Creating the New Year You Desire Begins With Letting Go

In many ways, life is a series of endings and beginnings. Each year of your life is like a chapter. You write in the pages throughout the months, beginning a new chapter with each new year.

It’s one reason why we’re obsessed with new year’s resolutions!

If you’ve created new year’s resolutions, how are you progressing? Are you sticking with your daily habits?

…Or do you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand?

If you feel like you’re floundering in quicksand, there are 3 things that could be weighing you down… that you may be holding onto without being aware of it. This could be impeding your forward movement. 

The simple answer would be to let go… But it’s not always that easy.

And so you hold on, creating more struggle as you labor at your resolutions.

The new year is fresh. You have time to manifest the year you desire with greater ease. I’ll share three common things that can weigh you down and tips for how to let go, so you can embrace a new beginning for you and your goals in 2021.

Why You Struggle With Letting Go

Humans often have a strange tendency to hold onto things — even when they hurt us. 

Whether it’s a bad breakup, or a friend wronged you, or when you make a mistake, you may struggle with letting it go. 

Why do we do this?

Perhaps it’s because we prefer to blame someone or something else for our hardships. Maybe it’s an excuse not to try new things in order to reduce your risk of getting hurt. Or perhaps you identify with your pain and don’t know how to move on from it.

Whatever you’re holding onto is holding you back. Hold on for long enough, and you do more than diminish your personal growth. You may also experience:

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Fear
  • Self-doubt
  • Low self-worth
  • Self-sabotaging behaviors

These emotional responses can impede you from fulfilling your goals this year. They sap your energy, motivation and excitement for life. 

How can you strive for more love and joy when your heart carries self-doubt?

How can you love yourself when your inner critic has the loudest voice?

How can you see the opportunities available to you when fear clouds your vision?

Your new year’s resolutions become more wishful thinking than anything — a fleeting desire. You have neither the energy or drive to work on your goals. Just getting through each day can feel like a struggle.

Yet when you let go of what weighs you down, you open yourself to abundance. You can more fully experience…

A new year.

A new beginning.

A new opportunity to become the woman you want to be and fulfill your resolutions this year.

And it starts with letting go.

To experience greater ease as you work on your resolutions, let go of the three things that weigh you down. Here’s how…

Let Go Of These 3 Things to Embrace Your New Beginning With Greater Ease

#1 Let Go of Clutter

If you’re not making progress with your resolutions, and you’re surrounded by physical clutter… address your clutter first.

I know what you might be thinking… That’s too simple.

After all, stacks of paper on your desk, and piled-up dishes, and overflowing laundry hampers are minor things. What do they have to do with helping you let go and embrace a new beginning?

Clutter is a physical reminder of unfinished tasks. How can you focus on a new goal when household chores are stealing your attention at every turn? When you declutter your space, you allow for more space and energy to flow into your life.

Decluttering your physical space can also be a precursor to letting go of your emotional clutter. Decluttering your possessions is about removing what no longer serves you or adds meaning to your life. 

Similarly, the pandemic may have spurned negative emotional clutter you still carry today. This is a new year and yet, this clutter may continue to occupy space in your heart and mind. Accepting the current situation and letting go of any emotional clutter — even as the pandemic continues to evolve — can help you create space for manifesting your values and goals in 2021.

Try scheduling a weekend for your decluttering project. You can start small with your closet or even a drawer. If you want to challenge yourself, try going through your entire home, and you’re sure to feel more air and lightness when you finish.

#2 Let Go of Shame and Guilt

Turning the page to a new chapter is challenging when you’re fixated on the pages you’ve already written.

Think of it this way…

Like decluttering your space, letting go of the emotions that keep you down helps create new space for opportunities to lift you.

Often, the best start to letting go is forgiveness.

Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve set a new year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve set the same resolution more than once because you haven’t fully completed it yet. 

You might blame yourself for falling short. You feel guilty for not taking better care of yourself. You bear shame because you feel like you could’ve made better choices.

That’s in the past now.

It’s time to forgive yourself. 

And I’m serious! Do it right now. Go to the mirror. Look at yourself and say, I forgive you.

However, words are not enough.

Forgiveness is about taking action. And this is often the hardest part. Because everyday, you have a choice to make: to fall prey to your negative emotions or to advocate for the woman you want to become. Forgiveness is choosing the latter.

