In this season we are good at giving service to others, donating our time, money, and talents. Sometimes while we are giving we can forget to take care of ourselves.
When you take care of yourself you can fully enjoy this season feeling less guilt, exhaustion, and stress.
Here are 12 ways you can give to yourself during this season so you can fully enjoy this time of year and the service you are giving to others. Pick and choose which ones you feel will help you the most during this time of year.
Here are the 12 Days!
1st Day: Give Understanding to Your Doubts
Know that doubt is going to show up and it’s normal. Understanding that doubts are not roadblocks but actually caution signs can help the doubt from becoming a self-limiting belief. Instead of stopping because doubt shows up, you assess the risk and then take the steps necessary to keep going, to keep showing up. When you expect doubt to be there you can be prepared for it when it comes. You can plan for how you will respond to it.
For Day 1 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, I want you to think of one of your most recurring doubts and plan for how you will respond to it next time. Write down your plan on your phone, on a piece of paper, or on a napkin. Writing it down is a mini rehearsal for doing it.
2nd Day: Give Loyalty to the Promises Made To Yourself
Keep the promise you made to yourself today. When you are loyal to your promises you gain a better relationship with yourself, leading to trusting yourself more which allows for confidence to grow.
For Day 2 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, do the thing you told yourself you were going to do today. Also, consider setting a few boundaries today too if you feel that you always put others needs before your own.
When you have a better relationship with yourself it allows for you to have better relationships with others.
3rd Day: Give Gratitude For Your Emotions
Your emotions give you feedback. Showing gratitude for what your emotions do for you changes your perception of them, leading to a decrease in emotional suffering. Your emotions allow you to understand yourself, understand others, show empathy, and act quickly. They also help you communicate, make decisions, and prepare you to take action.
For Day 3 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, focus on what your emotions are trying to tell you today. Really be aware of how you are feeling and choose how you want to respond. Write down one emotion you have today and why you are grateful for it.
4th Day: Give Respect To Your Body
Your body does so much for you. Giving respect to your body allows you to become aware of all your body does for you, leading you to treating it with worthiness and meeting its needs.
For Day 4 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, show your body respect by moving it, taking a nice long shower or bath, stretching it, feeding it good foods, etc.
5th Day: Give Flexibility To Change
Focus on what you can control. Giving flexibility to change helps you adapt more quickly and calmly to new situations, leading to better focus to respond effectively to unexpected problems and uncertain situations. You need to be willing to be flexible to the uncertainty of change so you can grow.
For Day 5 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, focus on how you can grow from changes happening in your life right now that are out of your control. When you focus on how you can grow, you take back control by choosing what you focus on.
6th Day: Give Forgiveness to Your Mistakes
One of the hardest things to do is forgive ourselves. It can be hard because you see all of your flaws and all the mistakes you have made. If you can forgive yourself and your mistakes though, it will allow you to learn, grow, and move forward without continually beating yourself up for what happened in the past.
For Day 6 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, think of the most recent mistake you made and write down what you learned from it. Then physically brush off the mistake from off your shoulder and move forward.
Give yourself grace when you make a mistake and know that mistakes are lessons.
7th Day: Give Compassion To Your Thoughts
We all have negative thoughts and thoughts we don’t want. Giving compassion to your thoughts allows you to see them as just that, thoughts–words in your head. This separation from your thoughts leads to being able to do things without getting stuck in your thoughts.
The goal isn’t to get rid of any one specific thought, the goal is to be able to do things without overidentifying and getting entangled in your thoughts.
For Day 7 of the 12 Days of Giving To Yourself, I want to challenge you to do a mindfulness exercise. For one minute, just sit with your thoughts and observe them with no judgment. Each thought you have I want you to place it on a leaf or a cloud and watch it float downstream or across the sky. Do this with every single thought you have in that 1 minute.
As you practice this mindfulness exercise, you will start gaining the ability to separate yourself from your thoughts, allowing you to realize that you are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts.
8th Day: Give Patience To Healing
Whether it’s physical or mental healing that you might be dealing with right now, give yourself the time to heal. Giving patience to your healing can allow you to heal well, learn from the healing process, and possibly heal more quickly. Giving patience allows you to give the time, effort, and energy needed to heal.
For Day 8 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, do something to help your healing today. You may need to set up an appointment to a physical therapist, a doctor, a dentist, a therapist, or a mental performance coach. You may simply need to slow down today and be present with yourself and those around you. Getting more sleep, drinking more water, or eating the proper nutrition are also ways you could help yourself heal today.
9th Day: Give Appreciation For Your Growth
You have come so far this year. It may not feel like it but I promise you have! Showing appreciation for your growth allows you to pay attention to and realize all the ways you have grown, leading to more respect for what you overcame and accomplished this year.
For Day 9 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, take some time to reflect today. I challenge you to look back on this year and find the little successes you had.
Ask these questions and write down the answers:
How have I grown this year?
What are 3 small wins I had this year?
What did I overcome this year?
What did I get better at this year?
What is my biggest takeaway from the year?
What do I want to continue doing?
What do I want to begin doing?
What do I want to quit doing?
10th Day: Give Courage For Your Fears
When you feel fear, how do you usually respond? For most, it’s to avoid it or numb the feeling. You ignore it in hopes that it will go away. This usually makes the fear more intense the next time you encounter that situation though. Showing courage when facing your fears allows you to move forward through fear leading you to becoming fearless. The only way to become fearless is to do it with fear from the very beginning because no one is fearless at first. People aren’t born fearless, they become fearless.
For Day 10 of the 12 Days of giving to yourself, name your fear by writing it down, saying it out loud, or telling someone your fear. When you speak your fear, it loses its power. Getting specific with what the fear is will help you overcome it.
11th Day: Give Love To Your Journey
Everyone has their own journey. Each has its own ups and downs. Sometimes you focus so much on the end destination that you forget about the process. You forget to enjoy the journey. You think you can only be happy when you reach certain destinations. The truth is, you can enjoy right now! You just need to show some love for where you are at. Giving love to your journey allows you to become aware of it. It allows you to see the day to day things you are doing and appreciate them more, leading to joy being felt on the journey.
For Day 11 of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, become aware of where you are at and find things you love there. Focus on the day to day things you are doing today to become who you want to be. Be present where you are at and find joy there. If you are on a down slope in your journey, I’m sorry–that is hard, and I encourage you to try and understand what there is to learn from it and see how you can grow.
There is way more time spent on the journey than at the destination. Let’s not save our love just for the destination.
12th Day: Give Yourself Acceptance
The first question that comes to mind when someone says this is, but how? My answer is, it’s a process. I don’t think it happens all at once. It’s a process of gaining a better relationship with yourself over time. It’s allowing yourself to be human and accepting your faults along with your strengths. It’s learning to trust yourself and forgive yourself, all while figuring out who you are and who you want to become.
For the last day of the 12 Days of Giving to Yourself, show acceptance to a part of yourself that you’ve been trying to hide or ignore. With no judgment, say it out loud in front of a mirror. Give it space to just be whether it’s something you dislike, you think is too much, or you might be judged for. Allow yourself to know that it’s a part of you.
When you accept yourself, you see yourself for who you are right now. This allows you the perspective to continue growing and progressing into who you want to be. Allow yourself to be, to grow, to progress, to become.
I hope these help you take care of yourself this season and into the New Year!
Your Mental Performance Trainer,
Coryne Walston, M.S.