Monday, December 23, 2013

Time For Some Self Care

Activities are starting to wind up for That Time Of Year. The end of the year sets the signal for shopping, and  thoughts of holidays and presents and eating too much, sitting too much, and indulging in activities that may take the rest of the next year from which to recover.  Too much money spent on stuff that has little value, too much food and drink. Too much added to the credit card.

Of course not everyone has the same need to do the social thing. Many are alone at this time of year and that family that was so big just a few years ago can be shrinking in ways that you never imagined might happen. Parents die, family members move - or we do. Relationships finish. Children leave home and move away. And suddenly that large circle of relatives and people you don't see any other time of the year, has contracted and become quite small, or evaporated completely.

So what do you do when you're not surrounded by hordes of family and friends during these times? Consider how you might use this time to reflect on the year that's gone and review how that's been for you.

Where have you been successful at what you set out to achieve?
Where did your results not get where you wanted them to be?
Map out where a change in methods might have made the difference.

Self Care - Nurturing. 

We often think in terms of how to help others. How to do something nice for others. Now is the time to think about doing something nice for you.

Go easy on the alcohol. An alcohol induced fog doesn't improve anything. Make the holidays a time of conscious relaxation. Spend the time practicing mindfulness.

Review your appearance.  

Try a new 'look'!  Is it time for a change from that haircut that you've had for so long? What do you need to improve your appearance and feel more confident? Is it time to lift your game when it comes to personal grooming?  This can be a time to attend to those personal appearance issues that you have been too busy to get to through the year. Book in for a good cut, or a wax and polish. Get rid of those stray hairs that have sprouted in places no hair should grow. Have a day at the spa or book in for a massage and some pampering that you've never done before.

Book an appointment with a stylist and have your colours done so that you are buying the shades that work best for you. Learn how to dress to be noticed for your classic look that makes the most of your style. This can increase your feeling of confidence and be good for your career too! And definitely will help with dating.

Clean out your closet and pitch out those clothes you are keeping for 'just one more wear'. Ditch everything that doesn't fit, whether it is too small or too big, if it doesn't fit you now, get rid of it. Donate it if it is in good repair, or just toss it out. Those things that have been hanging in your wardrobe since 1990 - it's time to go.  Old shoes that you never wear because they pinch your feet, those belts that are in shocking colours or don't fit any more get rid of those too. Old handbags or briefcases that have seen better days, out.

Look classy! Now you have made some room, think about some basic classic pieces that will improve your wardrobe and  help you look your best. Pick pieces that will stay in fashion long after the latest fad is over.  Replace old underwear, odd socks and stock up on new socks or hosiery so you're not running out at the wrong time.  Take any shoes that need mending or polishing and have them put in order.


Review your goals. What do you want to happen in the year ahead? Start writing them down and exploring some wishes that you've had but never committed to achieving. You can find more here to help with beliefs and goals.

Watch some movies you've missed. This is your time to pamper yourself so settle back and catch up on some movies you wanted to see but didn't get around to, or revisit some old favourites.

Read something you love. If you have that pile of books in your home that you've been meaning to read sometime, now is your chance. Find something to suit your mood and just waste as much time as you like doing nothing more than reading or playing at a hobby you've let go.

Make some phone calls. Yes the telephone still works for talking and this is a good time for you to make some calls and reconnect with people you have not spoken to for a long time. Let them know you are still alive and are interested in their life.

Learn to cook. Too many people fall into relationships because they don't know how to look after themselves.  This is especially true for men. That's a terrible reason to be in a relationship so make it your business to start cooking for yourself. If the thought of that scares you because you don't know how, then make a list of the things you would like to eat and then you can track down the way to do it. There are many great tutorial videos and websites now to learn just about anything you could imagine, so there is no excuse for being limited in this way.  Good eating is at the heart of your good health and self-nurturing means looking after your body.

Start a physical exercise program. This might be just to start walking, or riding your bicycle or going to the gym. Pick something that you can do easily and without a bunch of equipment to buy or other obstacles that can become excuses for not doing it, and pick an activity that you will be able to continue for the whole year. Make that a priority and dedicate some time each day for this activity, even if it is just 20 minutes a day.

Go for a hike. Take the camera and do a photo-walk of where you go. Be that a hiking trail, or a trip to a city that you see every day but have never looked at with a tourist's eye. Discover new sights in old places. Or visit a new place and photograph the images that makes it unique.

Here's The Sneaky Bit

You don't even have to wait until the holiday season. You can do this any time. Pick a weekend. Pick  two weekends a year  to mark on your calendar and make it your special time for you.

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Are you lousy at self promotion too? 

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Chuck said...

Years ago I posted a Blog post about changing habits to change a bad mood...
Such as get a different hair-do, traverse a different route to work and the list went on.
Your suggestion above are very helpful

lindyasimus said...

Thanks Chuck. At a workshop I presented on Resilience, there was a kind of shocked surprise at the idea of self care. These were people who worked hard in trying conditions and then went home to do it all again at home and had forgotten completely how to do something for themselves. That's not a good condition for anyone to be in.

Unknown said...

I absolutely agree Lindy. I have watched and continue to watch (and in some cases still struggle myself) to devote that small investment daily into self improvement and basic self care. Of course, that minor investment has such a great return not only in ones self-perception and state of mind but with the flow on from those around them! I'll never forget an old colleague (with a staff of women for the most part) used to send them all off to the beauticians for a pamper once a quarter (The men went too). They LOVED it but also took more pride and were more productive on the front line of his tourism based sales team. Of course, I wonder if an employer did that in today's climate if they would be as appreciated.

lindyasimus said...

Great points Race Anne. Presentation is something that should be more explicitly trained for in the workplace, it is part of that personal development that one would hope was an aspect of performance management. Not clobbering people when they don't perform, but teaching them skills to enhance their performance at work and in society on an ongoing basis. Too few employers take the view that stewarding their employees to grow into high functioning individuals not only makes for a good workforce, it is a sign of a great business.