  • You choose to forgive yourself when you take care of yourself.
  • You choose to forgive yourself when you work on your goals.
  • You choose to forgive yourself when you accept what has passed and to feel blessed in the present.

The choices you’ve made in the past made you into the woman you are today. And the choices you make today will help you become the woman you want to be.

Remember to also forgive yourself in the future. We all make mistakes — it’s inevitable. You might skip a day with a daily habit you’re trying to develop because you’re busy or exhausted.

It’s okay. Forgive yourself.

Don’t let guilt and shame stop you from sparking beautiful change within. Forgiveness is the bridge that will help you cross into the life you’ve always desired.

#3 Let Go of What You Cannot Control

If you have felt like you were reeling in response to all the crazy changes from the pandemic, you’re not alone. 

The pandemic has disrupted all of our daily lives and livelihoods. Forget about new year’s resolutions — many women have been figuring out how to stay safe and provide for their families. Even now, you might be coping with the new developments surrounding the virus.

This pandemic is beyond your control. Focusing on what should happen or what you wish would happen is wasted energy.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless.

The serenity prayer is a reminder that you always have a choice, regardless of your current circumstances:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference

You always have a choice with what you do and how you react. You can choose to not like your current circumstances and not do anything about it.

Or you can take action.

Achieving your resolutions for 2021 is fully within your power. Your mindset and your daily habits are choices you make every day that can either move you forward or steer you away from your goals.

A family emergency may have disrupted your daily habit streak. That was out of your control. What is within your control is showing up for yourself the next day, ready to once again work toward your goals.

“There is only the moment, the choices you make in the moment, and your commitment to make the best choices for yourself today,” said Dr. Lori Rylan.

Let go of what you cannot change. Do what is within your power today so that you can attend to 2021 with a dedication to growth, joy, and love.

Let go of what you cannot change. Do what is within your power today so that you can attend to 2021 with a dedication to growth, joy, and love. Click To Tweet

Start Your New Beginning With the Right Tools

Do you need additional support with letting go of whatever is holding you back? Do you desire practical advice in helping you lead a life of more self-care, self-love, and greater compassion?

If so, here’s a gift that will enable you to create your best life. Let Go of What’s Holding You Back is a free 2-part gift, checklist and worksheet, which provides helpful tips for letting go of the things that cause struggle and overwhelm and allowing for more ease. 

The checklist is a great reminder of what to let go of, and it will take you even further into the 3 things shared here. With this checklist, you can accelerate greater freedom, flow, and fulfillment in your life.

The worksheet walks you through how to let go of the specific things that you feel you need to let go of, giving you the steps to do this. You’ll be able to let go of the past and move into a future that you have designed.

Just click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist and worksheet, Let Go of What’s Holding You Back, and learn how to create your future and all you desire.

The beautiful part about life is that you never have to go through it alone. If you can be vulnerable and open yourself to outside support, you will find the resources you need to make positive and lasting changes in your life.

What’s one thing you’re letting go, so you can kickstart 2021 feeling empowered? I’ll start: I’m saying goodbye to feeling guilty about taking time for me and my well-being! Share YOUR answer in the comments below.

New Year’s Resolutions: Is Your Approach Counter-Productive?

Each year, you make your new year’s resolutions.

And by the end of each year, how many of those resolutions have you fulfilled?

An Ipsos poll showed that over 50% did not fulfill their 2020 resolutions — 11% gave up after only one month.

You start the year with determination, and yet delivering on your goals somehow eludes you.

In 2021, how do you set a goal and actually achieve it?

What if I told you that the way you’re viewing your resolutions is counter-productive? Part of the solution is reframing your process for new year goal setting.

Let’s learn more.

The Danger of Outward Accomplishments

When women create new year resolutions, it usually involves some external achievement.

My new year’s resolution is to…

  • Lose 30 lbs.
  • Get a promotion.
  • Move into a bigger home.
  • Make X amount of money.

Outward accomplishments are fine. Here’s how they become unhealthy:

When I lose 30 pounds, then I’ll be happy.

When I get a promotion, then I’ll be happy.

When I move into a bigger home, then I’ll be happy.

When I make this much, then I’ll be happy.

