cards this year? I mean we don’t even have a kid, let alone a dog, to put in a photo…that’s what people want.
  • Will I be so busy and stressed out I start stuffing my face for energy and calmness (does that even make sense?)? Hmmm…if it’s Whole Foods prepared section does that really make it better? Ugh, that will cost a pretty penny.
  • Yikes, Katie. You can’t stuff your face and eat crap food…you’ll get puffy and your face will break out – you have to see tons of people in person (no more hiding behind a computer screen).
  • How many parties and get-togethers can I say no to? Will people be pissed-off?

Then the Truth Bomb came.

As we were traveling this past week for Thanksgiving, I was hanging out with my mom taking her to get her hair done, which isn’t an easy feat. It takes 3 ½ hours, an hour+ of brushing through tangled hair, multiple bathroom breaks, moving her from her wheel chair to the stylist chair 14 times, and reassuring her that we will still keep her hair big and long (this is where I get my Texas-hair spirit from – woop woop!).

In this process, I could feel the “shoulds”, “need-tos”, and “have-tos” coming on.

I felt like I didn’t have enough time. I wanted to rush her. I didn’t want to listen to her. I wanted to be mad at her that she was taking up my time…I should be getting work done or I should be on vacation and relaxing. I wanted to blame her for me not feeling “right” and worrying.

{Boom, the warning sign… and guilt.}

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I could lose my patience. I could eat to numb/calm/feel “better”. I could distract with my phone. I could surrender to all those worries that popped up before the holidays and be unhappy (i.e. a Grinch) OR I could choose another path.

I paid attention to the warning sign (ditched the guilt) and got curious…what am I missing? What do I need in order to not respond that way but be present, enjoy the moment, and celebrate life?

The answer: Self-care and me-time.

I had been busy with work, traveling, attempting to attend all family events, giving full attention to my friendships and relationship… and my self-care and “me time” started to be put on the back burner.

The antidote: SHIFT my mindset & UP my self-care.

  1. Instead of saying and believing that I “have to” do something (which used to be my language up until that moment with my mom), I had the light bulb moment that every single thing I do is a choice, often times a blessing and privilege, and all things I “get to” do. Have to vs. Get to can be a total Grinch game changer in and of itself.
  2. I had a choice – am I going to choose to prioritize self-care this holiday season or will I succumb to all those worries? To choose me before everything else (which sounds selfish, but it’s actually the complete opposite). Taking care of yourself can be the biggest gift you can give to others – your love, you awareness, your joy. If we don’t… we’ll ease into our own versions of Grinch mode, which serves NO one.

This isn’t adding to my to-do list. Or your to-do list.

It’s taking 5-10 minutes to honor our “me-list” SO that we can be the best wife, daughter, sister, friend, mom, pet lover, business owner, etc. that we can be all year round… not just starting January 1st.

I invite you to create your holiday self-care plan for the next several weeks so that you too can truly live, love, & celebrate life fully.

For the month of December I’ll be sharing tips, tools, and recipe upgrades to aid in your self-care AND most importantly your joy and fully living during the holiday season.

This week I’m sharing a 5-minute exercise to create your {simple} holiday self-care action plan comprised of just a few key pillars. It’s not about doing everything perfect; it’s about prioritizing a few key things SO you can truly live & love. {tweet this}

5 Steps to Create Your Holiday Self-Care Action Plan:

  1. Take a piece of paper and with a pen divide it into four quadrants.
  2. In each of the four quadrants, list a feeling you want to feel during the holidays. Examples: relaxed, present, strong, supported, connected, loved, nourished, rested, playful, limber, feminine, etc.
  3. Then in each box, identify 2-3 things you can do that make you feel that way. Examples: relaxed = reading a book for 15 minutes before bed; present = going for a walk with no distractions; strong = yoga class; nourished = eating green veggies 2x/day.
  4. At the beginning of each week (set a reminder on your calendar), put 1 activity from each quadrant into your calendar (it can be 5 minutes or 60 minutes) and what you need in order for it to actually happen.
  5. This is your holiday self-care plan. Put it in a place you will see it frequently. Reminders are key.

BONUS: Identify your warning signs. For me, blaming others, doubting myself, snapping at Eli my husband, reaching for something sweet to eat after every meal, and dragging out of bed in the morning.

I want to challenge you to care about you NOW. Life doesn’t happen in a month. Life is happening right now and we “get to” make it the most gorgeous life we want – right now. Right here.

In the comments below, share the pillars of your self-care action plan and learn from other women so that this holiday can be different.

Let this be the most ALIVE Holiday season yet!

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4 thoughts on “The art of holiday self-care. (i.e. Grinch prevention plan)

  1. Thank you for this timely and affirming post, Katie! I love action plans and go-getter approaches to self-care.

    My four words were Rested, Refreshed, Grateful, and Beautiful (that one surprised me!)

    Under Rested, one of the the actions I wrote was “turning off all technology at 9PM”
    For Refreshed, one action was “eating a healthy, delicious breakfast”
    For Grateful, one action was “sending a note of gratitude to someone”
    For Beautiful, one action was “wearing an outfit that makes me feel gorgeous” (regardless of its practicality!)

    Can’t wait to see what others share! And thank you again Katie for such an honest, brave post.

    • Emily I love these… especially the “beautiful” one. Changing our outfit can change the entire way we experience our day. And, when I read these – I actually get feelings of cozy, holiday happiness and balance… and I didn’t even write them. :) Thanks for helping me to feel that way!

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