One of the things I’ve had validated by a fantastic member of our behavior staff, Darla Breckenridge, is to put yourself at the top of your to-do list.
What I used to call “selfishness,” Darla has reframed for me as “selfness.” I’ve always explained it as “I am my top priority.”
Sounds somewhat selfish, but if you aren’t taking care of your own needs, how well will you take care of others? Darla considers “selfness” as considering your needs as well as the needs of others. Sounds a little bit better than my summary and that’s why she teaches this concept within our healthy weight loss program, not me.
In the end, it’s the same idea; if I’m not taking care of myself, how much energy will I have left for the things I need/want to do for others? The holidays are a great example of a time of year when we stress ourselves out, put others’ needs before our own, maybe don’t sleep enough, and might ignore our need for self-care like eating well and being active. This year I’m doing nothing to prep for the holidays. No tree, no gifts, no cards, and no decorating. I’m getting ready for the easiest Christmas I’ve ever had.
Letting these responsibilities go is allowing me a little extra time to focus on what really makes me happy about the holidays, which is seeing my family, playing with the kids, and making memories. Will people be put-off that I didn’t send a card or buy them a gift? Not in my family. Hopefully not in your family either. Spending more time on the things that really matter to you, will hopefully enrich the lives of others around you as well.
What are you focused on this season? What have you let go this year and don’t miss much as a result?