How to Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Love This Holiday Season

From Fear to Freedom
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Yay! The holiday season is upon us! For me, that means celebrating my birthday on the first day of December—one of my favorite days of the whole year!🎂🎉 Holiday music, gift-giving, decorations, family time, and a whole lot of end-of-year reflection follow this!

But I didn’t always feel this much joy around the holidays. In fact, my birthday and Christmas used to be some of the hardest times of the year for me. Losing both my parents at a young age made the holiday season a harsh reminder of all that I didn’t have and every moment I would never experience again with my mother. (It was her favorite holiday, and while she was alive, there wasn’t a surface in the house that wasn’t decorated with her handmade goodies.)

The holidays and the darn decorations made me angry, sad, resentful, selfish, and destructive—you name it! Seriously, name a negative emotion, and I most likely felt that way at some point over the holidays. It was an unhealthy rollercoaster that most people didn’t want to understand because Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy! And they definitely did not want my misery to dampen their festivities.

I know first-hand how difficult this time of year can be for some people.

Woman in holiday sweater hugging herself - tree lights in the background.

No matter when we’ve lost people throughout our lives, the holidays, for many, serve as an unpleasant reminder that they’re not around anymore, making the wound feel fresh once again. Even other types of loss, like losing a pet, going through a breakup, losing your job, or having children away from home, are amplified this time of year.

And being surrounded by our family members doesn’t always feel like such a blessing. What will your sister say about your cooking? When will an uncle or brother-in-law bring up politics? Will someone comment on your recent weight gain? Did your nieces and nephews get more expensive gifts for Christmas? And all this talk about “what did mom get you?”

And let’s face it: We don’t all love Christmas music! (I especially love to sing along with The Little Drummer Boy.) Sure, maybe we enjoy it at first, but after the hundredth repeat of Jingle Bells on the radio while you try to work, the enthusiasm can start to wane!

There’s also the stress of shopping, cooking, decorating, gift wrapping, Christmas parties, family drama, tempting food…

It all gets to be a bit much, doesn’t it?

And if you’re not careful, the stress and conflicting emotions of the holiday season can overwhelm you and send you on a spiral of inadequacy, regret, grief, anxiety, loneliness, and so many other powerful and negative emotions.

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it—the holidays are tough. This is why it’s so, so, SO important to prioritize self-love over the holidays.

I know everyone (myself included) could greatly benefit from some self-love this season. Here are 4 tips to give yourself the precious gift of self-love.

How to Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Love

1. Go Easy On Yourself

This is a tough time of year, and it’s okay if you don’t feel holly-jolly at every moment. There is so much on your plate, both literally and figuratively, so having compassion for yourself is vital during this challenging time.

It’s okay if you overcook the turkey or forget a gift. The people in your life who love and care about you will forgive you and treat you with compassion. Do the same for yourself.

Avoid negative self-talk. This is always something to aim for, but it’s especially true during more stressful times like the holidays. We often speak to ourselves in unspeakably cruel and hurtful ways—ways we would never speak to our kids, friends, coworkers, or anyone for that matter.

So why is it okay to speak to yourself that way? How would your child, partner, or best friend react if they heard a stranger put you down the way you put yourself down in your head?

But that voice in your head isn’t you, not really. That bully putting you down is fear. We fear that if someone catches us making a mistake, they’ll think we’re incompetent. We fear that if we’re caught being kind to ourselves, people will think we’re weak. We fear being laughed at, singled out, and ridiculed. No one wants that!

So, instead, we’re tough on ourselves. But here’s the thing, folks—fear isn’t trying to help you improve. Fear wants you to second-guess your cooking, to get mad at yourself for not being as slim as your sister, to compare yourself to your family, friends, and neighbors, and to find flaws in everything you do. Because if you truly love yourself, fear has no power.

The next time you make a so-called mistake over the holidays and are about to send a flurry of insults your way, take a deep breath and consider if you would spew those hateful words at your family. Treat yourself like someone you care about and avoid hurting your own feelings. Be gentle and show yourself some compassion. No one is perfect—that includes you! And that’s a good thing!

The holidays are tough. Don’t make them tougher by being so hard on yourself. Self-compassion is the first step toward self-love.

If you need some help, use these 50 Self-Love Affirmations over the holidays to get started. 

2. Set Boundaries (They May Be Different Over the Holidays)

We can be at our most vulnerable over the holidays. Self-love means protecting yourself from all forms of harm, whether mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual. So, just how do you give yourself this kind of protection? The answer is BOUNDARIES!

Creating boundaries, along with clearly defined consequences for violating those boundaries, is essential to self-love. If you don’t create your own boundaries, others will do it for you—especially over the holidays. They’ll determine what you’re comfortable with, whether it be what you talk about, what you eat, your personal space, and so on.

Setting your own personal boundaries starts by identifying your needs. 

