It’s December. The time of year when women are running around getting holiday gifts, holiday baking, planning and attending get togethers, and trying to keep up with housework, kids and partners. And they wonder why we are so bitchy.
It’s time to put yourself a little higher on your priority list. If you are feeling run down, depressed and unwell, you won’t be very useful to those around you, nor will anyone want to be around you.
Here are some little ways you can sneak some “me-time” into this crazy month.
Try a new food
Give yourself a little adventure rush by trying a new food. Grabbing a bite to eat at one of your regular haunts? Select something different. At the grocery store? Pick up something new to try.
Give yourself a facial
While you are out shopping, grab yourself a home facial packet, so many stores have them. Treat yourself to a facial before bed with a cup of calming tea.
Revisit a childhood hobby
Did you like to swing when you were younger? Whenever you pass a playground, take a break and indulge. Did you like word games or playing basketball or playing dress up? Whatever, you liked as a kid, find a way to do it now.
Take a walk
I know you’ll be doing a ton of walking around stores and running errands, but I’m talking about a relaxing stroll through the neighborhood or park. A walk that has nothing to do with others, just you and allowing yourself to recharge.
Listen to music
Holiday music will be playing everywhere, but sit in your car for a few minutes before rushing to the next thing on your list or hide in the bathroom. Take ten minutes and just sit and listen to some of your favorite tunes.
Don’t eat at your desk
I’m so guilty of this one. I will eat at my desk and answer emails or phone calls while on my lunch break and wonder why I never feel relaxed. Leave the office. Go for a walk or window shop or just sit somewhere away from the phone and the computer and actually enjoy your lunch break.
Take a scenic route home
After a long work day or day out running errands, take a different route home and explore or drive by something that is pretty, unique or beautiful. Get off the highway and take a side road that feels more relaxing and less stressful.
Take a bath
Make it as hot as you want and sit in there as long as you want. Throw in some bubble bath, Epsom salts or essential oils to give it an extra sensory boost. Take in a glass of wine or play some enjoyable music in the background. Make it luxurious.
Visit a bookstore
This may be aimed at introverts and book lovers, but there is something very indulgent and relaxing in browsing books.
Unplug from your phone
Shut it off, put it away, hide it if you must, but get away from that huge distraction for at least and hour or more.
Give yourself a rub down
Pull out or buy a bottle of your favorite lotion and give yourself a full body massage. You’ll feel like you’ve been at the spa without the heavy price tag.
Stretch for thirty minutes
Just doing basic stretching can calm your heart rate, slow your breathing and make you feel more relaxed.
Listen to a new podcast
Search Spotify or iTunes for a new podcast. Sit back and focus on what’s being said and ignore everything else.
Buy new undies
I don’t know many women who don’t get a little charge out of having new underwear. It’s a secret boost that only you know about, but can make your attitude a little brighter for what outside appearances, seems to be for no reason.
Okay, if you can detach and perform a silent meditation, kudos to you! My brain doesn’t work that way. I cannot quiet my mind, EVER. But I can focus on listening to someone else and respond to their suggestions. Find a guided meditation app, like Let’s Meditate, and just sit or lie down and listen.
Start your day in the right frame of mind by looking in the mirror and telling yourself some very positive things. It seems silly at first if you have never done it before, but it will work. Start with “Today’s going to be a great day.” and then frame anything you are worried about or stressing over into a positive statement. “My presentation is going to be flawless.” “I will find the perfect gift for everyone on my list.” What you put out into the universe has a funny way of coming back to you.
Say no to something you don’t want to do and don’t give an excuse why
Been invited to a get together that you’d rather pass on? Someone asking you to take on yet another responsibility, errand, etc.? Tell them no and leave it at that. You are under no obligation to give an excuse why, we just think we should. It gets easier and more empowering each time you do it.
Even just stepping outside into the sunshine or fresh air can give you a little pick me up to brighten your mood and help motivate you to get through the day.
Take a nap
Are you tired? Go lie down. Stop feeling like you can’t take 15-20 minutes for yourself and just take a little nap when you need it.
Helping someone else instantly makes you feel better. See someone struggling to get bags into their car? Help them out. Hold the door open or allow someone into your lane. Little things can go a long way to make someone else’s day brighter, as well as your own.
Compliment a stranger
Once again, being nice to someone else when they aren’t expecting it, will boost your mood and possibly make that other person’s entire day.
Snuggle an animal
Grab your fur baby and start cuddling. The act of petting is soothing and lowers your heart rate. Don’t have a pet, there are kitty cafes, animal shelters, or your neighbor’s dog to spoil.
Being creative is an outlet for stress. If you don’t have a current artistic outlet that you like to indulge in, then go to one of the many painting classes where the entire class paints the same thing and they take you through it step by step.
Give yourself a manicure/pedicure
I get it, you are BUSY. You don’t have to go to a spa to get your nails done though. Do it at home. Grab a cute color and paint those little piggies and fingernails super cute. Clean up any misses with a Q-tip soaked in polish remover.
Take yourself on a date
This one involves more time and commitment, but take yourself out on a date… just you. Go to a sit down restaurant and enjoy being waited on. Work a movie you want to see into your frenzy of running around.
Do a puzzle
Puzzles are relatively cheap and you can leave and come back to them as often as you like. Each time you look for a piece, it will force you to slow down.
Pay it forward
Buy the person behind you at Starbucks their drink. Going through a toll? Pay for the next person. Someone hold the door open for you? Hold the next door you go through for someone else.
Do something you want to do but keep putting it off
I love the Japanese Gardens in my town. I have been meaning to visit for six months now. There will be a trip there during December, if I have to schedule a whole day around it!
Holiday music is everywhere; stores, car radio, etc. It can be annoying if you let it, but let’s turn that around. Sing along with whatever song is playing. Play it and sing along while wrapping your presents. It will put you in the right frame of mind if you don’t fight it!
Oh the weather outside is frightful…..