Publisher’s Perspective: Give to yourself this holiday seasonThe holidays can be stressful. Most of us are concerned with gift giving, holiday parties, company visiting, or any number of events that can very trying. So how do you cope?

I know I write a lot lately about self love and self care, but I think it’s particularly important to talk about this time of year. While we’re all running around, looking for that great bargain, carefully wrapping presents, or trying to get that package mailed in time to reach a loved one, who’s taking care of you? The answer often is nobody. There’s a lot of research out there that suggests we as a society are more stressed near the holidays. So what’s a person to do to thwart those holiday blues? Well, I’ve got a few suggestions for you!

First, prioritize yourself. I know, I know … this is the time of the year when you’re supposed to be thinking of others … and you should, just don’t forget about you. As I’ve written in previous articles, the oxygen-mask concept applies here. That’s to say that you’ll be in the best frame of mind for giving if you’ve nurtured yourself (put the oxygen mask on yourself before doing it for others). It’s easier than you might think.

As an example, pick yourself up little treats along the way. Grabbing something for the kids at a big box store? Get yourself a little reward. Ideally, it’d be something healthy, like a nice piece of fruit or a nutritious energy bar. Not only will you get a bit of joy from the treat, but the healthy calories will help you keep up the hunt. I’m not saying to go crazy with the snacks, but don’t sacrifice yourself and your own well-being just to get that special deal.

Buy yourself something nice, if you can afford it. You’ve worked hard this year. You’re thinking of others. If you can make it work in your budget (or it’s worth borrowing on a credit card for), pick something up that you know no one would buy for you. I typically do this every year as I often want something that would be hard for someone else to pick out for me. And don’t feel guilty about it. Celebrate it! It’s a gift … to yourself! You can enjoy both the giving and receiving, in this case. I even know some folks who’ll wrap that gift up, put it under the tree, and say it’s from Santa.

Another way to be sure that your holiday gift giving includes yourself is by taking someone out to eat or to a show for their gift … and go with them! That’s a gift of an experience for both of you. This can be a great option for an adult sibling or friend that you might not always exchange gifts with. It’ll give you a nice break and some fun, and it doubles as a gift given as well as nurturing yourself.

I’m going to keep it short this month … lots to do as I prep for my first trip out of the country as an adult. My brother and I are headed to Mexico in early December. We’re both paying for ourselves, but it’s definitely a gift to and from each of us. We’ve earned it!

Happy reading, and enjoy the new year!

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