By Vonnie Drudy, Volunteer Extraordinaire
Halloween costumes put away? Check!
First snow fall? Check!
Holiday music on the radio? Check!
Yes, it’s that time again – the season for giving: giving gifts, giving parties, giving to others in the most loving of ways…but have you forgotten someone on your list? Are you giving to yourself?
I know you are probably not the first person on your list (and you may even be the last at times) but remember what those perky flight attendants always advise us to do? That’s right, put on our oxygen mask first! Before the baby, before the significant other, and before Grandma (yes, even Grandma). This is sage advice so why should we limit it to air travel? Think of it this way – if you don’t take care of yourself first, how can you take care of anyone else?
Here are some ways to give a gift to yourself everyday:
- Nourish: Your body needs good foods and drinks to refuel
- Rest: Your body needs to rest and recover from each day
- Connect: Let nature and spirituality refresh you from the inside out
- Move: Get the blood flowing in any way which feels good to you
- Relax: Nix the electronics for a while in favor of reading, meditating, and breathing
- Reach out: We all need daily conversation, laughter and support
Practicing these forms of extreme self-care is not selfish, in fact it’s quite the opposite…it’s a necessity. When you are rested and joyful and at peace, you can afford to share your gifts with others.
When a friend calls for an impromptu play-date, you will be nourished and rested and ready to go. If the neighbor needs you to watch their dog (or even the twins!), you will be relaxed and focused and able to take pleasure in the gift of time you are giving to others. Too often we let ourselves get run-down and lending a hand becomes an unwelcomed burden and we may even resent it.
So, here is my gift to you: I’m giving you permission to give back to yourself. Take a warm bubble bath, stream your favorite music and lock the door! Buy a new pair of yoga pants at whatever size you are now, and wear them while you stretch and move and breathe. Make a healthy smoothie, get a massage, buy a new lip gloss, get your hair trimmed, take a nap, bake a cake, clean out that junk drawer you fall asleep fretting about (or maybe that’s just me)? Either way, give to yourself that which gives you the most joy and bliss and peace…think of it as your invisible oxygen mask.