Christmas gift with text overlay: What Gifts Will You Give Yourself This Year?

What Gifts Will You Give Yourself This Year?

I spent the morning shopping today. I don’t like shopping at any other time of year, but at Christmas time, I like to actually go in the stores and find gifts that I think my loved ones will be extremely happy with. I usually have a list of general ideas, but then wait for the perfect thing to just jump out and say, “I’m perfect for so-and-so.”

This time of year we spend a lot of time and effort looking for that perfect gift for others, but sometimes we need to give ourselves some gifts too, especially if we have fibromyalgia or any other chronic illness. No, I’m not talking about the gifts we can find online or in stores. I’m talking about the kind of gifts we should be giving ourselves year-round, but get so overwhelmed by our circumstances that we sometimes forget. Gifts like:

Self-Compassion. We may have an unlimited amount of compassion for others but then rail against our bodies when they don’t cooperate with us. We need to learn to have the same compassion for ourselves that we do for others.

Permission to make self-care a priority. Often we put ourselves last on the list of people to take care of. If you have trouble feeling justified in putting your self-care first, just remember the lesson we learn from the airlines: During the preflight briefing we’re told that if the cabin depressurizes and the oxygen masks drop down, we’re to don our masks first and then put on anyone else’s. You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.

A release from feelings of guilt. As I talked about in Let It Go, you can’t take responsibility for something you can’t control. I think we probably all have periods of feeling guilty for things we can’t do, but we have to release ourselves from that guilt in order to move forward.

Being kind to yourself. I’ve mentioned before that I’m very hard on myself. I wouldn’t be nearly as hard on anyone else. Sometimes we get so frustrated with our limitations that we forget that we are people who deserve the same kindness and respect that we give to others. We have to learn to extend the same grace to ourselves that we would to anyone else.

The gift of optimism. We may not always feel optimistic, particularly when we’re in the middle of a flare, but we can choose to be optimistic about our ability to do things that help us live well in spite of our circumstances. We can choose something called dynamic optimism, which I talked about in The ABCs of Remaining Optimistic to help us continue to move forward.

This time of year can be an extremely happy time, but it can also come with its own unique set of baggage, particularly if you’re not able to do all the things you’d like to be able to. Please take care and give yourself the gifts you need.

What gifts will you give yourself this year?





  1. Thank you so much for this incredible post! I think we all need a reminder at times to take care of ourselves! I know I spend more time trying to take care of others than myself but that is just in my nature! Everything you said was so true and I am so thankful for the reminder!!!

  2. Such a wonderful post – you’re right, we should be trying to gift ourselves these throughout the year, but perhaps Christmas is as good a time as any to come up with our list and make a start. I think that less guilt (over things I can’t do, over things I feel I ‘should’ be doing with my life etc), and perhaps more rest and kindness (again, getting frustrated with the situation means I’ll often overdo things, then start the cycle again of feeling guilty and forgetting to look after my body the way I should). I think you’re spot on with how we can be very hard on ourselves in a way that we would never even dream of being with anyone else; I really do hope that being kinder to yourself is the first gift you can give yourself because you deserve a lot more self-compassion, just like I know you would generously give anyone else 🙂
    Caz x

    1. Oh Caz, you sound so much like me…. Thank you so much for sharing and for your kind comments. I hope we can both give ourselves the gifts of less guilt and more kindness this year. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    1. Thank you so much Elaine! I know it’s a constant struggle for me. The springboard for the post was a shopping trip last week when I got extremely frustrated with my body because I had to go home after just a little while. I hope we can all remember to be kinder to ourselves!

  3. Beautiful post Terri. I’ve shared it on my support forum as it will resonate with so many members. Thank you.
    Wishing you a Christmas full of peace & joy & time to gift yourself a little too!
    Sam xx

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate it. Blessings to you!

  4. This is a very timely post for me. I have been thinking about mothers and what we do for others and about appreciation – appreciating others and also ourselves. I also love your ideas on dynamic optimism.
    Thankyou, Terri, for sharing this at Fibro Friday and all your support and kindness to those in the Fibromyalgia community. Much appreciated. x

    1. Thank you so much Lee! It’s so important to appreciate others, but also to appreciate ourselves. I think we forget that last part far too often. Thanks for providing the platform for all of us who blog about fibromyalgia to share our posts. I appreciate all you do for us! Sending warm thoughts and hugs your way!

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth! I’m so happy you’ve decided to join us here in this little corner of the blogosphere. Thank you for following – I look forward to getting to know you!

Please tell me what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.