How To Take Care of YOU These Holidays
Putting yourself first is not an easy thing to do. There can be many multi-layered beliefs that have prevented us from believing that self-care is necessary and healthy.
Maybe during the festive season this is even harder for you anchor into. If you are used to being in the proximity of a narcissist, you know the heavy lifting is usually up to you. You have to walk on broken glass being unappreciated, carrying the load, being blamed for the narcissist’s mood swings and nothing you can do is right or good enough.
It’s exhausting and incredibly demoralising.
How do you take care of yourself in these circumstances?
Even if you are no longer with a narcissist, feeling like this, and taking responsibility for everyone at holiday time, at the expense of yourself, can be a very hard habit to break.
Guilt can be a big barrier: “It’s up to me to hold the family together. If I don’t then I’m a bad person.”
How many of us have thought that taking care of self is wrong, selfish and even narcissistic?
Many of us come from the survival mindset that energy expended must be on practical ‘doing’ tasks, usually for others, rather than understanding that we need to take care of ourselves too this Holiday time.
Today I want to grant you 5 wonderful ways we can take care of ourselves, during these holidays, as well as any time when you feel your energy infiltrated, unappreciated, exploited or even abused.
Firstly, let’s look at the reasons why healthy self-care is essential.
The Need For Self-Care
I want to begin by talking about what we need to be-come and shift into – and it can be helpful to think in terms of the airplane analogy. In-flight safety briefings always instruct us to first put on our own oxygen mask before attempting to help anyone else with theirs.
If we are gasping for air, we potentially do more damage than good to others. Narcissists love it for you to be ‘gasping for air’ (not taking care of yourself) because then you are off balance, triggered and derailed.
From this place the narcissist can manipulate, blame and project all sorts of nastiness on to you and you will not be solid and empowered enough to look after you, lay real boundaries and deal in a way that is in your favour. Rather you will provide A grade narcissistic supply – the attention good or bad that makes a narcissist feel SO significant.
‘So within, so without’ is an absolute Quantum Law. If we try to deal with others whilst triggered by their bad behaviour, or even when things are calm yet we are running on empty, then our efforts will only bring more pain and emptiness to others and ourselves. Yet if we come from a place of wholeness, then we affect others and the entire Field in whole and healthy ways.
Sometimes the most loving thing we can say is “No”. It no longer enables people to be abusive, exploitative and irresponsible. They can no longer mine you for their own benefit.
Yet, if you are struggling with guilt then of course this is easier said than done!
Please understand this is because of the message of dire co-dependency that we were fed when we were growing up – that going without, people pleasing and keeping the peace so that others will love you – is what we should do.
We all know how that turned out!
Now let’s look at some delightful ways we can stop handing away our power, lifeforce and soul these holidays (and also going forward in everyday Life!)
1. The Art Of Saying ‘No’
If you keep helping others when you are wrung out and exhausted, you are in Wrong Town.
People who are exploitative in your life won’t like this. They are used to getting a ‘feed’ off you.
Your ‘No’ is more powerful if you don’t justify, lecture and prescribe. There’s no need to give reasons that have it seem that your ‘No’ is about the other person. Be clear that you are saying ‘No for you. Any reasons you provide need to be about YOU for your ‘No’ to be powerful.
Take your power back by saying things like:
- “I am not comfortable with that.”
- “I believe you can do a good job of this.”
- “Doing this is not what I want to choose right now.”
- Or just “NO!”. No explanation or reason – just “No”.
When you stand in your ‘No’ without fear of consequences – and regardless of whether someone else respects your boundary or not – then you will start generating respect in your life.
I know that it may be hard you say ‘No’ these holiday times, but this is a hot-spot time where you will be pushed and triggered, and so it is a wonderful time to detach, start honouring you and take time to self-partner and heal (more about this later.)
Maybe you have been saying ‘yes”’ when you are really feeling ‘no’. You could be resentful that others expect you to ‘drop everything for them’. You may be annoyed that others in the family and friendship circle won’t help and you are the one that gets lumbered with it.
If you are playing victim in all of this, of course it seems that the other person’s lack of consideration is causing your distress, yet truly it is your own poor boundary function.
If you get sorted in your inner beliefs and boundaries, and know that you are not serving others in high and honourable ways unless you are replenished, then you know if people don’t accept your ’No’, then they should not be in your life.
What you will also discover is that when you do respect yourself, people who don’t have the resources or capacity to step up to respect you will leave, and those who have the capacity to be authentic in your life will gravitate into your experience.
