[Reblog] What Gifts Will You Give Yourself This Year?

I’ve been so busy cooking, shopping and decorating, I haven’t been spending the time here in the blogosphere that I should…. That means I also haven’t written any new posts for a couple of weeks, so I thought I’d share one I’ve shared for the last couple of years around this time. It’s so important that we give ourselves what we need to feel our best, not only during the holidays but every day. I hope this serves as your reminder to do just that.

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?





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  1. What a lovely post Terri, you are so right about this time of year. We are so busy sorting things out for everyone else that we forget ourselves. Xx

    1. Thank you so much Wendi! Since you needed to hear it, I hope you also take to heart the need to let go of the guilt sweet friend. You shouldn’t feel guilty for something you have no control over. Sending warm wishes and hugs your way!

      1. Thank you Terri. I am trying….it is just so hard as I have 4 kiddos at home. God bless you for your awesome blog……..you always speak to my heart.

      2. I know it’s hard when you want everything to be so perfect for the children this time of year. What they’ll remember most, though, is time with you, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do everything you want to. God bless you too sweet friend!

      3. Thank you so very much Terri………I really appreciate how you have such kind and encouraging words. Each one speaks to my heart. God bless you!

  2. Funny, this life – how it is so hard to give to ourselves what we generously give to another. And yet, we do grow, and we take those steps forward, learn tenderness, set new boundaries, and allow the harmony to fall in place. I treasure the gift of you, my friend.

  3. An oldie and a goodie 😉I agree with Kim, this is an excellent reminder for the important side to self-care that we could probably all do with at this time of year. Thank you for the very apt post!  ♥
    Caz xx

    1. Thanks so much Caz! I hope you’re taking good care of yourself during this time. I know it’s not your favorite time of year, but I hope you are finding joy in each day. Sending love and hugs sweet friend!

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