Happy Holidays, Self-Care, and Play!

Happy Holidays!

It’s time for the last-minute holiday hustle and bustle.

Are you like me, who for so many years rushed around making last-minute preparations for the holidays?

We want the tree, the lights, and the decorations adorning the house to look perfect. We make lists and check them twice.

We buy gifts and then those gifts need wrapping. Meals need preparation and Christmas goodies need to be baked for visiting family or for when we visit them.

Many travel distances to see family, so add the packing, making sure we don’t forget any of the gifts, to the process. Living in Iowa we worry about winter storms and icy roads.

As a woman, mother, and doctor I find that my focus is on nurturing others, making sure everyone’s needs and desires are being met. The need to nurture is ramped-up during the holidays when we are entertaining others and desire to make the holiday wonderful for all.

Often when we make our lists, we forget ourselves.

What gifts are you preparing for yourself?

Nurturers need to nurture themselves when they are busy rushing about. When we don’t slow down and care for ourselves, we get wrapped up in the busy and wear ourselves out. I know because I have done it. More than once!

The gifts we give to ourselves don’t have to cost much money. It means carving out a few moments to put yourself first.

How about just a half-hour:

  • Reading a good book
  • Taking a bubble bath with candles, essential oils, and a cup of Epsom salts.
  • Getting outside to take a walk.
  • Meditating

Here are some strategies I use:

Get or give as many hugs as you can. Hugs stimulate oxytocin, a hormone that counteracts cortisol, the stress hormone.

Massage, Sound Healing, Reiki, Shamanic Sessions, and Healing Touch are great procedures to release tensions and stress. If you haven’t had a chiropractic adjustment for a while, that will relax frayed nerves!

I like to watch my favorite Christmas films. They get me in the mood of the season ad they make me laugh. I have more Christmas movies then there are days in December! I like the classics; It’s a Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, and A Christmas Carole in multiple versions. I laugh to Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I also own some old obscure films like Shop around the Corner, with Jimmy Stewart, the film that inspired You Got Mail, and Christmas Wish, with Jimmy Durante.

There are also tons of new movie releases during the holidays. Go on a date, take a friend, or go with the family.

I try also to get to at least one live holiday concert each year. I love the lights, the color and the sounds. Music relieves stress, lifts mood, and reduces anxiety.

We, as adults, tend not to play enough. Laugh for no good reason, get silly, nurture and play with your inner child. Dance like no one is watching!

What are some ways that will increase laughter and joy during the season, to be more playful? Playfulness and being childlike is a great way to prevent dementia!

Plan to spend some time with young children who laugh so easily. Play games, color, tell jokes, and giggle.

What are the gifts of self-care we can to give ourselves this season?

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