For those of you who are NARPers (members of my Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program), if this is an area in your life you still struggle with, I suggest feeling into these beliefs:
- People will only love me if I serve them.
- If I say “No” I will be punished.
- I have to earn love and approval.
- Other people’s needs and energy are more important than my own.
- Other people don’t respect or support what I need.
- I don’t deserve my own kindness and care.
If you feel any emotional charges in your body when you check in on these beliefs, then you would benefit greatly from clearing them out.
I recommend the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP) Module 1 and the Source Healing and Resolution Module to do this effectively and powerfully. Then you will be-come that person who can say ‘No’ and honour yourself so much more easily.
2. Ask For Help
Asking for help when needed can be a tough one to tackle, and it may not feel at all comfortable. But it’s important to recognise that growth doesn’t come from avoiding uncomfortable feelings. Especially this holiday time!
Please know that asking for help and granting others the opportunity to supply it, is one of the most beautiful ways people can bond with you. It’s scientifically proven that the act of giving grants the giver oxytocin, a hormone which emotionally bonds them with feelings of love and care to the person they are giving to.
Many people don’t realise that if they are doing everything themselves, without asking for what they need and allowing themselves to receive, then they are not generating deeper connections with others.
If you are the only one giving, it is usual for the person who is continually receiving to lose interest and start disconnecting from you. Oh gosh, haven’t we discovered that already, with people taking us for granted and also exploiting and abusing us! The truth is, once you become conscious, you realise that you have been allowing this.
Belief systems have a huge amount to do with being able to be a receiver. If you feel guilty about asking for what you need and terribly uncomfortable with receiving – which is very normal for people who have suffered narcissistic abuse – there is work to be done here!
Let’s look at the goal we are aiming to achieve. It’s this: being able to ask clearly and confidently for assistance when needed, without being whiney, passive-aggressive, trying to guilt others into it, or giving long-winded explanations about why we can’t do it ourselves.
All of this is a product of us not believing we deserve help, and of course we then see the results of that belief perfectly reflected back to us.
I know you may not want to ask for help this Holiday time, but can you imagine how emancipating it will be to ask for help? And either receive it, or at least discover who is standing with you and who isn’t?
As with all my deservedness and boundary function issues, this was huge for me, and I’ve always found that when things are a struggle, there are some very important belief systems that we need to look at, release and heal.
Here is a list of beliefs related to being unable to receive for you to check out:
- Everything is up to me.
- I am unsupported by life and others.
- My needs are invalidated and unimportant.
- I am invisible.
- If I let people do things for me, they will hold it over me, control me and hurt me.
Again, Module 1 and the Source Healing and Resolution Module in NARP can powerfully release these beliefs for you, granting you the trajectory of life where you CAN ask for and receive support, as well as let go of people who were a match for these previous painful beliefs.
3. Do Nice Things for Yourself
In amongst all the business of this holiday time are you going to take some time out to nourish and look after yourself?
Once upon a time, I used to feel bad about taking time out for myself. I used to feel guilt when I wasn’t doing practical things that served other people’s expectations – and I truly did believe that I needed to earn my worth.
If we are into being overly-practical, incredibly responsible, frugal and self-denying, then it is extremely hard to do nice things for ourselves.
I love how people in the NARP community have granted themselves the most beautiful acts of self-giving, by doing things such as having their own ring ceremony to affirm their love to themselves, or planning their perfect Christmas gift.
When I was coming out of my over-functioning, brutal workaholism and self-punishment, I would take myself out to dinner, to a yoga class, or a beautiful location for a holiday.
When financially recovering from narcissistic abuse, little joys and time spent with yourself don’t need to cost money. Time spent in nature is free and replenishing. We can do things like taking a picnic and a good book on the beach.Or you can stay indoors, turn on some music and dance in your living room.
The ways to do nice things for ourselves are endless, and the more we clear trauma out of our Being, the more space we have within to start connecting to Lifeforce and the good stuff.
Even our healing time with ourselves is a special act of self-giving. I love dedicating this time for me, by making myself a warming cup of something, sitting on my couch and releasing dense energy and bringing more Light in. Or I do this when I am walking in nature in the morning – and I always feel fantastic afterward.
What I love about treating ourselves in healthy ways is that this sets a precedent for being able to accept others giving to us as well. It also means that we will be generous with our giving to others.
Let’s look at some limiting beliefs that can block us from doing nice things for ourselves:
- It is wrong, selfish, ungodly etc. to do nice things for myself.
- There are others who need so much more than me.
- If I spend money on me, I will not have enough.
