Celebrating Self

Celebrating Self

Celebrating Self 

By Sophia Harmes, PhD

The holiday season is upon us!  This is the time of year where we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season followed by the quietness of long winter months.  Preparing for the holiday season involves a busy schedule with many things to do and many events to attend.  We are busy seeing to all the preparations and activities required of us by this season.  Whether you observe Christmas or Yule, their various activities have the same physical and emotional effects on our health and wellbeing.  Therefore, in celebrating the holiday season remember to celebrate SELF!

Seasonal Activities 

The season brings activities such as hanging holiday decorations to adorn the house and the yard.  Decorating the holiday tree, whether fresh or artificial, for Christmas or Yule, is significant to the season’s celebrations.  Many of us devote time to writing Christmas/Yule cards or that once a year letter that we send to friends and relatives.  We may attend holiday plays and concerts.  School functions are popular during this season of the year.  They usually require baking desserts and cookies to eat and share at school holiday parties.   There may be invitations to attend holiday parties or you may be involved in hosting them.  It may be a tradition in your household to drive around to look at Christmas tree lights or going to a tree lighting ceremony.  You may choose to attend Christmas or Yule services.  We all attend family gatherings, and of course if you are hosting there is the shopping and cooking in preparing for Christmas Eve and/or Christmas day.   All of these activities can consume a lot of our time.  

Then there is the Shopping

We get caught up in shopping for holiday gifts and food for holiday parties, dinners, and get togethers.  And do not forget to purchase hostess gifts for any gatherings you attend.  Shopping for presents that will eventually need wrapping takes a significant amount of our time.  Then there is the holiday clothing.  The outfits and the ugly holiday sweaters worn to attend office parties, services, etc. 

Taking Care of You

Usually, all of these activities are in addition to our regular schedules and obligations.  Getting caught up in the excitement and hustle and bustle we tend to neglect ourselves.  Many of us do not understand that in order to take care of others we must first, take care of ourselves.  We may get anxiety attacks, feel overwhelmed, depression may set in, etc.  All of which impact our physical health that we may get sick quicker or worse, suffer from something serious such as a heart attack.  We don’t realize that it’s very important for us to take care of ourselves in order to complete all the things that we need to accomplish during this season of celebration. Take time at the end of the day during this holiday season to reflect on what you have achieved throughout the day. Then celebrate all those achievements even if you did not accomplish everything you intended to do that day. Make the commitment to celebrate who you are.

Celebrating SELF

When we celebrate Self we honor who we are at the moment, i.e. the hostess, the designated gift shopper, the decorator, etc.  Whatever the activity is, embrace it.  Enjoy what you are doing as much as possible.  This is not the time to worry about who you may be in the future or who you may wish to be.   When celebrating Self you acknowledge and accept who you are and what you are doing in the moment.  This is the time to add a little extra love to every part of who you are.  Take time to devote to you.  Schedule a 20 minute break in the day to do nothing or something that you enjoy and that relaxes you.  Treat yourself to a nice lunch or dinner after hours of shopping. Work time for yourself into your agenda. You can build in a rest period or time to read a book or a long hot bath, something that helps you to relax and reconnects you with balance.  Treat yourself to a day at the spa or get that massage or chakra balancing that you have been putting off.  Reward yourself for all the hard work you have accomplished in preparing for the season.  Relax and take a break from all the hustle and bustle.  This will help to reduce the stress of all the activities and engagements you are involved with.  

Celebrating Self helps you to like yourself. Celebrating Self does not include seeking attention or trying to pretend that you’re better than anyone else, or bragging or being arrogant or narcissistic. Be grateful for who you are! Celebrate you, your story, and acknowledge what you have accomplished and how far you have come.

Be Present and Grateful 

When you are engaged in always doing things and not being in the moment you miss out on the beauty of the journey of preparing for the season. Take the time to savor and celebrate the activities that you engage in during this holiday season. Everything feels worthwhile when you take the time to enjoy the moment or activity. There will be plenty of time to continue focusing on Self during the winter months

Be grateful for what you have accomplished even if it is not as much as you intended to accomplish that day. When you are grateful for what you have accomplished you genuinely feel good about yourself and your life. Pay attention to the small things that make you happy as you prepare for the season. Appreciate what makes you happy as you provide happiness for others and ensure family and friends enjoy the holiday season as well. 


Pay attention and appreciate the smallest of actions you take to achieve your daily goals to prepare for the season. In doing so you reduce stress levels and increase your confidence. Build time for Self in you plans and do not forget to reward yourself for all that you have accomplished that day.  And STICK TO IT!

Most of all — have a fun, relaxing and Blessed holiday season!


First Appeared in Therapeutic Thymes Magazine, Winter 2021, Issue 21.  https://therapeuticthymes.com

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