But what happens when you don’t reach those external goals? First, you feel unhappy because you made your happiness dependent on that outcome. You may also…

  • Blame yourself
  • Feel weak
  • Lose faith in yourself
  • Question your self-worth

This is often the pitfall of setting resolutions that focus on external accomplishments.

What you can do instead…

Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care. Click To Tweet

Instead of creating 2021 resolutions that depend on outcomes (that usually involve some arbitrary number), focus on small daily habits rooted in self-love and self-care.

Because here’s the thing about self-love and self-care…

When you learn how to love and care for yourself, you become empowered. And when you’re empowered, you are more likely to attract abundance into your life.

And isn’t abundance what most resolutions are about?

  • Being healthier so you can access increased energy and inspiration. 
  • Being more financially secure so you can provide for your loved ones. 
  • Being more balanced so you invite greater ease and joy.

Small daily habits — daily walks, 10 minutes of meditation, 5 minutes of prayer, and journaling — slowly manifest those outward accomplishments.

Self-care and self-love become the pathway to the abundance you desire.

Are you seeing the difference?

Now, let’s move on to two tips for following through with the resolutions you set for 2021.

2 Tips for Sticking with Daily Habits that Will Manifest Your New Year’s Resolutions

#1 Focus on the trees, not the forest

Remember: resolutions are only dreams until you have a plan for achieving them.

It isn’t enough to say, I want to lose 30 pounds. That’s looking at the forest.

Dive deeper and ask yourself, What small daily habit can I do to lose 30 pounds over the year?

Now you’re looking at the trees.

Small daily habits for losing 30 pounds might look like:

  • Walking around the neighborhood for 30 minutes
  • Adding 20 minutes of yoga to your morning routine
  • Eating a piece of fruit with your lunch, instead of chips or sweets
  • Enjoying a light salad before meals to help fill you up

Looking at the forest is great for setting a direction — lose 30 pounds, feel more balanced, be more organized. But looking at the trees involve those daily acts of self-care and self-love that will manifest those resolutions into your reality.

And start small.

Let the habit form over three weeks of daily practice. And when you’re ready, either add another new habit or increase the difficulty of your original daily habit — try jogging instead of walking or try more challenging yoga poses.

#2 Stop the all-or-nothing mentality

You know what I mean.

How many times have you started a diet, and then this happens on a Friday night…

I overindulged and ruined my diet. I might as well go crazy this weekend and get back on track on Monday.

You use one cheat meal to justify bingeing for the rest of the weekend!

It’s time to stop the all-or-nothing mentality.

Chances are, you’ll slip up throughout the year. Instead of letting one stumble excuse more counterproductive behavior, try this:

Don’t let it happen twice in a row.

Resolve to get back on track as soon as possible. Don’t postpone your resolutions to Monday or next month or next year!

Your Resolutions Are About Empowering You

Empowering YOU improves all aspects of your life — including supporting others.

Women, especially, can fall prey to over-giving to others at their expense. Despite your best intentions, this behavior is counterproductive.

Why?

Because you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.

When you fill your cup, then you can fill the cups of others.

When you love yourself, then you have greater capacity to love others.

When you accumulate resources for yourself, then you have more to share with others.

No matter what your resolution is, this truth is what will drive you forward. Each act of self-care is about helping you become the best woman you can be. And, as a result, you become a woman capable of getting what she wants out of life and supporting others to do the same.

If you’re looking for additional ways to get more of what you want and improve all aspects of your life in 2021, I have a gift for you. Click here NOW to claim your complimentary checklist, 15 Ways to Have Your Best Year Ever, and discover simple ways to enhance your life.

Plus, in the comments below, share your new year’s resolution and the daily habit that will help you fulfill it in 2021! I’ll start: My resolution is to complete my dissertation and get my PhD in 2021 by spending 30-60 minutes daily on reading, writing or research.

2020 Life Lessons: Harvesting Gold From a Crazy Year (You’ve Made It To the End!)

Wow, what a crazy year 2020 has been!

If you told me last December what would happen this year, I might not have believed you. 

A pandemic? Mandated quarantine? Business shutdowns?

I would have sooner believed you were describing the plot of an upcoming sci-fi movie about the end of the world!

But, all of this has happened. 

