There’s a hot new self-care trend out there this season – and unlike most trends, I am here. for. all. of. it. Because I believe it’s the best (and maybe only) way to be truly happy.
I saw it start up last holiday season, with messages like these right here: “I’m skipping holiday cards this year.” Or “We’re only going to one Christmas party – and I’m bringing one super-simple dish.” Or “Not gonna’ get to the annual Santa photo – it’s never fun, and I’m nervous just thinking about it.”
YES, GIRL. YES.
Yes to releasing unnecessary to-do’s that don’t feel good. Yes to releasing overcomplicating everything. Yes to releasing unhappy situations just because they’re tradition, and instead, listening to your intuition and choosing ease.
Yes to letting go.
See the pattern here? Each of these things has one big thing in common: releasing what other people think about you (which you can never really know or control anyway), and practicing what YOU want instead. This is an advanced practice. But it’s the ultimate form of self-care.
In fact, if there was just ONE self-care strategy I’d wish for you to master, this is it. Letting go of other people’s thoughts, expectations, and ideals has the ability to drastically change every aspect of your entire life.
Not deep breathing. Not meditation. Those things are awesome, but they help you deal with the stress of not being able to let go of what others think and live your life for yourself (aka not the root of the cause). This is infinitely more valuable.
Now, I know – this is especially hard for mothers – and I did not forget my audience, because I’m right there with you. I’m right in the middle of early motherhood, with babies who require an extraordinary amount of time, energy, mental bandwidth, money, and any other resource you can imagine. But there’s no question about it:
When you start making the choice to take care of yourself – by making choices that practice letting go of what other people think – you not only approach motherhood from a more giving, relaxed, and loving place, but you also approach it from a centered and whole place, one that gives a silent, subtle, strong undercurrent of stability and peace in your home.
And that’s the best gift, for the holidays or otherwise, you can give to your family.
For me personally, here’s what this looks like… releasing what my family-in-laws might think, and not doing a wave of rushed cleaning before they arrive. Releasing what my family might feel, and not getting everyone’s Christmas gifts on time (and forgiving myself for it). Releasing what everyone might say when I sneak off to spend solo time working during family vacations. Because work makes me feel amazing, and I’m pumped about producing new content.. And I don’t usually say “pumped.”
Notice: I do “might” think/feel/say because we never really know what’s going on with someone else. This is big – because our fears are based within ourselves. Sometimes we push them onto others when they’re not there. (And sometimes, those people might just love us, without thinking any of the scary thoughts we have in our own heads.)
So, when you feel the pressure of doing everything and making everyone else happy, try this strategy instead:
- Stop and take a breath.
- Ask yourself “Who am I really doing this for?”, “Is this something I truly want to do, or is it at least for an outcome that I – no one else, but I – 100% want or need?”
- If yes, then do it. And love the time.
- If no, then drop it. Because time’s too short.
- Trust that everyone regarding your decision will be okay.
Need a few more tidbits of self-care information and inspiration? Look no further; I have you covered. Check out my free Ritual Care Kit, and learn all about my favorite techniques.