What do you need over the course of the holidays? You may need more space. You may not want to talk about certain topics. If you’re hosting, you may not want people venturing into certain rooms in your house or drinking red wine while standing on top of a carpeted area. What do you need in order to feel comfortable and content?

It is vital to your physical, mental, and spiritual health to develop boundaries that safeguard your needs and to clearly express them to your family. Boundaries are especially tough to cultivate and enforce over the holidays, as family always has a way of crossing the line.

Show yourself some self-love by determining where you’re willing to compromise and where you are not.

The holidays are not a free-for-all for your family to disregard your boundaries. And no, no matter what anyone says, having boundaries is not being selfish. They are absolutely necessary and one of the best self-love gifts you can give yourself over the holidays!

Boundaries are a HUGE topic that I’ve covered in much more detail here: Why Personal Boundaries Are Important and How to Develop Them.

3. Prioritize Self-Care

Being busy isn't an excuse for putting off self-care. It’s during stressful times that self-care is all the more important.

And it doesn’t need to be complicated! Simple acts of self-care will open you up to self-love over the holiday season.

Think about what sparks joy for you. What are the activities that leave you feeling refreshed? What’s something you can do just for you?

Here are some ideas for holiday self-care:

  • Journal (Use those writing prompts!)
  • Working on a holiday craft
  • Draw, color, or paint
  • Sing holiday songs (or if you’re tired of Christmas music, turn to your favorite tunes)
  • Go for a walk (Look for holiday lights in your neighborhood)
  • Treat yourself to a mani, pedi, or facial
  • Slather on your favorite scented lotion
  • Practice meditation and/or yoga
  • Bake cookies
  • Light your favorite scented candle
  • Take a warm, bubbly bath

These simple activities only take a few moments. Take 5 minutes for a short breathing meditation or 10 minutes to write down gratitudes in your journal, or 20 minutes for a short walk around your neighborhood.

The benefits you’ll receive from these activities far outweigh the time you’ll lose. You’ll have better sleep, more energy, and an improved mood.

A car can’t drive without gas, and a heart can’t find self-love without self-care!

“Acts of self-care are acts of self-love.” - Rhonda Britten

4. Embrace Imperfection

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others over the holidays, family or otherwise, which can easily spark feelings of inadequacy. Is your house as tidy as your family’s? Are your neighbor’s lights better than yours? Did your sister or brother get a better gift for your parents?

But folks, it’s not the end of the world if something doesn't go perfectly. It’s okay if the turkey is overdone. Use more gravy! It’s okay if a present isn’t wrapped perfectly. If you rip the last of your wrapping paper before you finish wrapping all of your gifts, why not try using some newspaper? It’s okay if you didn’t get to everything on your to-do list, and it’s okay if you’re having a bad day.

It’s okay to feel disappointed or embarrassed if something doesn’t go your way. We’re all human! What’s important is not allowing a disappointing result to define you. Instead of turning to negative self-talk, laugh.

I don’t mean in a cruel way; just have a good laugh. We all make mistakes, and having a good chuckle at your own expense can actually stop fear in its tracks. Laughing allows things to roll off of you.

The holidays are not about perfection. The holidays are about sharing with each other, spending time with each other, and relating to one another. And no one can relate to perfection!

Repeat after me:

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

Fearless quote - I am a perfectly imperfect human being

Fear of failure is as natural as breathing, but you must, must, MUST keep in mind that every failure is really an opportunity to grow, learn, and connect with others.

Instead of mocking you, it’s just as likely that your family will admire your resilience in the face of adversity.

Remember, you don’t connect with others through your shared perfection; you connect with others through your shared flaws, failures, and imperfections. 

Who do you root for in a story or when watching sports? Do you root for the completely polished side who wins time and again, or do you root for the plucky underdog who bravely stands up in the face of impossible odds? And the thing about the underdog? They’ve lost—A LOT! But they keep going, and that’s why we admire and relate to them. Because we’ve all lost too.

Just think of Rudolph. All of the other reindeer thought his glowing red nose was silly, but it was just what Santa needed to guide his sleigh. 🦌

We don’t know where our perceived failures or imperfections will take us, but the more you embrace and learn from them, and the more you practice self-love, the stronger and more resilient you’ll be this holiday.

Give the Gift of Self-Love to Yourself

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The holidays are TOUGH! Between all of the cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, driving, and hosting, coupled with the negative feelings of loneliness, resentfulness, anxiousness, grief, and so many others, it’s a wonder we put ourselves through it every year!

But when we remember to practice self-love, we can take the challenges the holidays bring in stride and remind ourselves of how lucky we are to celebrate with the people we love. Or, at the very least, find the strength to tolerate during the holidays.