2020 presented new challenges and many of us felt like we were barely staying afloat with all the sudden changes. A CDC report showed that the number of adults who reported experiencing anxiety or depression (31%) had tripled since last year. Things weren’t looking so good for us.

Yet, we prevailed. 

We’ve made it to the end of 2020. And looking back at all that has happened, I see golden nuggets of wisdom worth harvesting.

We’ve made it to the end of 2020. And looking back at all that has happened, I see golden nuggets of wisdom worth harvesting. Click To Tweet

Wisdom that teaches us how to live a more meaningful life rich in love and compassion. Lessons that remind us of the importance of self-love and self-care. And trials that encourage making YOU and YOUR well-being a top priority.

Here are some lessons we can glean from 2020…

5 Life Lessons from 2020 on Self-Love, Self-Care, and Self-Compassion 

#1 Socializing with your loved ones this year needed a little creativity

Fitting socialization into your life during quarantine has been tricky.

Non-essential businesses were closed. You couldn’t meet up with friends. No large crowds. Stay 6 feet apart. And no hugging…

Human connection is built into our DNA. And that’s why I encourage physical distancing. Not social distancing. Because support systems — surrounding yourself with people who love and uplift you — is also a way to express love to yourself.

But what can you do when there’s a stay-at-home order in effect?

You get creative. You can’t meet up with friends for coffee, however you can schedule a video call and spend more time with family at home. I had virtual dates with my girlfriends, complete with appetizers and bubbly! 

How about you? How did you get creative with keeping your relationships strong? Share it in the comments below!

#2 This year, it sometimes felt like everything was taking a wrong turn. Don’t let your thoughts hold your back too. 

Your mind is more powerful than you think.

Ever hear about self-fulfilling prophecies?

It happens when reality unfolds the way you predict it will. For example, if you believe you will nail that Zoom presentation for work, you are more likely to succeed.

However, if you think you’re unworthy of love, you might engage in self-sabotaging behavior, like substance abuse and social withdrawal.

There is a powerful connection between your mind and body. Your thoughts will often influence how you behave.

And so, if you struggle with self-limiting phrases, like…

  • I’m unworthy of love. Nobody, not even myself, can love me.
  • I’ll never have balance in life.
  • Nobody will ever want to help me. They’ll always say no.

. . . Then it’s time to reverse that script in your head.

Using tips like creating a list of your strengths and positive visualization — vividly imagine yourself going through the motions it takes to succeed — can help you feel empowered again. More importantly, telling yourself that you are worthy of love is one of the most important steps to loving yourself.

You are never a victim of your circumstances.

You will always be at power to change what you can and create a better self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself.

#3 Put your phone down already! (Obsessing over the media isn’t doing you any good) 

It was challenging to break away from the media this year. We were so plugged in, anxiously anticipating the next COVID-19 development. Then there were months of social unrest following the racial injustices committed against our black communities.

But there’s also a cost to scrolling through the latest headlines:

  • Anxiety
  • Pessimism
  • Stress
  • Depression

If this is the case for you, it may be time to unplug.

While helping others is important, advocating for YOUR well-being is also essential.

My favorite ways to unplug?

Go on a digital detox, and unless it’s for work, no screen time. Return to nature. Spend time with my family at home. And shift my focus to loving and empowering myself through regular self-care.

#4 This year demanded so much from you. Did you remember to fill your cup?  

Raise your hand if you felt pulled in every direction this year.

As a high-performing woman, you want to be everything to everyone — a perfect mother, career woman, wife, community leader, and more. 

As a recovering perfectionist, I get it.

But after spending years feeling burned out and coping with fibromyalgia, I realize the best thing I can do is be the most loving caregiver to me.

You might think that’s selfish or uncaring. 

But here’s the thing.

You can’t pour from an empty cup.

When you start, your cup is brimming with vitality and inspiration. But each time you give away your time and energy, your cup slowly empties.

Eventually, there’s nothing left to give.

Self-compassion helps keep your cup filled through self-care. By empowering yourself — giving YOU the resources to feel more energy, clarity, and inspiration — you create more opportunities to give to others.

Always fill your cup first.

#5 Self-care is essential but there’s more to it than #selfcaresunday 

Self-care isn’t always what you see or read about on social media.

