It’s the holiday season and many of us are thinking about gifts that will be meaningful representations of our love and appreciation for the people in our lives. Gifts come in many forms, from things we give to experiences we share, to deeper connections with others.
Gifts can also be ways we care for ourselves. In the spirit of giving gifts, we offer these simple suggestions of gifts that we can each give to our self.
While they are acts of self-care – they’re also ways we can make the holiday season a little brighter.
#1 – The Gift of Change A unique holiday gift that will reap rewards now and help start a new year on the right footing is to replace something old with something new – inside our self. This can be making a forward moving commitment in doing something we have been inspired to do but haven’t yet done or changing an old habit that no longer serves us.
We can do this by asking our heart intuition to make us aware of an emotional habit, pattern or behavior that we would like to change. Here are some examples of old habits worth considering: putting off medical check-ups; negative self-talk; being too impatient, forgoing exercise, not getting enough sleep or any other habit that doesn’t support our overall wellbeing.
Once decided on what pattern we want to change; then write it down.
It’s important to not just notice these old attitudes, thoughts or habits but to also replace them. Having a replacement ready helps create a new pattern – one that supports us in a healthier, heart-centered way of living.
Write down the new replacement intention— such as replacing impatience with more patience. Bypass the stress by easing into your replacement. Approach it with the attitude of a fun experiment, not a struggle match. This can make a notable difference in your approach while making it much easier to succeed.
#2 – The Gift of Pause The holiday season often brings added busyness on top of our already full plate of responsibilities. To help reduce the frazzle, let’s give our self the gift of pause.
Here’s how we can do this. Commit to taking a few quiet moments to get calm and centered before holiday events and gatherings. Consider doing it each day as well. Making this part of a personal morning routine can increase our inner calm and brightness throughout the holidays. (Maybe it’ll become a healthy habit or ritual for the new year too!)
Use HeartMath’s Quick Coherence® Technique to get centered. This technique is also great for helping to put things in a proper perspective should situations or circumstances start to feel overwhelming or chaotic. If something catches us off guard and our feelings are disturbed, we can find a quiet place and use this technique to quickly regain our composure.
#3 The Gift of Choice Just like we choose the right outfit for any occasion, we can also choose the appropriate attitude for an event or gathering.
We can first use the gift of pause to tune in and ask what heart-attitude would be best for this event or gathering. Once we have the best attitude in our heart and mind, we can choose to focus on it and carry it with us.
The best attitude could be as simple as committing to deeper listening or practicing non-judgment or expressing more kindness, etc. To make a more genuine connection, we find it helpful to be more interested in how another person is doing than telling our story. During an event, maintaining the attitude of gratitude and appreciation adds a lift to the environment and interactions. Tune in to what is the most fitting for each event or gathering and its unique circumstances and choose that. See what happens.
These simple practices can be gifts to ourselves and others that add to our holiday experience by helping us stay more balanced and connected with who we truly are, and more deeply connected with the real meaning of the season.