Practice Extreme Self-Care this Holiday Season

During the holidays when the pace of our lives accelerates with more commitments and longer to do lists the first sacrifice we often make is ourselves. Many of my clients have difficulty exercising regularly, eating healthy, and managing stress at this time of year.


In her book, “Take Time for Your Life“, Cheryl Richardson uses the phrase extreme self-care. She states that “extreme self-care is the foundation of a rich and fulfilling life.”

What keeps us from taking the best care of ourselves? Often what I hear is the need to take care of everyone else is more important. According to Richardson, “When you practice extreme self-care and put yourself first, you are then fully available to others without resentment or anger.”

And what is it that creates resentment and anger? Guilt! Which results when we do something in the moment that is wrong. But wrong according to who? Are we violating our values and beliefs or are we being manipulated and controlled by someone else? In this season of family gatherings it is important to know the difference. Ask yourself if your actions are out of guilt and obligation or if your behavior is coming from a place of love. Learning to thoughtfully say no will respect yourself and your loved ones.


Another excuse for not being true to our needs is that we feel selfish when we do. Being selfish isn’t a negative! Start by giving yourself permission to treat yourself better, and “over time, you’ll realize that honoring yourself is the greatest gift you can give to someone else” says Richardson.


Holiday Challenge – give yourself a gift this year

Richardson suggests that your personal present should be something that makes you feel a little guilty. It can be as simple as using that special hand lotion you’ve been saving, taking time to have coffee with a friend, or buying yourself something special. You can also treat yourself to a more elaborate indulgence such as a full day at the spa or a trip to the beach. For me, I bought myself two bags of my favorite hot cocoa from Lizzy’s Fresh Coffee.

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About the Author


Jessica uses an integrative approach to help you overcome chronic pain. She believes in treating the whole person utilizing the biopsychosocial approach to healing. Her offerings include posture therapy, online exercise classes, pain science education, and individual or group wellness coaching. She is certified by the Postural Restoration Institute® (PRI), Egoscue University®, National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Wellcoaches.