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Feel Good Movement Challenge // The Season of No

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Bestowe Self Care Management

When the Gifting Season Turns Stressful, Maybe it’s time to focus on Our Own Self Care

Suddenly it’s October, and I hate to tell you, but it means that the gifting season is officially upon us. A time of year that is notably stressful with all the planning and preparation and it’s got me thinking about something, self care. Admittedly, this is a time of year when my self care routine takes a backseat to all the hurried-ness. A time of year when I pretend I can do it all and power through. But in reality, it is a time when slowing down and taking a #selfcareeveryday shouldn’t be ignored.

With everyone back to school and business gearing up for the holidays, my day-in, day-out routine has become a bit of a personal struggle. Maybe you can relate:

Last night (like many nights) I couldn’t turn off the thoughts in my head. They were bouncing back and forth between all my action items for the next day...don’t forget my son’s library book, cut checks for the bills and business, write for the, um... blog. Finally, I lose the battle and fall asleep. 6 hours later I’m awake (15 minutes before the alarm clock goes off) with that same mental to-do list nagging at me. I’m actually eager to get out of bed since it’s early to attack my morning meditation, make my morning americano-le coffee, and hope to steal a few minutes to go over the exhausting weekly schedule with my husband before we have to get out the door. But then, chaos ensues, my son wakes up, and the moment his feet hit the floor he is asking 42 questions, making a last minute homework attempt - since he didn't finish it the night before, and complaining I'm not packing his school lunch the “right way”. 30 painful minutes later we are out the door and I never got my quiet moment. After a quick turnaround to get the library book we forgot, we are off to the carpool line at school, my mental to-do list is completely erased and I’m scrambling with where to start my day.

Finally, I conclude all this anxiety and brain fog are really just subtle signs saying, Self Care Much?? And that this is the perfect time for a refresh and reset before the holiday hustle begins.

I've decided to make self care a priority instead of something I hope gets checked off the list this holiday season.

When researching self care ideas, I saw the obvious ones like getting good rest, eating well, meditation and...a lot about finding the perfect support for your bust. Kidding aside, there are a LOT of great suggestions out there, but after careful consideration, I’ve chosen my personal top-3 self care actions. And I'm challenging you to make your list too! Let's get ahead of stress this year and give ourselves the freedom to be empowered by thinking-of and caring for ourselves first - no matter how busy this season gets.

30-Day Self Care Challenge

Join me in prioritizing self care throughout the next month….then the following month...then for, dare I say, a whole year! 2020 here we come!

You can also join our Feel Good Movement Facebook Group that I just started.

This Facebook Group, the Feel Good Movement, is inspired by giving ourselves permission to say no to the things that keep ourselves from saying yes to "me time" and self-preservation and self-care that our bodies and minds so desperately need. I invite you to share your own tips on how to bring wellness into your life and pamper your body during the busy and crazy ways of everyday life. We will pose questions, share tips and inspire you here, but we invite you to use this as a platform to share your own pieces of advice on happiness, wellness and self-care and hopefully by doing so, create a community of support around wellness.

wellness yoga

Practice a positive reflection for mental clarity.

I think this moment of reflection is going to become addicting, but I challenge you to at least 10 minutes a day. There are several ways we can practice a moment of quiet reflection. Here are 4 ways to accomplish our mental wellness.

The first way is to find affirmations to lift you up and remind yourself that you are doing a great job, erase self doubt, tell yourself that YOU ARE ENOUGH. This may sound cheesy, but I like to write these on post-its and decorate the bathroom mirror with them as daily reminders glaring me in the pores face - does anyone else do this?

Another great way to mentally chill - Listen to an uplifting podcast. My fav is Ram Dass, but I’m also liking the Feel Good Effect, Oprah's Super Soul Conversations (obvi!), and occasionally, for a little comic relief and educational flare, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Nys (because he is unabashedly humble and teaches me about self-reflection through being more aware about the world around me...we’ll get to more of that later).

Try to pick at least 3 great things that happened in your day or week to remember. Reflect only on the positive things and how they made you feel. Jot them down to refer back to if you like. I like to use the 5-Minute Journal app or this awesome book from Chronicle Books.

And yet another favorite are meditation apps (Headspace is the best!) to quiet your mind. Dozens of medical and scholarly articles reveal that meditation is incredibly helpful in reducing stress and physicians are now prescribing meditation for depression and anxiety in lieu of antidepressants. They say that meditation can actually reprogram the way your brain handles stress. If that is not a good reason to take on this part of the challenge, I don’t know what is! I find when I take 5 minutes to sit down and release my thoughts, I feel the weight of all the craziness around me disappear.