Scented bubble baths. Spa days. Treating yourself to online shopping sprees.

These things sound nice and feel good, yet that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily self-care.

Self-care is doing what is necessary for your long-term well-being, which can be different for each woman. If you’re struggling financially, for example, then treating yourself to a shopping spree is self-sabotage, not self-care.

See, the reality about self-care is that it’s sometimes hard. Self-care won’t always feel good.

Sometimes tough love is the best form of love you can give yourself.

Getting up early to maintain my morning ritual of exercise, journaling and prayer can sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world — especially when my cozy bed calls for me.

But I promise you… Stick it out, practice self-care regularly, and you will reap the benefits for years to come.

What Lessons From 2020 Did You Learn?

2020 has changed my life, but it has also taught me much.

By loving myself, I can become a more powerful woman who can better support others.

What about you?

What is one lesson 2020 has taught you? Let me know in the comments below.

To help you put these life lessons on self-care and self-love into action, I offer you a free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.

Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

This Holiday Season, Restore Your Inner Sanctuary (If It’s Been a While Since Your Last Visit)

During the holiday season last year, we explored how to discover your inner sanctuary.

And with the year we’ve had, retreating to your inner sanctuary may have felt like a great option.

Yet, you may not have gone there as often as you intended.

And I understand.

This year has been hectic. Undergoing a global pandemic with shifting circumstances and now tackling holiday errands has added to the pile on your plate.

So you kept putting off self-care and visits to your inner sanctuary. You were busy, and you needed to be there for your family. That’s excusable, right?

This is the pitfall I see so many women fall into… Thinking that your well-being is optional.

Rather, it’s the opposite. Self-care is the pathway to success, abundance, and growth.

If it’s been a while, it’s time to brush the cobwebs from your inner sanctuary and restore it to a temple of peace and reverence.

If it’s been a while, it’s time to brush the cobwebs from your inner sanctuary and restore it to a temple of peace and reverence. Click To Tweet

But first things first…

What is Your Inner Sanctuary?

Your inner sanctuary is the sacred space within you where you can retreat. 

Only you have access to your sanctuary.

And your inner sanctuary can be whatever you need it to be.

For now, it can be a place of solitude, serenity, and silence. 

It can also shift over time. When you feel like you’re in a rut, your inner sanctuary can also be a destination for inspiration, creativity, and empowerment.

Your inner sanctuary is how you define it, and whatever serves you best throughout your life.

Why Is Your Inner Sanctuary So Important?

2020 confirmed that we can’t always visit an external destination to feel peace.

With businesses closed, you couldn’t retreat to the spa for the afternoon. You might have even needed to postpone your travel plans.

When your external world is affected, the only place you can find relief is your internal world.

You can find sanctuary and peace within yourself.

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and burned out, you know that you can visit your inner sanctuary to feel centered and revitalized again.

But the thing is, your inner sanctuary serves you best only when you visit it regularly. Otherwise, you may be denying yourself all the benefits it has to offer.

How to Restore Your Sanctuary If You Haven’t Visited It For a While

Last holiday season, we talked about how to discover your sanctuary. But if it’s been a while since you visited it, you may have noticed some things have changed. In this technological age, your mind may feel like it’s hooked to a dopamine drip. You crave constant stimulation, and you find it in television, social media, or your emails.

Rediscovering your inner sanctuary is difficult when your attention is splintered.

So, here’s a meditation for restoring your inner sanctuary to the oasis of peace and inspiration you desire…

#1 Relax Your Senses

Find a quiet room where there’s a comfortable place to sit (be sure to leave your phone in another room and turn off the ringer).

Close your eyes.

Breathe in through your nose slowly to the count of five.

Then exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of ten (let the world around you melt away).

#2 Visualize Your Inner Sanctuary in Disrepair

If it’s been a while since you last visited your inner sanctuary, let its appearance reflect this.

Let’s say your sanctuary is a small cottage in a peaceful meadow. Imagine a thick layer of dust has settled everywhere. Cobwebs accumulated in every corner, and the plant life around you has browned. The sky is overcast, with no sunshine to warm you.

This may feel unsettling. But let this serve as a visual reminder of what happens when you don’t regularly care for yourself.

