As we approach the holiday season, sometimes life can feel a little overwhelming. If you have a full-time job, those responsibilities don’t stop just because the holidays are approaching. If you are raising a family, you want to ensure that they feel loved and appreciated even if you have a million things on your plate. Magazines and social media depict spotlessly clean homes, thoughtfully wrapped gifts, homemade treats, and holiday décor that would make an interior designer envious. In this wonder-world, there are no furballs, puppy accidents, dust bunnies or toddler tantrums.
Do you ever wonder how everyone else seems to manage it all? It’s not that you don’t want to take care of everything - it’s that sometimes it all feels like too much at once. I know I sometimes feel this way. This, my friends, is burnout.
During these times of burnout, we have to remember the old adage "You can’t take care of anyone until you take care of yourself". But how in the world do we do this? We don’t feel we are being selfish if we fasten our seatbelts when we get into the car. But taking time for regular self-care – well that’s something else entirely.
Human beings are amazing. Our bodies tell us when we need to rest. Our minds, our “intuition”, tells us when something isn’t quite right and we need to make an adjustment in our lives. But what do most of us do? We don’t want to say “no” or “I need to go in another direction”. Our guilty feelings convince us that we ought to do more.
But what if we did less? What if we took some "me time", if only for a day or even an hour or two? There are things known as “happiness chemicals”. Our bodies can actually create them! A little bit of self-care creates dopamine – the reward chemical. Giving a compliment or taking a few moments to play with a puppy releases oxytocin – the love chemical. Knitting, exercise or spending some time in nature creates serotonin – the mood stabilizer. And laughter and certain essential oils help with pain relief by releasing endorphins. So, just imagine every single day, taking a few moments to experience life’s everyday pleasures. A hug from a child, stroking a purring kitten, getting up from your desk and stretching your legs in the fresh air. No matter how stressful my day has been, an hour each evening with a fur-beast in my lap and my knitting needles in my hands just drains away any tension. And I love to reward myself with the scent of lavender at bedtime to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.
Life will always be hard. Some days will feel overwhelming. Let’s stop saying, “There’s no time for that.” Because you know what? Not only do we need to feel our best in order to take care of ALL the things, but our loved ones deserve the best of us as well. Make time for rest, and in turn, make way for JOY.
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Live life luxuriously! Classic simplicity is what I enjoy the most - in clothing design, home decor and in life!