FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

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Today begins a series of blog posts about taking good care of yourself as you prepare for the holidays. And read all the way to the end to register for a free workshop on this topic!

Of all the times of the year, the holiday season can be one of the most busy and, therefore, stressful. We can take on a lot. We can have high expectations. We can encounter difficulties in relationships with others who are stressed and carrying high expectations.

One of the most joyful times of the year can often be fraught with sadness and disappointment.

Add in the fact that for some, the end of the year brings additional stresses at work as there can be more planning, more reporting, more covering for those who take time off and more.

So what can you do to prepare for the holiday season?

The first step is to be more mindful. If you are aware of what could get in the way or create more stress and overwhelm, you are more likely to respond to things rather than to react.

One of the ways I suggest becoming more mindful is to take a few moments to think about what you’d like your intention for the season to be.

Your intention is a statement or series of statements about how you’d like to feel while you are gathering with friends and family or engaging in holiday events. You can also incorporate how you would like others to feel in your intentions.

For example, you may want to feel joyful, relaxed and engaged with others. Perhaps you’d like your presence with your family to be felt as though you are connected to them, listening to them and enjoying your time with them. Maybe you’d like to be responsive to your needs and to the needs of others by giving and receiving love and joy.

Take a few moments to think about what your intention is this holiday season. At the end of 2017, what would you like to say about your holiday time?

Now, take a moment to cull your statement down to one main word. Maybe it’s Joy. Perhaps you want to feel Present. Or Connected. Write that word down on an index card or a piece of paper and put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Maybe on your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator. Each time you see your intention, it will help you stay connected to it – to remember that this is the way you have decided you want to feel.

For extra help in this area, journal for a few moments each day and think of three ways in which you could realize that intention. Or at the end of each day, you may want to reflect back and think of ways in which you felt your word come to life that day and plan a few ways for the day ahead.

I’d love to hear what intentions you’ve created! Just comment on this blog post or on Facebook and let me know what you want this holiday season.

To help you with more self care tips for the holiday season, I’m hosting a free mini-workshop on Tuesday, November 14th at 8pm EST/7pm CST. This workshop will be delivered via conference call so you’ll need to register to get the call-in details.

You can register by emailing me at lauriejohnson@4elementscoaching.com with Register Me in the subject line.

Or go to our Contact Us page here on the website and put Self Care for the Holidays in the subject line and Register Me in the message.

But today, I just want to take a moment to honor a woman I never met and to be grateful for all that she was to me. To say that she changed my life is also an understatement. My 4 Elements for Success are based on these principles that I learned and used to create my business. I wouldn’t be where I am today, sitting on my couch in a home that is perfect for me doing work that I love more than anything I’ve ever done, without the wisdom this woman shared with me and with the world. 

It is my deepest hope that you have benefitted from this program and will continually look at self care in a different way. Hopefully, practicing self care will become a daily habit for you. Maybe you have learned a lot about yourself and will continue to learn more as you engage in journaling and reflecting. Undoubtedly, you may have had difficulty practicing each prompt and that’s perfectly okay. One of the purposes of this month-long exercise was to create some regular self care time, but also some ideas for when you only have a moment to pop on a playlist or when you have an entire weekend that can be dedicated to a retreat.

If you are familiar with my work at all, you know that I have created what I believe are 4 Elements for Success in almost every area of life. While this generally applies to work, family or specific goals people have set, it can absolutely apply to self care as well.

So my first question is – do you have a goal for your self care practice? Many people tell me that they want self care to be a daily activity for them, rather than being the first thing that gets tossed off their plate.

On Day 6 of our Summer of Self Care series,  we talked about the value of Dance on our feeling of well being. Hopefully you took a Dance break that day and maybe a few days since.

Today, music takes the center of the stage in our mind as we learn about the value of incorporating music into your self care plan.

When we are sick, stressed or in the middle of a great change, the need for self care often intensifies. Yet this is the very time we are seemingly unable to put our needs in front of the ever changing landscape unfolding in front of our eyes.

In particular, self care often changes greatly when we are sick, especially if we are also trying to juggle child care, work, other caregiving for family and more.

What makes asking for help so difficult? Why does it take people so long to ask for help?

We’ll get to that in a moment but let me just say this.

Asking for help is Self Care – plain and simple.

Over the years, I have discovered the value of creating Retreat.

When I use this work with clients, sometimes they think creating retreat is impossible because it involves going away and planning a bunch of activities. But retreat is just about stepping back and creating some nurturing space and time for yourself. Retreat might be a couple of hours, a half-day or an entire week. 

I do believe that the words we hear often are the words we believe or that keep rattling around in our brain long enough that we take them in.

Words matter. Sometimes we speak to or about ourselves in ways that we would never speak to others.

Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s kindness and been immediately uplifted? How about being the one delivering the RAK to someone else?

Kindness is something we all appreciate and sometimes we crave ways in which we can get out of our own heads and do something nice for others.

The act of delivering a kindness to someone spontaneously or anonymously – especially when we don’t know who will receive it – can be amazing.