This time of year, it is typical and far too common to feel tired, rundown, and spread in too many directions. The first thing that we seem to forget is taking care of ourselves. We can’t do it all, all the time. 

We need to rethink the way we care for ourselves on a daily basis in order to keep ourselves healthy, happy and thriving. Here is an excerpt from my book Kicking Sick to get you thinking about how to truly care for yourself wisely.

Self-care is taking care of yourself in a tender, loving way every single day. Self-care is making sure you get what you need every day to thrive. What are the self-care rituals that help you the most? Aromatherapy? Have you tried tapping yet? How about dry brushing—getting your glow on with a nice, natural bristle body brush? Is your bedroom set up for a truly restorative night’s sleep?

Do you wake up gently and not to the piercing sound of an alarm clock? Do you allow yourself peaceful time in the morning, or are you off to the races, with stress all over you and around you?

What can you shift and add in to your personal care rituals? What rituals can you make a part of your normal routine? Would a hot bath or regular naps serve you well? What about lying in savasana with cucumbers over your eyes?

Need more downtime? How about carving out a time to engage your creativity—whether that’s reading a good book, painting, gardening, or engaging in an arts-and-crafts project. Put on your pajamas and watch a comedy—and laugh, laugh, laugh.

Give Yourself a Mirror Moment

Get yourself a fairy godmother mirror, or designate one you already have by sprinkling it with some fairy dust. Now look in that mirror. Right now. I don’t care if your face is puffy or you’re wearing granny panties. The more raw you feel, the better, at least for what you’re about to do.

Look in that mirror hard, but with ease. Truly take yourself in. Take a couple long deep breaths, and give me one thing you love about yourself, physically, spiritually, emotionally, or intellectually. Something truly groovy and amazing about who you are:

  • “I love the freckle above my lip,” or
  • “I’ve got great boobs,” or
  • “I’m an extremely good baker. My gluten-free carob-walnut brownies rock.”
  • “My arms look extra toned and cut today.”
  • “I love my beauty mark. It gives me character.”
  • “I love the color of my eyes.”
  • “I love my kind heart.”
  • “I’m smart and can beat my boyfriend at Scrabble, but I’m also generous and kind, so I let him win every once in a while, too.”

Now give me something else. Come on, say it out loud. Discover how incredible you are, right now, in this very moment. By doing this, you are committing to being compassionate toward yourself. You are fully taking in your true essence, not your illness.

When we give ourselves these moments repeatedly over time, it creates a ritual of self-love. You can then start to have a loving dialogue with yourself, and get on your team. Full acceptance of yourself is the first true step toward healing to do with your illness.