Recovering from knee replacement surgery is going far better than I would have anticipated. I have better than expected mobility, more independence, and a lot less pain than I was anticipating. This is the upside of the situation. The downside is my energy is limited and sitting at the computer is not an easy task. Rather than push myself to write, I am reposting Five Tips for Thriving in the Season of Gratitude, a blog I wrote last December. It is full of good reminders about self-care, which I hope you can apply to this holiday season.
Five Tips for Thriving in the Season of Gratitude
“Be grateful, not only for others, but for yourself” – Unknown
We are deep in the swirl of the holiday season. The traffic has thickened, the energy intensified, the focus shifted to all that needs to happen between now and New Year’s. Even if you aren’t a holiday focused person it is difficult to disconnect from everyone else’s stress, determination and all round busyness.
I find this to be a curious time of year; by nature, the winter season is internal and culturally the holiday season is external. How do we live in both worlds with grace and ease? What does it take to balance the two? Many of us are hooked into the “external-ness” of the season and all of our energy is focused outward, towards others. We forget to breathe and rest and take care of ourselves because all of our efforts are geared towards those who are “on our list”, coming to dinner, needing our help.
A main element of the holiday season is our wanting to share thanks and gratitude. We focus on the gratitude we feel and want to follow through with doing, giving, and sharing. Feeling gratitude for ourselves is in the back seat if it is present at all. The age old question is “Why is it so much easier to express gratitude towards others than to appreciate ourselves?”
Here are my five tips for finding a self-loving way through this holiday season:
1. What are you grateful for? Have you written the list? Writing down the things you are grateful for will bring into focus all the good things in your life and this can be a powerful reminder of all that you have.
2. Find some grace for yourself –commit to at least once a day when you sit with your journal, love up your cat or dog, read a chapter in a good book, make yourself a nice meal, engage in a candid conversation that has depth and meaning.
3. Simplify your holiday obligations. You know who is important and what events warm your heart. Stay the path of prioritizing and don’t get caught up in the frenzy of trying to show up everywhere and gift everyone.
4. Refrain from all that you “should” be doing. The holidays can pull on our guilt strings; we want to be seen as a good and generous person and often feel onus because we “should” be doing more. Rely on knowing your efforts are good enough and pat yourself on the back for all you have done!
5. Respect nature and go with her flow! If you live where there are apparent seasons, when possible, let the weather guide your movements. When it is cold, dark, stormy or rainy, stay inside in front of the fire or curled up with a blanket rather than fighting the traffic and crowds.