12 GIFTS TO GIVE YOURSELF AT CHRISTMAS AND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Put yourself first every now and then with these 12 gifts to give yourself throughout the year! Self-care and organisation tips to help make life a little easier for you.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
As I write this it’s the middle of November. I don’t normally like to start thinking about Christmas much before the 1st December but the shops, Pinterest and my kids are telling me that the festive season is on its way!
So, I began to think about gifts, not just about gifts for others but gifts that we can bestow upon ourselves. And that doesn’t mean just at Christmas time either.
Perhaps we could begin to love and cherish ourselves a little bit more throughout the year too?
If this sounds like something that could work for you, here are a few ideas you might like to think about…
12 GIFTS TO GIVE YOURSELF
1. Free time: It may be a little hard to find, but whenever you can snatch a few moments to yourself, please do so. It’s amazing what even 10 minutes can do to restore body and mind. Make a little list now of what you’d do with those 10 minutes. Would you read, snuggle in bed, cuddle your pet, go for a walk? If they sound tempting, can you find time to do one of them today?
2. Time away from the screens: It’s ok, you can pop your phone on silent, set it on a high shelf where you can’t see it light up the room, turn off your notifications so you’re not tempted to swipe right. Give yourself a break from Google, your inbox or those little pop-ups in the bottom right of your screen. Close your tabs, put down your devices and give yourself a screen break.
3. A notebook: Keep it on your bedside table to jot down thoughts that come to you in the night. Use it to write down things you need to do today. Make a list of things you’re grateful for. Brain dump what’s bothering you or brainstorm ideas for your next project, holiday etc. Free your mind and use your notebook to hold the thoughts that your busy brain would otherwise be holding for you.
4. Something nice to look at: It could be a bunch of flowers (or fake flowers!), a candle, a new cushion, your child’s drawing framed on the wall, a favourite photo on your desk… the choice is yours. Make sure it brings a smile to your face, warms your heart, makes you laugh, or energises those happy chemicals in your brain!
5. A kick up the ***: Bet you weren’t expecting this one on the list! Well, it may not be the most obvious gift but I do personally believe that practicing tough love on ourselves is important sometimes. It could be saying no to that last slice of chocolate cake, chastising ourselves for being too lazy to go out for a walk, chopping up our credit cards if we’re drowning in debt or removing apps off our phone to limit time on social media. Being hard on ourselves and saying enough is enough is vital for a bit of personal responsibility and realising that real change has to come from within. Tough love shouldn’t be your default mindset but every now and then I think it comes in handy.
6. Have closure on the day: When it gets to the evening and you’re winding down for bed and sleep, draw a metaphorical line under the day and across your To Do list. Tell yourself that you’ve done what you can for today and you’ll start afresh tomorrow. Don’t carry your to-dos into bed and into your dreams.
7. Headphones: Sometimes I just need quiet. Quiet time to think, to get things done, to listen to myself! I also like to listen to things whilst I’m on the go. I can listen to music whilst I’m cooking dinner or listen to a podcast whilst walking the dog. I can meditate whilst sitting in my living room but without background noise courtesy of my kids. Headphones help me connect with and learn from the outside world.
8. Space: Space is a wonderful thing. It could be space in your diary, space in your mind, space in your closet. Space invites calm, clarity and room to breathe and grow. When your home and your life is stuffed full, you’ve got no flexibility for things you want to do, things that come up unexpectedly, or things that need you because you’re overstretched already.
9. Compassion: I bet you’re harder on yourself than you are on your loved ones! I know I certainly am. I seem to think I can do it all. I set the bar really high then have a go at myself when I don’t quite reach. Would you expect your family, kids or friends to do everything, all of the time? What do you say to them when they fail – Don’t worry, you tried your best? No-one’s perfect? Have another go tomorrow? Practice saying these things to yourself instead and show yourself some kindness. Ask yourself whether it really all needs to be done by yesterday? Does it all need to be done perfectly? Does it all need to be done anyway, and by you?
10. A diary: Spend a little time setting up an electronic diary on your phone or buy yourself a little paper diary. Commit to updating it often, keeping it under review and assessing when you’ve got too much to do or too much of the wrong things. Add in birthdays, dentist appointments, anniversaries, school events, coffee mornings. Stop trying to remember appointments, forgetting important events or double-booking yourself. Being organised saves you time, stress and a lot of frustration!
11. Appreciation: Stand in front of the mirror and say some lovely things about yourself. Stop looking at those wrinkles or the grey hairs showing through, or the dimply and wobbly bits, or that you’ve forgotten to feed the dog… Put negativity, criticism and your To-Do list aside for a moment and say some kind things about that amazing body and mind of yours and all that it does for you every day. (And then go and feed the dog if you need to!).
12. A hobby: My blog is my hobby (and then some!). I pour time, energy and love into it and it’s something I look forward to doing whenever I can. A hobby helps one switch off from the day-to-day. It makes us happy, fulfilled, rewarded, inspired, relaxed and any number of other emotions that we often can’t find in our busy, responsible lives. Explore your own hobbies, give them time and don’t feel guilty or selfish for spending a little time doing something for you.