“Self-care is a practice that warrants active attention to strengthen your well-being,” said Shainna Ali, Ph.D. in Psychology Today. When you put self-care on the back burner, your health suffers — you feel anxious, your muscles ache, and your focus blurs.

When you don’t visit your sanctuary regularly, it also suffers from neglect.

#3 Now, Visualize Your Inner Sanctuary Being Restored

Continue with your deep breathing. Imagine your inner sanctuary being restored with each out-breath.

Slowly, the sun peeks from behind the clouds. The dust lifts from the surfaces. The plants slowly spring to life in vibrant greens, yellows, and pinks. The sound of birds chirping fills the air.

Immerse your senses — sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell — with all the sensations that delight you.

Experience every moment. Feel truly present within your inner sanctuary.

#4 Recognize How This Makes You Feel

As you embrace your senses, tune in to how you feel within your inner sanctuary.

Do you feel safe and at peace? Notice that.

Do you feel clarity and purpose? Notice that.

Do you feel empowered and inspired? Notice that.

Identify the emotions you are feeling and etch them within your heart.

What you’re doing is creating a strong emotional connection to your inner sanctuary. 

When your physical world feels like it’s chaos and you’re pulled in every direction, a strong emotional connection to your inner sanctuary may encourage you to return again and again.

Make Visiting Your Inner Sanctuary Part of Your Self-Care Routine

The beautiful part of your inner sanctuary is that it’s always there when you need it.

But you might take that for granted and not visit as often as you would like.

Remember: your inner sanctuary isn’t solely for when you’re feeling overextended or signs of burnout.

It’s a place you can visit every day, especially during the hectic holiday season.

Just as you would practice self-care every day, make visiting your inner sanctuary a non-negotiable daily practice.

Imagine visiting your inner sanctuary each morning. In this way, before you give yourself away to the world, you explore the world within you.

You’re at peace. You’re centered. And you’re grounded, ready to face the day ahead.

Sometimes the best holiday gifts are the ones that cost nothing at all. That’s why I offer you this free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.

Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.

I hope that you use this list to take time for yourself during this holiday season. 

If you’re not already part of my online community, click here now to sign up and make sure you’re the first to know when there’s a new weekly blog, free gift, program, and other helpful tips for how to overcome struggle and overwhelm and create your best life with ease.

Taking Time Off For the Holidays? Don’t Forget to Take Time For Yourself

Thinking about scheduling time off from work to enjoy a little self-care for the holidays? 

A staycation to spend your downtime relaxing at home with your family may be the break you desire. Yet, if you’re not mindful of your time,  your staycation can be anything but restful.

You imagine yourself unwinding and enjoying the space, ease, and quiet. Instead, you’re spending more time socializing, spending money, running errands, and completing seasonal tasks. Before you know it, your staycation is over and you hardly feel rested at all!

During a staycation, it feels like you have all the time in the world. But if you’re not careful, you’ll spend all that time and have none leftover for yourself.

If you want to feel well-rested and rejuvenated during this time of the year, take time for yourself first.

Why Caring For Yourself is Crucial, Especially During the Holidays

Your to-do list feels like it’s growing each day, but your days feel shorter than ever (especially after the time change!). 

So what might you do?

You overextend yourself.

You’re busy at every moment — cooking, shopping, cleaning, wrapping gifts, decorating… the list goes on!

But what happens once you overextend yourself? According to Psych Central, you may start experiencing:

  • Headaches and muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Disruption in sleep patterns
  • Lack of focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Nervousness or anxiousness
  • Hopelessness
  • Anger

All of these symptoms put you on track to feeling overwhelmed and experiencing signs of burnout!

You heard that right. You take time off to enjoy the holidays and wind up experiencing burnout instead! And the last thing you want for the new year is to feel overwhelmed with life.

The first thing you want to do is create more free time and space in your life during your staycation. If you’re a perfectionist and over-achiever, you might want to do everything yourself. As a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever, I feel you. So, if you’re taking  time off for the holidays, these tips can help you dedicate some of that time to YOU.

Self-Care for the Holidays: Take Time for Yourself (So You Can Feel Rested and Centered During Your Staycation)

#1 Maintain Your Morning Routine

When you’re taking time off, it’s tempting to stay in bed all day.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t sleep in. Feel free to catch a few extra hours of sleep — you deserve it!

