’Tis the season ….of madness and chaos!
Christmas, as magical as it is, often seemed to me as a very busy, frantic period of the year. Finding the right gifts for everyone, wrapping them, cleaning and decorating the house. Oh and all the cooking!
** for those who may not be aware, in Poland, the country I come from, we have a tradition of preparing 12 dishes for our Christmas dinner…yes, 12! and I should mention some of them take few hours to cook, so you can imagine how long it takes to prepare that one Christmas dinner **
What often happens during this chaotic time, is we neglect ourselves. We over-work ourselves, hoping to please everyone around us. We attempt to be the perfect employee, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, student, daughter, son - whatever the role is that you take on, we are told we ought to perform well.
Our tired bodies suffer from weakened immune system and suddenly we’re more likely to catch a cold from that co-worker who keeps sneezing.
And from there onwards, it’s just a downward spiral; you have less energy to do all the things you ‘have’ to do, so you’re more stressed, which negatively impacts your health.
So why do we do that? Why do we abandon ourselves, and forget about self-care completely?
Usually due to one of the most common untruths that we do not have time.
We tell ourselves that we do not have enough time for all the things on our to-do list, let alone taking a long hot bath, spending an evening reading a book, catching up with a friend or going to your yoga class.
But what I want to remind you, and myself, about today, is that
WE DO HAVE TIME.
It is not about time, it’s about choice.
How do you choose to treat yourself, your body and your mind?
How do you choose what you do have time for and what you don’t have time for?
And not just during the Christmas period, but also in your everyday life.
The paradox is that if you do give yourself those few hours per week to take care of yourself, you have more energy to give to others. You are more productive, creative, joyful and in control of your reactions and behaviour.
To bring it back to yoga, has there really been a time when you didn’t feel better in some way after your yoga class?
But, wait for it...wait for it...Oh! here it is - the guilt creeps in - am I not just being selfish?!
Well, just think about it; is talking to your partner in a kind way, keeping your calm with that irritating colleague at work, or not reacting when someone cuts you off at the traffic lights, really that selfish??
If you find yourself struggling with finding time for the things you want to do, whilst feeling like there’s already not enough time for you to do all the things you ‘should or have to do’, then I encourage you to make this statement ‘ I do have time’ (or any other statement that works for you) your affirmation for this month or the months ahead. But make it tangible, stick it on a post-it note, use it as your phone screen background, or wherever you look frequently.
And if you feel like affirmations are not your thing, why not just ask yourself a simple question, whenever you have to make a decision about how you manage your time - What would a person who loves themselves do?
Just remember. You have just as much time in a day as everyone else on this planet - 1440 minutes, to be precise. You have a choice. You decide how and what you spend that time on. You decide on your attitude towards time. Is it going to be stressed and overwhelmed, or are you ready to bring in the feeling of calm and control?