As the Christmas deadline hurtles toward us, you may feel increased pressure to keep up with, or even go beyond, expectations. Here are some sensible (yes, Mom, you were right) things to remember:
- Sleep – the facelift for the 99%. Know how many hours you need per night and try to stick with those. And, if you can’t, then take a nap on the weekends! 20 minutes is a perfect stretch, to wake feeling rested and ready.
- Eat and drink – the good stuff. That means be watchful around all those sugary confections, and temptations for extra caffeine. Not to mention holiday consumption of alcohol. We’re not saying don’t. One way to keep an eye on things is to consider the entire week’s consumption, rather than what you eat each day. That way, with an eye on the big picture, you can make some choices that don’t feel constricting. Have dessert today, but maybe not tomorrow. Use high-quality dark chocolate to satisfy a craving instead of some greasy confection from the corner store.
- Exercise – do it! Build more walking into each day – I, for one, walk up the stairs or escalators in subways, department stores, and office buildings. Your brain and body will feel more alive and capable. I have a friend who walks around the office twice each day, just for a mental break.
- Breathing – we all need it! Take a minute at your desk, or kitchen counter, to close your eyes and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. Especially after reading a particularly passive-aggressive email from your favorite person ;-).
- Be grateful – for at least one thing each day. This can be done as you close your eyes for sleep. It’s a great way to round off the day with a positive view rather than recounting all those coulda-woulda-shoulda’s.
If peace on earth really begins with me, as the song says, then self-care is a great place to start. It’s hard to be the light when your battery is dead.