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I am exhausted

A lot of us were taught from an early age that putting our wants and needs first is selfish, that we should think of others ahead of our own needs. So we grew up with the mindset that self care and putting our needs above others is the height of impropriety. We work hard to provide for our families, we buy nice gifts for everyone besides ourselves, we defer making decisions and we don't complain when we are inconvenienced.

If you want to have enough to give to others, you will need to take care of yourself first. A tree that refuses water and sunlight for itself can’t bear fruit for others.
–Emily Maroutian

Sometimes giving can bring about great joy. But if you are forever the giver and never on the other end of the equation, it can leave you seriously burnt out. You can pick out the givers in a crowd, they apologize a lot, they have lists that have morphed into more lists, they are the ones that always show up, always volunteer, are always exhausted and clutching a coffee like their lives depend on it.

You don’t need to live to fulfill other’s expectations. Live for yourself, love yourself and do not let them tell you that it is selfish. -Mridula Singh

If this week's blog speaks to you as either the perpetual giver or receiver, we have a few tips to share to reverse the trend.

Self care is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
1. Take time to do something decadent everyday. Watch a movie on your own, read, hire a cleaner, buy yourself new socks and underwear (that is the true test of adulting-purging old socks and undies and getting new ones), buy yourself hot chocolate with extra whip…
2. Buy yourself a present you have always craved, but always thought was way too extravagant
3. Pamper yourself with a spa day, golf day, tennis...you get the picture, make a day of an activity you really love, but don't make time to enjoy

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. -Lucille Ball

It is an amazing feeling always being taken care of, that sometimes we don't think about the person who does all the caring.
1. Offer to make dinner for the person in your life that ALWAYS cooks the meal
2. Clean up after a meal without being asked
3. Lavish that special person in your life with a gift or experience that they would never ever buy themselves, but that you know they would LOVE

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia

This holiday season try to strike some balance, look back on holidays of years past, were you the one running yourself ragged or the one watching? If your holidays are consistently a blur of doing, make a decision this year to slow down. Your mantra is, "it is okay to say 'no' when I don't want to do something and everything doesn't have to be perfect." Stuff things in gift bags, hire someone else to do the lights and tree, don't volunteer to plan the class holiday party, some may call it selfish, we call it giving someone else an opportunity to give.

If you are usually on the sidelines of the holiday planning and executing, we are not suggesting you burn yourself out, but take a moment to think if your warm and fuzzy memories of holidays past were because someone else did all the work. Give that special person a break, it is totally okay to outsource your generosity. Cater the meal, offer to get the family presents from Amazon and splurge for the wrapping, hire a cleaner for after the big meal, the goal being to give your supergiver a holiday that is extra special.

People know if you care about them. How do you show people that you care? By caring for them. By putting their needs first. By sacrificing for them. By serving them. Do that, and you'll build a great team.
-Eric Greitens

Holidays can be a beautiful time for some filled with music, light and joy, for others it a time filled with triggers, anxiety and exhaustion. Be kind to yourself and others, make sure to put yourself and your needs first when needed and to step up when you are able.

Wishing you a joyous and supportive week ahead.

Team SG

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