This time of year is bananas. So I'm going to get right to the point: This year, be sure to add yourself to your holiday to-do list.
I know, I know. There are a million important things that need to be done: cookies to bake, grant funding to secure, presents to wrap, adoption events to wrangle, awkward office holiday parties to attend, and on and on.
That's why you have to pencil yourself in there as an actual item on your to-do list. Think of something fun or restful you want to do, then set aside time to make it happen. Not sure what you want to do for yourself? Allow me to help:
The Treat Yo Self Holiday Gift Guide
Those are some things that replenish and sustain me. Maybe you prefer knitting cat sweaters or laying someone out in roller derby. Whatever it is, add it to your holiday to-do list or your schedule and make time to do you before 2014 is done.
- Rent or download a free audio book from the library and listen to it while you travel during the holidays. Make your journey an entertaining one. I just listened to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Soothing southern voices made 10 hours of driving a snap.
- Buy a humidifier/aromatherapy diffuser. Use with lavender oil. Put it near your bed. Sleep well this winter.
- Take an online drawing class with the super talented Lisa Congdon (that's what I got myself for Hanukkah this year). Get your imagination and creativity rolling.
- Grab a book that has nothing to do with work or school and read for pleasure. I just finished Outlander (thanks for the recommendation Nat!). It was light and entertaining which kept my attention, even when I was stressed out.
- Subscribe to a new free podcast and listen to it on the way home from work. It'll help you decompress. On Being is my daily bread, but I'm looking forward to listening to Serial and Welcome to Night Vale soon.
- Ask a friend to join you for a class you've wanted to take, like yoga or painting. Then book it. No backing out.
- Hula hoop. Get on it. I got my hoop at a Farmer's Market, but you can buy one online or DIY one. It makes your back happy and you feel like a kid.
- Do nothing. Treat yo self to some rest.
Still not sold on doing something just for you?
Then it's time to read my latest blog: A Simple Self-Care Primer. Taking care of ourselves (which includes having fun) is not optional. It's what sustains us, so we can continue to do ethical, effective work. I put together this blog to help you get clear on what self-care is and how you can get started. So if nothing else, will you gift yourself 5 minutes to read it?
In other news: The test run of my compassion fatigue online class wraps up next week. I've been very fortunate to take the first flight of my class with a tremendous group of women who have taught me a ton. The work we've done together has been challenging and satisfying, humbling and empowering.
And very soon, I'll be able to offer it to you. I'm thinking it'll make an excellent Valentine's Day gift...to yourself. Stay tuned!
Wishing you and yours happy holidays and a joyful new year. Keep doing good work, be well, and don't forget to laugh!
Sending you a love-filled high five,