I love receiving physical gifts during the holidays. In fact, giving and receiving gifts is one of the top ways I feel loved, according to Gary Chapman’s book called The 5 Love Languages. The …
I love receiving physical gifts during the holidays. In fact, giving and receiving gifts is one of the top ways I feel loved, according to Gary Chapman’s book called The 5 Love Languages. The feeling doubles when I can tell the giver put extra time into curating a gift just for me. Yet, a present cannot ever replace the presence of the giver. Receiving a physical gift cannot stand in for someone you love showing up. This time of year can leave us feeling more lonely than ever, and the first thing we need to do to change is take care of our health, both physically and mentally.
It can feel overwhelmingly difficult to show up physically to events when we feel uncomfortable in our bodies. Have you ever been in that situation? Maybe you have nothing to wear that makes you feel great, or your body is in physical pain that you can’t stop thinking about. While feeling uncomfortable in our bodies is a reality we can accept for the current moment, it doesn’t need to be our fate and define the rest of our lives. We must prioritize healthy habits such as movement, eating nutrient-dense foods, getting enough sleep, drinking water, and managing stress in order to expect our bodies to feel good.
If you’re unhappy with your current physical state, how can you take steps in any of those categories to move toward a healthier you? It is not until we feel good enough in our bodies to physically show up that we can even begin the journey of being present for those we love.
Once we actually get ourselves physically in the room, we must also work on showing up mentally. I have often shown up somewhere myself only to have my mind be somewhere else. We are not present when we are thinking of other things. Our mind is cloudy when we are stressed about a conversation we just had, overpack our schedules, consume too much information and too many opinions, don’t take inventory of our priorities, or use alcohol or social media to escape.
Be intentional with your consumption. Get support for recurring stressors that push you to obsess over the moment or push you away and encourage you to numb out. Make commitments that feel like a one hundred percent yes and kindly deny others that feel like an obligation. We cannot bake enough cookies, buy enough expensive gifts, or give enough money to replace the ultimate gift, which is being our truest selves and showing up fully in our purpose, each and every day.
What I’m asking of you here is not easy. It’s going to take a lot of work to live a healthier, fulfilling life. Presence requires us to be intentional with our decisions at every moment. We cannot coast by, make the same choices we always make, and expect to feel any better. However, if I had to choose between making easy choices that give me temporary satisfaction or making more difficult choices that help me feel fulfilled every day moving forward, I’ll choose the latter every time.
In a world of instant gratification and a season that, at times, seems to have forgotten its priorities, play the long game. Show up, and pave a new normal way of being for your family and friends. Choosing to work on yourself, be present, and live a healthy life will impact those you love right now, and for generations to come.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here