What other ways can we take a break and focus on our mood and mental health?

self-care concrete bath tub
Put the phone down and be present.

Being an entrepreneur in today’s world means being on- trend and in-the-know. 10 minutes away from the phone could mean missing the next big thing and losing vital instagram engagement. But it is also missing the world around us. The hummingbird chasing the cat outside. My son sounding out the words to a new book he got at the library. The million little things that can’t be viewed through selfie mode or insta stories. Sometimes, I look up from working at my computer or my phone and realize hours have passed by. Then, I have to adjust to a near-sighted world of amazing out there.

It is hard to feel good after reading dozens of articles and mountains of research linking smartphone use to psychological issues. One psychologist states that our problematic smartphone use (google it - it’s a real thing and basically mobile addiction) has us “disconnected from what really matters, from what makes us feel nourished and grounded as human beings.” Um, yikes, we aren’t even human anymore! So where do we find balance in this mobile power struggle? We all need to be connected, but how much is too much? Afterall, we limit our kids screen time, why don’t we limit our own? I have established a rule to not be near or on my phone or computer from 6 - 8 every night, but for the holiday season I am challenging myself to double that time. I’m also challenging to take an uninterrupted (phone free) lunch with a friend or family member and cherish spending quality time with loved ones - not capturing the moment, but living in the moment. So join me in putting your phone donn and going #airplanemode a few times a week to reduce our stress, be present, and enjoy the holidays.

Prioritize with a calendar and leave room to say, "no".

Remember the Shonda Rhimes, ‘Year of Yes’, well how about a Season of No? Not everyone is a calendar junkie, and I'm not saying this is the time to adopt a Type A personality, but to make a conscious effort not to overcommit to holiday events. If you are like me and have a little (ok, serious case of) FOMO, then join me and feel empowered to say no to anything that overcrowds your schedule. During your free time, plan something for you - relax with a Netflix binge, a glass of wine at the fire pit, a good book, coffee on the porch, a Pinterest craft, ... or, eating an entire batch of holiday cookies... whatever your thing is, you do you!

Bestowe relax

The last part of the challenge is to not feel guilty thinking about yourself and remember, you are healthier, happier, and less-stressed for it.

My goal this year is that with less stress, and a little more focus on myself, I’ll be prepared to enjoy the precious time with family and friends.

Lastly, I want to offer up one more stress-reducing method and the reason Bestowe exists - to take care of gifting for you:

Make gifting a little easier and send a perfectly crafted gift box.

You may not have time to shop all the local boutiques to find that perfect gift-box item. You may not have time to personalize it, find it thoughtful packaging, and deliver it to your special people. With Bestowe, all those details are handled for you. We have hand picked, artisan-crafted goods, we prepare your personal touch, hand wrap with care, and get it delivered for you. Your worry plate gets a little lighter with knowing that you are covered in the gift department. Get one for your friends, co-workers, family... we have a gift for everyone’s needs. And go ahead and get yourself one of these amazing wellness boxes  for your special night, remember no guilty feelings allowed!

 wellness mind body and spirit gifts

If you need a little motivation to get you in gift mode, download our Bestowe Holiday Gift Guide, for an amazing check-list to keep you organized!

If you are feeling especially eager to get a jump on the shopping so you have more of those "me days", read about my super shopper guide from the Christmas in July blog.

Let’s start a Feel Good Movement

All these positive vibes has me wondering, how many people can we get on board to have a stress-free holiday gifting season? Let’s enjoy the parties we’ve been invited to instead of dreading fitting them into our busy schedules. Let’s not be frustrated by shopping traffic and long lines. Let’s not worry if the Christmas brunch isn’t exactly perfect. Let’s bask in the true joy of giving that perfect gift to others.

I started this business for just that, taking the struggle and stress out of finding a perfect gift for someone. Something curated and thoughtful. A gathering place for people to enjoy making others feel appreciated. My hope is that you are able to find that stress free gift here, so you have a little more time for you this year.

I’d love to hear your self-care tips! Cheers to the Holidays!

Comment below or join our Feel Good Movement Facebook Group

This Facebook Group, the Feel Good Movement, is inspired by giving ourselves permission to say no to the things that keep ourselves from saying yes to "me time" and self-preservation and self-care that our bodies and minds so desperately need. I invite you to share your own tips on how to bring wellness into your life and pamper your body during the busy and crazy ways of everyday life. We will pose questions, share tips and inspire you here, but we invite you to use this as a platform to share your own pieces of advice on happiness, wellness and self-care and hopefully by doing so, create a community of support around wellness.

 

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Social Media Post: New on the blog today, I'm challenging you to 30 days of self care! Join me in planning ahead for a stress free holiday season!

challenge holidays self care stress-free wellness

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