My private membership for Parents, Intentional Parents of Tweens and Teens Units, kicks off this week! Join us! This program is a supportive, collaborative space for parents to connect and uncover new strategies for creating ease during this interesting time of parenthood. The three focuses are self-care for parents, communication strategies, and child-centered actions to support your tween’s/teen’s growth. Today’s article digs into self-care, giving you, as the parents, the opportunity to set boundaries and implement practices that nourish and rejuvenate you during this holiday season.
You have taken the time to imagine the peaceful, joyful, and loving holiday season that you and your family want, need, and deserve. Now, give this intention value by aligning your actions with it.
Slow down. Consider: Does this action serve me? Does this action bring peace? Joy? Love? Does this action serve my family? Is there another action that will better serve me?
As a parent, the pressures of this season can be as plentiful as the excitement. Under pressure, we may give into or take actions that are not in alignment with our needs and desires. Parents have shared with me that they get stuck in the cycle of giving, giving, giving and doing, doing, doing during this time of year. The to-do lists are long and calendars are full to the brim.
Thus, I invite you to give yourself permission to pump the breaks, to let go, and to receive. You don’t need approval from anyone outside of yourself to do these things; in fact, it is your right and I encourage you to claim it regularly.
As 2017 comes to a close, I’m excited to share 5 tips for containing your energy and engaging in ways that fulfill you.
1. If it’s not a “YES!” it’s a no. If you aren’t enthusiastic, excited, inspired, or interested, don’t say yes. Trust your inner voice and error on the side of no. Notice what a “YES!” feels like in your body and become more aware of what a “no” feels like in your body. If an opportunity or invitation brings a sense of tightness in your chest, a feeling of “How can I do it all?!,” or a numbness, trust the wisdom of your body. (Keep in mind how much you want this for your teen, too! Modeling is a powerful way to teach!)
2. Pick your ONE THING that you truly want to put your energy into each day. You can’t do it all, so set yourself up for success by getting clear on ONE thing you want to tackle each day. You may have tasks to do that are above and beyond your typical routines and commitments right now. Take it slow, one step at a time. Prioritize the tasks on your to-do list in order of urgency and/or difficulty, then take it one item at a time. Get my FREE downloadable guide here.
3. Make time for the seemingly simple self-care rituals that sustain you. Take walks, call your best friend stop for coffee (and order the whipped cream on top), buy yourself flowers, enjoy a bath, get to bed early. Yes, you have time! All you have is time, right? So, I invite you to carve out the time for practices that bring you peace, rest, and rejuvenation. Encourage your children to do the same. It’s important that children learn about and use self-care rituals, too.
4. Invite your family to participate in the creation of holiday gatherings and celebrations. Have a family meeting in which each family member gets to name and choose ways they will contribute to the family celebrations. This includes tasks like cleaning, decorating, invitations, wrapping, and shopping. Children and teens thrive off of responsibility, even if they resist it at first. Rather than assigning tasks, the goal here is to get buy in from your children. If they pick the task, their engagement and ownership will be elevated.
5. Practice energy healing and releasing. Stress can sneak up over and over again, so this practice is one that you– and I– will return to regularly. When you notice signs of stress in your body– pay attention to your chest, belly, hands, and face– I invite you to stand, shake it out (perhaps with some of your favorite holiday music) and brush it off. Even better? Do clear the stress as a family by having a dance and shaking party!
Aligning with the peace, joy, and love you want and need in your life is a valid priority. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone. Self-care is a worthwhile, powerful, and NECESSARY aspect of your life. I wish YOU many moments of quiet, sweetness, and connection this holiday season.