How Many Times Did You Check Your List?
‘Tis the season of giving. You’re making a list and checking it twice.
Well, please check it again because I’m pretty sure you forgot a very important thing: YOU.
This season (and its gift-giving tradition) only tends to magnify what most of us do all year round: Run around doing too many things, feeling like we never have enough time, doing for everyone else, and prioritizing ourselves last much of the time.
Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First
There’s a reason why they give that instruction on airplanes. Can you see how filling your cup first really makes the most sense? You have more mindful presence, energy, and love to offer others when your own cup runneth over.
What’s the point of creating the “perfect” holiday or giving someone that “perfect” gift if it has your pressured and stressed out energy attached to it? You will enjoy the giving so much more if your energy is positive and relaxed. You will be more present with each present.
How to Give to Yourself First
Last night the gift to myself was a yoga class. Tomorrow I am gifting myself with a new pair of shoes from my favorite shoe store. More important than the shoes themselves is the gift of planning time into my schedule to actually do it.
Giving yourself the less tangible gifts can often be the most meaningful. Last night I was getting wrapped up in upset about a decision a family member was making . . . so I gave myself the gift of letting go of wanting things to be other than the way they are. Today I gave myself the gift of peace by accepting that my schedule for the day was not playing out the way I hoped or planned due to unforeseen circumstances.
Start with the Gift of Permission
Why is giving ourselves permission so hard? We get so used to putting other things and other people first, and we rarely put ourselves at the top of our own “to-do list.”
Maybe you even feel guilty putting your needs and desires first. After all, they say it’s better to give than to receive, right? Yes and No. Yes, giving can be pleasurable and satisfying thing. But what if all the givers would only give but not receive?
It is an act of loving yourself to allow yourself to receive. Give yourself permission to give to yourself. You will find yourself more relaxed, healthier, happier and ready to take on your never-ending to-do list with renewed positive energy, and with less resentment.
The Gift of Not Doing
Not Doing can also be an important gift to yourself: Not making that extra batch of Christmas cookies, not attending every single holiday party, not staying up late on Facebook, not having that third glass of wine, not rushing out of the house at the last minute frantic about being late, not going to the 6th store to see if they have a better “whatever” than the first 5 stores . . .
The Not Doing can be the most important thing to give yourself permission for. But often times, the most important thing can also be the hardest. Don’t sell out on yourself. What you want and what you need matter. You matter.
Make Your Own Wish List
You have many opportunities each day to offer yourself simple yet beautiful and meaningful gifts.[pullquote]Ask yourself:
• What could I give myself right now?
• What’s the gift I want to offer myself today?
• This week?
• This holiday season?[/pullquote]
You have a giving heart. You do a lot and give a lot to others. Can you extend that heart to yourself? Can you give yourself permission to extend kindness and generosity to yourself, knowing you are important and deserving?
Can you love yourself more this holiday season (and always!) by putting yourself at the top of your gift list?