Holidays, festivals, cookies, Lebkuchen, snow, Gluhwein, decorations, wrapping paper, trees, Eggnog, Christkindlmärkte, gifts — each word connects us to the Christmas spirit. They excite us and strain us at the same time. Every year we painstakingly decide what gift to get for whom (or pass on the ones from the previous year), the Christmas Eve dinner menu (and make sure there are enough leftovers for the next few days) and what family picture to choose for our cards (of course, the one that makes you look the thinnest). In all this holiday delirium, though, how often do you add yourself to the list?
Is there anything special you do for the most special person in your life — YOU? What good is a festival if you don’t celebrate yourself in it!! Here are 5 of my top gift suggestions for thyself. Things that will help you celebrate yourself this season.
Do you remember the first few dates with your partner(s)? The excitement, enthusiasm and curiosity you felt? It is all so beautiful. Do you recall feeling that for yourself… ever? I guess not. We spend so much time and energy on getting to know others and sadly so little time in getting to know ourselves. Get curious about how you truly are from within. Try and discover what is deep within you. Focus on the everyday details of what you enjoy eating, wearing and reading but also pay attention to what you feel about yourself. Introspect, spend time alone and truly get to know yourself. There is much more to you than you know right now.
Go on a date with yourself
How can you date without actually going on a date? Decide a time and place and go out with yourself. Not alone but with yourself. It could be a museum visit or a stroll in the park. You could choose to go for a meal or a movie or to the spa. A musical concert, a dance night or just a simple coffee. You could even choose to do all of the above. Pick the cuisine you like, dress up in your favorite clothes and heels or boots, whatever makes you feel beautiful and enjoy dating yourself. What the heck, make a ritual out of it, not reserved for Christmas.
Befriend your demons
Since you are starting this amazing journey of self-discovery, why not befriend the whole of you? When you introspect, you will come across aspects of you don’t like. There will be fears, insecurities, doubts, painful memories, scathing experiences… there will be so much that you will have pushed under the surface to deal with later! Now is that later. Take the help of a professional if you need: there are counselors and coaches who can help you in accepting and even appreciating the painful side of you. I encourage you to work with your fears and insecurities because they are the only things stopping you from shining your brightest.
Become your own Santa
Make your gift wish list and fulfill it because you deserve to. Your wishes shall be your command. Your wish list can be made up of material things or experiences or both. Choose something that will give joy to your heart. Choose something that you will cherish for a long time. Choose something that’s meaningful. And don’t forget to add the skill to love yourself as much as you love others to your list. Spread the cheer all over you. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t truly love another.
Enrol in a class or workshop
Is there something that you have been planning to learn for a long time? Something you thought of doing some time in life? This is that sometime. Find out about the class you have been postponing to take and book an appointment right now (before you change your mind). We often tend to convince ourselves that we don’t ‘need’ a particular skill… Maybe you don’t ‘need’ it but you want it and that is equally important. Self-improvement seems like a want but if you look closely, you’ll realize that it is a need more than a want. Your quality of life improves, the way you look at yourself changes, in fact, a part of your life changes forever. So go and enroll in that baking/knitting/singing/dancing/painting/pottery class, get yourself an appointment with a coach, work on your language skills… whatever it is that your heart leaps out to, go grab it this Christmas.
A bonus tip!
To finish, I have a little Christmas gift for you- a bonus birthday gift tip. I do this personally and it is the best gift ever. Write a letter to yourself expressing your feelings, describing your dreams and stating your strengths. Truly open your heart out to yourself. Also ask your friends and family, the ones who truly mean something to you, to write down their feelings for you to be given before your birthday. Collect all these letters and open them on your birthday morning. Your day will start on a perfect note and you will have a permanent reminder of how loved you are, which you can read and re-read and re-re-read a million times. I usually am all teary-eyed by the end of reading and I hope you start your day all mushy too.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and a fulfilling journey of self-discovery and love!
Mallika Bhatia is a life coach with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and a Diploma in Hypnotherapy with more than 13 years of experience in the field… yet her 3 year old seems to believe she is no more than a snack maker who is also good at telling bed time stories! Even tough she is a writer, a blogger and a published author, her daughter strongly believes Mamma’s work is sitting in cafes and starting into empty spaces. To find more about her and her services, check her website or Facebook page.