Be Kind to Yourself this Christmas

Be Kind to Yourself this Christmas

Especially if you have lost a loved one in the past year.

I have said many times over the past several years that we are going to have a landslide of family and friends passing in our near future. Now I understand that it sounds fairly fatalistic, but when you are a baby boomer and have not had to attend a funeral in over 20 years, the odds are that at some point the dominos are going to start to fall. So, I went looking for ways to celebrate, remember and ways to be kinder to ourselves this Christmas Season.

This past year, I lost my mom and this will be our family’s first Christmas without her. And for me, what comes up are my younger memories of her and Christmas. What she would bake, make, sew and buy. What movies we would HAVE to watch. Insisting that my sister and I would have to go to downtown Edmonton to the Marvel School of Hairdressing to get our annual Christmas Day “up-do”. Not so cool when you are 13. But we did get to spend time in front of The Bay Christmas windows. I just loved how they decorated them.

Christmas eve church service was a must, so we could sing some carols. Her favorite Norwegian foods, like lefsa, pickled herring, not so much when I was younger (I have since come to love it). And her favorite was taking one turkey to the butcher before Christmas to make sure she had smoked turkey for New Year’s Eve.

So as the weeks leading to one of my favorite times of the year approaches, I have found myself breaking down at various points of each day, and I have just decided that it’s OK. Kindness towards others at this time of year is a standard that most of the planet follows, but we still seem to be hard on ourselves. So do yourself and me a huge favor this holiday season and just catch yourself if you are being hard on yourself.

Here are a few “kindness tips” you should give a try over the next couple of weeks.

1. If the waterworks start, take a big breath and let it be.

2. Give yourself the gift of fresh air, get outside for a 10-minute walk each day.

3. Only go to events that you know your energy can enjoy, do not do anything out of a sense of obligation.

4. Eat a few more fruits and veg every day, it will help support your energy.

5. Try and get a few more hugs in each day, seriously go for 3 per day if you can.

6. Only overeat the foods that you ABSOLUTELY LOVE.

7. Take as many naps as you can over the holidays and those are ‘guilt-free’ naps.

8. Watch a few movies that make you laugh. Let’s boost our endorphins this year.

9. Find many reasons to smile as much as you can.

10. As you wrap up this year, and reflect on the next one coming, give yourself a pat on the back for being here and being present.

Here’s to kicking up some dust as we move through 2016!

Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame