Tool #1: Your Own Oxygen Mask On First
You hear this all the time when you fly. As Raoul Martinez and I discuss in the video below, the more commitments you have, the more you need to be taking care of you. Some practical ways to do that:
- Stop and ask yourself the simple question, "What does (Your Name) need?" You might be surprised at the clarity and simplicity of your answer.
- Take an afternoon off. Treat yourself to lunch, tackle your to-do list, take a nap, or do whatever else you need to get done. But do it at your own pace, without guilt or distractions.
- Take time at the end of the day to read a favorite book. There's something comforting about having a good book to return to.
- Say no/no thanks. Sometimes you need to say no to protect your time, energy, health or other commitments.
What's one practical way you could take care of yourself this week... so you can take better care of those around you?
Tool #2: Gratitude
Now I know that can sound sappy, but gratitude works. If you don't believe me, try going a month on the job without it.
Lack of appreciation causes people to disengage from jobs and relationships. Lack of gratitude at the holidays can turn happy occasions into a mess. Some practical ways to show gratitude this season:
- Give a heartfelt "thank you" to the person cooking your holiday meal(s).
- If the cook is you, don't be afraid to nudge your loved ones if necessary. A friendly hug and a "Hey, can I get a thank you?" is a lot better than simmering with frustration or hurt feelings.
- Take the first minute of every morning to give thanks for everything you have.
- Send a simple note of thanks to someone who's not expecting it.
You don't have to love everything about a person to show them gratitude. In fact, sometimes that's when your gratitude means the most.
Tool #3: Generosity
Show me a soul who's grateful and generous, and I'll show you someone who can get through just about anything. Generosity born of gratitude is one of the greatest gifts on Earth.
Quick plug in light of Giving Tuesday: If you have the gift of sight, think about all the things this makes possible. Now imagine going through each day without clear vision—and no way to fix it. How would that affect your confidence? Your ability to work, play, read, learn or drive?
Now imagine you could give someone the gift of clear vision for only $23. You can. Twenty-three dollars is all it takes to put a new pair of glasses into the hands of someone who desperately needs them: a father, a mother, a retiree, a kid in school.
A nonprofit called New Eyes can take your $23 tax-deductible gift and turn it into restored hope, optimism and opportunity for a person in need. And if you're not sure what to get someone on your list, could it be they have everything they need? What if you made a gift in their honor?
The point is simple: A generous life is within reach of nearly everyone. Whether you give your heart, time, money or possessions, generosity works. It's also a surefire tool to keep your holidays in perspective.
P.S. Your next Pep Talk will arrive Monday, Dec. 9. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Want more inspiration on how to get through the holidays? Watch my latest segment on FOX5 San Diego, where Raoul Martinez and I discuss these tips and more.