- If I am not focused on the practical, something terrible could go wrong in my life.
And NARPers – you know what to do to dig these beliefs out and start living your life free of them!
4. Healthy Eating
With the number of toxins and chemicals that have infiltrated our food sources, it has become more necessary than ever to choose whole and healthy foods.
Absolutely during Holiday time this can be a time of unhealthy eating and too much alcohol!
I always allow myself to enjoy celebration times, but yet bring myself back to healthy foods, supplements, vitamins and greens afterwards. If I don’t, I feel stodgy, unhealthy and start lacking the energy I love having, that enables me to Thrive in life.
Healthy, fresh, whole foods are delicious when a little care has gone into their preparation. Yet food education may not have been part of our life experience so far. Packaged convenience food were things that many of us grew up eating and have accepted as okay in our diets, but this isn’t healthy at all.
Food can harm or heal. Non-conscious food choices can create weight gain, diabetes, inflammation, and organ, nervous system and brain damage. Healthy whole foods nourish our brain and body.
A very large part of our health, radiance, energy and well-being is about what we eat.
By eating whole foods and eliminating as much sugar and preservatives as possible from your diet, you will reap the rewards of a healthy body and mind, and glow with the lifeforce within.
It’s my belief that healthy food is essential self-care.
Let’s look at some limiting beliefs that can prevent us from eating healthily:
- Healthy food is boring, unappetising and unpleasant.
- I won’t enjoy myself if I can’t eat the foods I want.
- I don’t deserve to nourish my being.
- I will be rejected or ostracised by my family or peers if I eat healthily.
- Sugar and bad foods fill my emptiness within.
- I punish myself with bad food.
And of course, there may be others that are very specific to you.
Belief systems are such a big part of healthy food struggles, so I really recommend doing the inner work to make this journey easier for yourself.
All you need to do is use NARP Module 1, the Goal Setting Module, or the Source Healing and Resolution Module to target the traumas that are generating your limiting food beliefs.
By clearing them, you will evolve beyond them and reset to your organic truth which is ‘health and well-being’.
5. Move Your Body
When our Life-force gets stagnant it becomes depressed, stuck and even toxic. Holistically, we optimally need to move our body every day.
You may be so bust with Holiday celebrations, parties, gatherings and the like that you are not taking the time to move. It’s perfectly understandable! Also, by losing momentum it may feel difficult to get back into your routine.
The journey of our recovery, evolution and expansion is to open up the cells in our Being, as we release trauma, so that Lifeforce and Well-being (Source) can enter us and move through us, as us. Exercise is a big part of this.
Exercise benefits us in multiple ways – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. It’s a very personal choice. I love walking, yoga and Pilates and it is a very rare day that I don’t do some form of exercise, even just a walk. Everyone can find some way of moving their body that they find enjoyable.
Making time to move is important, especially when you feel there is no time, and doubly when you just don’t feel like it! When you get moving, you will feel like continuing moving again!
Let’s look at some limiting exercise beliefs
- Exercising is unpleasant and boring.
- I don’t have the energy or the motivation to exercise.
- I don’t deserve to be healthy and fit.
- What is the point? It’s going to be too hard and take too long to achieve the results I want.
- If I open up to exercise, I will be unsafe, exposed and not able to contain my emotions.
- I punish myself by not moving.
Naturally, digging out your limiting beliefs can be very confronting. But the alternative is leaving them there. Then we drive ourselves crazy with constant battles with ourselves – and the guilt is horrific each time we default back into our limiting belief.
As Dr. Bruce Lipton explains, when the subconscious and the conscious mind go up against each other, the subconscious wins, hence why doing the reprogramming in the subconscious is so much more effective. This is where NARP really comes into its own!
With each of these five self-care practices, a very powerful and easy way to bring them online is to target the traumas in your Inner Being that are blocking you from doing whatever the desired self-care practice is. One by one you can dig those traumas out and release them so that you naturally flow forward into these healthy practices.
Because beautiful self-care is your natural state of well-being when you are no longer carrying the internal traumas that self-sabotage you.
Module 1 and the Source Healing and Resolution Module in NARP are very effective solutions for this – and all you have to do is follow the instructions in these healings.
This is what I love about our Thriver Journey – it is so much more than just escaping narcissistic abuse, it is REALLY about becoming our healthiest and most actualised self.
Maybe these holidays are the perfect time for you to start getting set up for your New Year, and your New You – powerfully from the inside out.
I’d love to hear your feedback about this article. Did you relate to these five areas and the limiting beliefs?
As always, I look forward to answering your comments and questions below.