What I am saying is that even when you’re taking time off from work, your morning routine need not take a break. Remember: your morning practices are meant to benefit you. This daily ritual ensures that you give time to YOU before you give it away to others.

Even if it means you’re starting it one or two hours later because you’re sleeping in, stick with it. Your morning routine can keep you grounded and empowered for the day that awaits you.

Some of my favorite practices I do in my morning routine include:

  • Stretching
  • Meditating
  • Journaling my thoughts and emotions
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Applying and diffusing essential oils (aromatherapy does wonders for calming your body and reducing stress)

Doing just these five things helps me start my day feeling invigorated and inspired. And with all the shopping and decorating you might have to do, wouldn’t you want to tackle them feeling empowered?

#2 Gift Yourself the Present Moment

During the holiday season, it can feel like so many things are competing for your attention. You’re putting up holiday decorations, checking people off your gift list, and writing messages in your holiday cards.

Sometimes, you forget that the present moment is HERE and you’re living it right now.

To remind myself to be more mindful of the present moment, I practice sensory self-care. Sensory self-care is tending to your five senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing). And during the holidays, there are so many special opportunities to give your senses some attention:

  • When it’s feeling chilly, light the fireplace and enjoy your favorite hot drink
  • Run a hot bath and light your favorite scented candle (might I recommend holiday scents of pine or cinnamon?)
  • Drive through neighborhoods while playing holiday tunes and admire how families decorate their homes with Christmas lights
  • Try a new holiday recipe with the family and let the delicious aromas waft through your home

Delighting your senses during the holiday season can make this time of year even more memorable.

Delighting your senses during the holiday season can make this time of year even more memorable. Click To Tweet

#3 Express Gratitude for Yourself

You’ve worked so hard, and now you’re taking some well-deserved time off.

This staycation is a sign of gratitude for yourself, an acknowledgement of all you have achieved this year.

Nobody will argue that it has been a crazy year.

You’ve gone through so much — a pandemic, social tensions, and now we have political developments to wrap up 2020.

We have ALL been affected. If you felt isolated or fearful during this year, it’s understandable.

Yet, you have made it to the end of the year.

Your hard work, resilience, and commitment to yourself and your family have only empowered you.

And you deserve recognition for that.

And even though it may feel silly, the next time you see yourself in the mirror, tell yourself, “Thank you for all you have done. I appreciate you.”

Reclaim Your Time and Give It To Yourself

During this time of the year, it’s easy to give all our time away, whether to holiday tasks or socializing with others. Instead of feeling centered, you feel like you’re pulled in every direction.

It’s time to stop feeling overwhelmed this holiday season and start feeling well-rested, replenished, and inspired.

This only happens when you set aside time for yourself and use it for self-care and self-love.

If you need a little inspiration for self-care activities that will revitalize you, I offer you a free gift: a list of my favorite holiday self-care practices (which take 15 minutes or less). These small acts of self-love can remind you how important it is to prioritize self-care and your well-being during this special time of year.

Click here to claim your copy of 24 of My Favorite Holiday Self-Care Activities That Take Less Than 15 Minutes.

I hope your holidays are filled with warmth, joy and ease. Take care and happy holidays!

The Secret to Beating Holiday Stress: Break Free from the Superwoman Syndrome

Thanksgiving has passed, but do you still find yourself holding your breath?

The holidays aren’t over. December still holds so much holiday stress and errands…

  • Buying gifts
  • Sending invitations
  • Running errands
  • Decorating your home
  • Wrapping presents

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed!

And if you have Superwoman Syndrome, trying to tackle it all alone, you’re bound to burn out. 

“The pressure of trying to do everything ― plan the perfect holiday, make it home to see your family, say yes to every event, meet those year-end deadlines ― can be enough to send anyone into a tail spin,” said Carolyn Gregoire in the HuffPost. 

Instead of admiring the twinkling lights and enjoying the warmth of friends and family, you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, drained and maybe even isolated.

So, Whitney, what can I do?

The secret to staying empowered during the holidays is realizing that you don’t have to do everything yourself. Instead, rely on your support systems.

Here’s why.

How Support Systems Can Bring You Joy During the Holidays

The holidays feel like they should be a time of joy but so much of the time they don’t feel like that… More often, stress and the holidays seem to go hand-in-hand.

