The holidays can turn into a frenzied search for the “perfect” gift. As a Professional Organizer and Organizer Coach, I spend my days helping people part with things they no longer need. Often, this is unused “stuff” they received long ago from well-meaning family and friends. As they purge the physical items, they also purge old beliefs and negative emotions. The gift of the relief they feel when they let go and lighten up is immeasurable.
Here are 10 gifts you can give yourself this year.
1. Positivity. How often do you beat yourself up each day for some small thing you thought you did “wrong”? Would you ever talk to your best friend that way? Probably not. The next time you’re tempted to say something negative to yourself, stop and listen to the words inside your head. If you wouldn’t want someone to say them to you out loud, don’t say them to yourself. Easier said than done, I know. With practice, this will get easier.
2. Forgiveness. Are you human? Do you make mistakes? There is a valuable Japanese saying: Fall down seven times, get up eight. Acknowledge the lessons learned from past “mistakes” and apply that wisdom to decisions you make in the future. It took Thomas Edison hundreds of experiments to invent the light bulb. When asked if he was discouraged, he answered, “No. Now I know what doesn’t work,” and went on to find what did.
3. Pride. You’ve probably been on this planet a while and have accomplished a few things, right? Think of all of the things you’ve learned how to do in your life, no matter how small or routine. What is something you do really well? Do you paint, speak multiple languages, have an eye for fashion, make the people around you feel like they are the most important person in the world? Celebrate these strengths and talents; there is no one else in the world like you!
4. Relaxation. Life seems to speed up as we get older. I give you permission to kick back for a few minutes each day and just be. Do something that rejuvenates you. Go outside and breathe in fresh air, take a walk, play with your pet, sing in the shower, whatever it takes to remind yourself of who you are at your core.
5. Faith. If you believe in a higher power, practice turning your worries over to it. One of my favorite images from spirituality is that of life as a tapestry. We see the back side of it, with all of the knots and frayed edges. Our higher power weaves and sees the glorious colors and patterns. We may not have this view, but it’s still there.
6. Happiness. There are many studies being done on the science of being happy. What makes you happy? Is it being with children? Traveling? Maybe you groove off your career. I sure do! I love helping people declutter and organize. Make a list of all of the things that make you happy and read it every day.
7. Kindness. Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Some people are naturally kind. They give to others until they are depleted. It feels good to help someone else, yet it’s equally important to show that same kindness to yourself. Treat yourself gently – physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually.
8. Balance. Work is important. Play is important. Relationships are important. Sleep, good food, water, and exercise are important. My mother used to say, “Moderation in all things.” She was a wise woman.
9. Learning. Stay curious. There is so much information in so many different forms available to us now that it can be overwhelming. Pick one topic or skill you would like to learn and focus on it for a given amount of time. If it’s subject matter, set a timer for 30 minutes and then shift gears to avoid going down the rabbit hole of information overload. If it’s a new skill, give yourself three months to try it and see if you like it.
10. Love. Love yourself. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is all of the ideas presented here and more. It’s what you need in order to live your life on your terms.
Gayle M. Gruenberg, CPO-CD®, CVPO™ is the Chief Executive Organizer of Let’s Get Organized, LLC, based in northern New Jersey. Let’s Get Organized specializes in serving clients living with Chronic Disorganization, supporting them at home, at work, or online to create and maintain systems to simplify and streamline their lives. www.LGOrganized.com
Follow these self-care tips from Gayle M. Gruenberg of Let’s Get Organized and live your life on your terms.