Do you open your gifts with wild abandonment, ripping off the paper as fast as you can or are you like me, someone who gingerly opens gifts being extra careful not to destroy the wrapping?
My friends will tell you that I savor opening gifts, delicately taking my time carefully unwrapping it, making sure I don’t rip the paper and I usually save it to repurpose, particularly if it’s attractively wrapped. For my type A personality friends, who hurriedly rip open their gifts leaving behind a trail of jumbled paper, all the attention I give to unwrapping gifts must drive them nuts.
But, I also enjoy carefully selecting and giving gifts as much as I enjoy receiving them.
The catch-22 is that most of the time, you are more comfortable giving to others than you are giving to yourself. Your families, friends, and other relationships get gifts wrapped in pretty wrapped gifts and unparalleled attention while you’re simmering on the back burner waiting for some illusive time when you will take care of YOU.
If you want to get crystal clear about how to avoid giving up YOU while giving to others, here are a few gift suggestions for you:
- Give up trying to be perfect. Give up trying to be the perfect partner, the perfect employee, the perfect hostess, the perfect parent, the perfect daughter, or perfect friend. You may never throw a party like Martha Stewart, or organize your workspace and empty empty your inbox but what you can have is the ability to accept the situation as it is. There is such a thing as “good enough” and when you’ve done your best – it’s good enough. The expectation of perfection is a recipe for burnout, resentment and frustration. Remember, someone else’s expectations of you and for you may not be your reality.
- Set strong boundaries around your energy. Take a hard look at the energy zappers in your life – TV, gossip, people who zap your energy with negativity, criticizers and complainers. Sort through these energy zappers and see which of them you can remove or at least limit your exposure to them.
- Give up having to know everything in advance before you take action. Planning is a beautiful thing but when you spend significant amounts of time trying to figure out every possible scenario before making a decision, you are actually worrying which just adds unnecessary stress to your life. Put yourself on auto-response. Auto response means you don’t get caught up in every little detail. You’re not trying to figure out every possible contingency. You do, however. make carefully thought out decisions and take responsibility for your actions.
- Don’t give up on you while giving to others. If you’re continually running on empty, putting off taking care of yourself and not doing what it takes to stay emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, it will be impossible for you to have anything left to give.
Until next time…
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, teachers, therapists and other care giving women to set limits so they have more time, and energy to devote to self-care.