Tackling your holiday errands while fulfilling your normal responsibilities stretches you thin.

But when you start loosening your grip on the reigns and relying on the people in your support systems, you may notice…

  • You feel more emotionally supported
  • You lessen the load on your plate and reduce your holiday stress
  • You are more resilient to sickness (helpful during flu season!)
  • You have more time to actually experience joy and ease during the holidays!

But you probably already know how asking for help can help you. So, why don’t you do it?

Could it be the excuses you’re telling yourself?

….I don’t even have enough time to ask… It’s awkward asking for help… They’re too busy and I don’t want to be a bother…

Here’s the thing about support systems. They’re a two-way street! You can ask others for help when you need it, the same way they can ask you for help when they need it.

That’s how powerful bonds that last a lifetime are forged.

And during the holidays, it’s critical to ask for help when you need it if you want to stay empowered. Here are a few ways to lean on your support systems during the holiday season.

3 Tips for Relying on Your Support Systems to Reduce Holiday Stress

#1 Use Teamwork to Tackle Holiday Errands

Although your obligations may increase during the holidays, the number of hours you have in a day remains the same.

Doing everything yourself may result in burnout and you may possibly make yourself sick (the last thing you want during the holiday season!).

Delegating certain tasks to friends and family members can help you stay on top of things. For example, you can…

  • Have your children run errands, like buying groceries and picking up dry cleaning
  • Designate areas of your home to each family member for tidying up
  • Ask your partner to help put up holiday decorations
  • If you’re hosting the holiday party, consider making it a potluck. Each person can contribute to the holiday meal, lessening the prep and cooking you’ll have to do that day.
  • Holding a Secret Santa gift exchange may also reduce the amount of gift shopping and wrapping you’ll have to do!

Lessening the pile on your plate can reduce holiday stress while freeing up more time (and mental bandwidth) to experience joy and intimacy during the holidays.

#2 Be Vulnerable (It’s not as scary as it sounds!)

After this crazy year and now seasonal affective disorder settling in, you might be prone to negative emotions during this time of the year.

Elevated stress, anxiety and overwhelm can make it a struggle just to get out of bed.

So, what might your go-to reaction be?

Bottle it up?

But like putting a lid on a boiling pot, your emotions can tend to rise and may spill over into hopelessness and self-sabotaging behavior.

Being open and vulnerable can help you channel those emotions in a healthy way.

But that’s scary!

Here’s an important thing about your support systems. Choosing the right people to keep close to your heart also means choosing people who love you, support you and uplift you.

Choosing the right people to keep close to your heart also means choosing people who love you, support you and uplift you. Click To Tweet

So, if you’re feeling down, reach out.

It doesn’t always have to be your partner. You can bond with a close friend or family member and share how you’re feeling.

You might discover that simply unburdening your emotions can lead to greater clarity, joy and ease.

#3 Have Fun With a Loved One

Finally, just have fun.

Too often, you might associate the holidays with stress and errands so that you forget it’s also a time for relaxing, strengthening bonds and appreciating life.

And you don’t have to wait until the day of the celebration either.

If you’re feeling isolated or just need a break from the daily grind, spend time with your loved ones:

  • Catch up with your friends over a video call
  • Plan a picnic at the park with your partner
  • Schedule a movie night with the family
  • Have a spa day at home with the girls

The holidays can be the perfect opportunity to unwind and introduce a little seasonal joy and self-care into your life.

You’re not alone 

This article is about leaning on your support systems during the holidays.

But you might still be hesitant about asking for help when you need it. Or the thought of sharing your thoughts and emotions with somebody is terrifying.

If you want to reach out but don’t know quite how to do it in a way that makes you feel empowered, I’m here as part of your support system. So, claim a Complimentary 30-minute “Break Free from the Superwoman Syndrome” Discovery session with me. 

In this 30-minute consultation, you’ll:

  • Reveal a clear and compelling vision of what else is possible for your life when you’re no longer trying to do it all by yourself and, instead, are receiving the support that you crave
  • Tap into greater love, ease, and joy 
  • Explore how having a partner on your journey will provide a shortcut to all that you desire.

Click here now to claim your Complimentary “Break Free from the Superwoman Syndrome” Discovery session.

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