November is a month filled with opportunities to celebrate. It is also a time to focus on self-care before the holiday season gets any more intense. One way to tend to yourself mentally, emotionally and physically is to express gratitude and give back.
Gratitude is appreciation; a positive way to connect. In general, people love to be appreciated and experience positive emotions when they are thanked, leading to healthier and stronger bonds.
Giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. This can be tangible or intangible. It can be as simple as a smile or kindness extended to another.
Gratitude and giving allow you to focus outside yourself. Practicing them can also enhance interactions with relatives and friends during the holidays.
Research indicates that self-care reduces stress , increases productivity and inspires cheerful feelings. By giving ourselves a daily dose of care and love, we approach our work and interactions with an upbeat and relaxed attitude. This allows the cycle of positivity to continue.
Here are 10 practical methods of self-care:
Diet. Well-balanced meals that include foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the brain and body.
Rest. Sleep and mood are closely connected. Inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress; while deep rest enhances your well-being.
Exercise. Regular exercise relieves stress , improves memory, enhances sleep and boosts your overall view.
Relaxation. Techniques such as meditation, massage and exercise release endorphins , which are chemicals in the body that naturally relieve pain and elevate your point of view.
Positivity. Affirmations and self-appreciation can instantly boost feelings. A simple phrase like this works: “I accept and love myself exactly as I am right now. I am grateful for the wonderful things in my life.”
Pampering. Whether taking a bubble bath or getting a pedicure, pampering yourself is a great way to recharge both mind and body.
Strength. Focus on your strengths and growth potential to feel empowered to set even higher goals to achieve.
Gratitude. Consider starting a gratitude journal or daily prayer. When a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine is released in the system and affects mood.
Forgiveness. Developing forgiveness of yourself and others has been associated with decreased stress, anxiety and depression . It also strengthens relationships with others.
Laughter. Listening to comedy routines, watching funny TV shows, reading amusing books—there are numerous easy ways to bring a few smiles and chuckles into your day!
If you would like to discuss how to have an enjoyable and stress-free holiday, let’s chat! Please feel free to reach out to Perspectives with any questions.
For more information about Shu-Han Su, LPC, click here.
Originally published November 1, 2019