What is radical self-care, and how do you begin to practice it every day?
Natural disasters, elections, and social upheaval… Oh no! On top of everyday stresses, you’re bombarded with scary news regularly.
It’s hard sometimes to stay grounded and positive in the face of all that. But, if you want to stay rational and calm through the holidays, you need to ramp up your self-care practices big time.
Self-care is anything but selfish. It’s all about tending to your often neglected needs on every level — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Here are 5 ways to practice radical self-care as you prepare for the holidays:
1. Commit to get outside in the middle of the day.
Sitting on Mother Earth is the quintessential grounding experience!
Even just a walk around the block or your backyard will get your juices flowing and clear your mind.
2. Keep a bottle of water on your desk.
You’ll digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients better and detoxify the liver and kidneys at the same time.
Some nutritionists say that 80 percent of the population is dehydrated. So, drink up!
3. Carve out some periods of no phone quiet time.
Just take five slow, deep breaths.
If nothing else, you’ll be re-oxygenating and re-activating your brain cells, so you’ll be ready to tackle the next project, challenge, or phone call.
4. Create your own little sacred work nook.
This is especially important if you are working from home.
Revitalize your space using innovative design concepts, non-toxic materials, natural fibers, full-spectrum lighting, Feng Shui, and air- and water-purification technologies.
5. Read Steven Covey’s business classic
It’s calledThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Pay particular attention to his last principle — sharpening the saw — which Covey describes as “exercising all four dimensions of our nature [physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual] regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways.”
In his model, this habit surrounds all the others because it’s the one that makes all the other ones possible.
What makes self-care radical is the fact that so few of us do it.
We’ve been taught to take care of everyone else first.
It’s a destructive little socialization that many — especially women — seem to have done a particularly good job of internalizing.
Unchecked, this tendency results in a full-blown case of codependent behavior in some or all of your relationships.
What can we do to restore a healthy mind, body, heart, spirit, and balance as we prepare for the hectic holiday season?
Create sacred space.
You can begin by creating a little sacred space for yourself.
Sit down in a cozy chair, sipping a cup of tea or hot chocolate, listening to your favorite music, and maybe lighting a candle.
Pull out the beautiful journal you bought to ruminate about and record all the nurturing things you can do for yourself. (One of my clients calls it her “luscious notebook.”)
Make a list, either in separate categories or free form, of all the ways you love to nurture your body, stimulate your mind, soothe your heart, and nourish your soul.
Think simply — a daily walk, reading poetry, or flossing. Think big — a trip to the spa, cleaning your closets, or taking a course.
Go a little crazy and get creative. Put a muzzle on all the little gremlins in your head saying, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly…” or, “I don’t have time for that!”
And if you get stuck, you can find plenty of tips and articles online.
The idea is to create a vision of radical self-care in all areas.
When you need a break, and your brain is too fogged to function, you can pull out your list and grab onto one as a lifeline.
The next step is to look at how you can engage in radical self-care amid your busy workday so you’ll be upbeat and ready to deal with whatever the holidays will look like this year.
You can start by modifying your self-care list to focus on habits you can incorporate into your work.
You may not be able to change the seeming intensity of the world right now.
Maybe with a renewed commitment to your self-care, you can bring peace to your little corner of the universe and anticipate the holidays with joy and optimism!
Deborah Roth is a Life and Career Transition Coach and Interfaith Minister who founded Spirited Living™ to help guide spirited women and men through life’s big changes with joy and ease.
This article was originally published at Spirited Living. Reprinted with permission from the author.