I looked at my calendar yesterday and realised just how close we are to the end of the year. Where did that come from? How did that happen so fast? Christmas again, already?! This time last year I was going through the usual end of year wind down, you know, feeling like you’re holding on for dear life just trying to make it to the holidays. You’re attending Christmas parties and feel like you’ve got a million things going on and very little time to do them all.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little bit burnt out and tired. Initially, part of me felt guilty for thinking I could be burnt out and tired, I told myself I didn’t deserve to feel tired because I love what I do. The ‘old’ me would have allowed that little put down to slip on by, but the ‘new’ me wasn’t having a bar of it. There aren’t criteria you have to fulfil to ‘deserve’ feeling tired or run down. It’s as simple as this: if you do, you do! There’s no justification needed. Feeling tired doesn’t just come from doing things you don’t enjoy, it also comes from hard work and I’m sure most of you are feeling tired for that very reason, without realising it!
Christmas is such a busy time, everyone wants to catch up and there’s so much you need to plan and organise. On top of that, you’re probably still carrying around the stress, tension and memories of everything that happened during the last 11 months. Whether we realise it or not, those things all have a way of latching onto us, so it’s no wonder we feel so run down by this time of year.
With that in mind, it seems to me this is the perfect time to start treating ourselves with a little extra Christmas love and cheer. Quite often we can be so busy making sure everyone around is having a great Christmas and feel special, we forget to look after ourselves. So, how can you take extra special care of yourself this Christmas and New Year season? What can you possibly do to spoil yourself and treat yourself with a little extra love? I thought I’d share with you what I’m doing and hope it inspires some self-love within you too.
It’s best to start with the little things because they’re always the ones that make the biggest impact. If you’re feeling tired and want to spend the morning in bed, let yourself sleep in and don’t be in a rush to get up. Grab a book or newspaper, your breakfast or a cup of coffee and get back into bed. Turn your phone off, snuggle back into the blankets and bliss out!
Use those beautiful beauty products you’ve been saving for something special, wear that special outfit you’ve been waiting to wear or buy yourself flowers, a gift or treat yourself to something yummy like your favourite chocolate, wine or ice cream.
Prioritise yourself and be honest. If you don’t want to attend a Christmas event or catch up with someone, then don’t. Just politely tell the organiser/person that you’re feeling run-down and tired with the end of the year and you’ll see them in a few weeks time. Trust me, they’ll understand because they probably feel the same way. Then, do whatever it is you really feel like doing. Spend time outdoors, read a book, watch movies in your pyjamas, have a TV-series marathon, meditate and/or just spend time doing what you love with those you love.
You can also carry this theme through into protecting your precious energy. Don’t get baited into the usual Christmas-time family arguments or disagreements with stressed out co-workers or angry neighbours. If a situation like that arises just smile and remember you don’t need their dirty, mean vibes cramping your holiday-style. Be gone, Grinchy!
Slow down and just breathe. The world isn’t relying on you to make Christmas perfect and you shouldn’t be in a rush to do everything for everyone. You’re really important too, you know! In fact, you’re the MOST important person in your life because, without you, your world doesn’t even exist. So let yourself slow down a little bit, don’t feel pressured to get everything done or do other people’s bidding. If you’re a little bit late for something, that’s okay. If something doesn’t happen, that’s okay too.
Take a moment to reflect on everything that’s happened this year, I’m sure there have been a lot of BIG and small things that have happened in your life. From here, there are a few things I like to do.
- Firstly, I like to acknowledge all the negative things that challenged me, pushed me and helped me grow. Some of them brought me to tears, some made me feel incredibly sad or stressed and other made me so angry I thought I might explode. They were all important, though, every single one of them. Don’t relive them, punish yourself over them or allow them back into your mind. Instead, I like to write all the things I’m ‘letting go of’ on scraps of paper, put them in a pot and burn them. Somehow this physical act, seeing them turn to ash in front of my eyes, gives me permission to let go of them emotionally and mentally.
- Secondly, and this is the hard one, think of all the wonderful things YOU achieved this year. There will be a lot more of them than you realise and it can be hard to talk about how great you are because we’re usually told it’s not nice to brag. But this isn’t bragging, this is recognising all the good things you did this year and I’m sure there are a lot of them that went unnoticed so it’s up to you to celebrate them. Think of each of them and let those happy thoughts fill you up! You deserve it!
This process will help you get rid of all the crap you’ve been holding onto and accumulating over the last year and open you up for all the happiness, love and other good stuff you want and deserve to feel and experience.
- Thirdly, now you have space for it, take a moment to think about what you want for the coming year. There’s no need to write a list of ridiculous ‘New Year resolutions’ or anything like that, your intentions for 2015 can be small, simple acts or even just a feeling. For example, you might think about 2015 and imagine yourself feeling really happy, smiling more and laughing a lot or you might imagine yourself feeling less stressed.
The last thing I like to do is start spreading the love! For me, that means writing this post for you to read and hoping it inspires you to slow down, spoil yourself and practice some self-love. I also like to spread the love by smiling at people on the street more than usual, signing off my emails with extra cheer, saying hello to people and being kinder and more friendly to shop assistants and hospitality workers. Small acts like these will share your good vibes with everyone you come into contact with, it’ll energise them and you in the process and you’ll all be happier for it! After all, happiness breeds happiness.
I just want to take a moment to say a really big thank you to every single person who has visited Little Grey Box and taken the time to read what I’ve written, look at my photographs, watch my videos and comment, like or share on them. I’ve had the best year and I’m so happy I’ve been able to take what I love and what makes me happy and turn it into something I can share with other people, like you!
Whatever you do or wherever you find yourself this holiday season, treat yourself and those around you with love and kindness. Do what makes you happy, follow your heart and enjoy yourself, because you most definitely deserve it.
Watch: Our video ‘Road to Phnom Penh’
Little Grey Box is a travel blog, but every Wednesday I write a personal post to share whatever has been on my mind or whatever awkward, weird situation I’ve gotten myself into. It’s also a way for me to share who I am with you and, hopefully, make you smile and feel less weird if you think about things the same way I do!
If you liked this post, check out my other weekly posts here in Phoebe’s Column and come back next Wednesday to read my next personal post.