So this holiday season, I want you to:

  1. Go easy on yourself
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Practice self-care
  4. Embrace imperfections

The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. We are who we spend time with. So find time to surround yourself with people who are passionate about practicing self-love, and slowly but surely, you’ll crack the secret code to fear.

Join our Fearless You family to finally begin living the life your soul intended™. 

Wishing you a love-filled holiday season!

xo Rhonda

From Fear to Freedom
From Fear to Freedom GUIDE topaz enhance sharpen hiresDOWNLOAD GUIDE

Yay! The holiday season is upon us! For me, that means celebrating my birthday on the first day of December—one of my favorite days of the whole year!🎂🎉 Holiday music, gift-giving, decorations, family time, and a whole lot of end-of-year reflection follow this!

But I didn’t always feel this much joy around the holidays. In fact, my birthday and Christmas used to be some of the hardest times of the year for me. Losing both my parents at a young age made the holiday season a harsh reminder of all that I didn’t have and every moment I would never experience again with my mother. (It was her favorite holiday, and while she was alive, there wasn’t a surface in the house that wasn’t decorated with her handmade goodies.)

The holidays and the darn decorations made me angry, sad, resentful, selfish, and destructive—you name it! Seriously, name a negative emotion, and I most likely felt that way at some point over the holidays. It was an unhealthy rollercoaster that most people didn’t want to understand because Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy! And they definitely did not want my misery to dampen their festivities.

I know first-hand how difficult this time of year can be for some people.

Woman in holiday sweater hugging herself - tree lights in the background.

No matter when we’ve lost people throughout our lives, the holidays, for many, serve as an unpleasant reminder that they’re not around anymore, making the wound feel fresh once again. Even other types of loss, like losing a pet, going through a breakup, losing your job, or having children away from home, are amplified this time of year.

And being surrounded by our family members doesn’t always feel like such a blessing. What will your sister say about your cooking? When will an uncle or brother-in-law bring up politics? Will someone comment on your recent weight gain? Did your nieces and nephews get more expensive gifts for Christmas? And all this talk about “what did mom get you?”

And let’s face it: We don’t all love Christmas music! (I especially love to sing along with The Little Drummer Boy.) Sure, maybe we enjoy it at first, but after the hundredth repeat of Jingle Bells on the radio while you try to work, the enthusiasm can start to wane!

There’s also the stress of shopping, cooking, decorating, gift wrapping, Christmas parties, family drama, tempting food…

It all gets to be a bit much, doesn’t it?

And if you’re not careful, the stress and conflicting emotions of the holiday season can overwhelm you and send you on a spiral of inadequacy, regret, grief, anxiety, loneliness, and so many other powerful and negative emotions.

There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it—the holidays are tough. This is why it’s so, so, SO important to prioritize self-love over the holidays.

I know everyone (myself included) could greatly benefit from some self-love this season. Here are 4 tips to give yourself the precious gift of self-love.

How to Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Love

1. Go Easy On Yourself

This is a tough time of year, and it’s okay if you don’t feel holly-jolly at every moment. There is so much on your plate, both literally and figuratively, so having compassion for yourself is vital during this challenging time.

It’s okay if you overcook the turkey or forget a gift. The people in your life who love and care about you will forgive you and treat you with compassion. Do the same for yourself.

Avoid negative self-talk. This is always something to aim for, but it’s especially true during more stressful times like the holidays. We often speak to ourselves in unspeakably cruel and hurtful ways—ways we would never speak to our kids, friends, coworkers, or anyone for that matter.

So why is it okay to speak to yourself that way? How would your child, partner, or best friend react if they heard a stranger put you down the way you put yourself down in your head?

But that voice in your head isn’t you, not really. That bully putting you down is fear. We fear that if someone catches us making a mistake, they’ll think we’re incompetent. We fear that if we’re caught being kind to ourselves, people will think we’re weak. We fear being laughed at, singled out, and ridiculed. No one wants that!

So, instead, we’re tough on ourselves. But here’s the thing, folks—fear isn’t trying to help you improve. Fear wants you to second-guess your cooking, to get mad at yourself for not being as slim as your sister, to compare yourself to your family, friends, and neighbors, and to find flaws in everything you do. Because if you truly love yourself, fear has no power.

The next time you make a so-called mistake over the holidays and are about to send a flurry of insults your way, take a deep breath and consider if you would spew those hateful words at your family. Treat yourself like someone you care about and avoid hurting your own feelings. Be gentle and show yourself some compassion. No one is perfect—that includes you! And that’s a good thing!

The holidays are tough. Don’t make them tougher by being so hard on yourself. Self-compassion is the first step toward self-love.

If you need some help, use these 50 Self-Love Affirmations over the holidays to get started. 

2. Set Boundaries (They May Be Different Over the Holidays)

We can be at our most vulnerable over the holidays. Self-love means protecting yourself from all forms of harm, whether mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual. So, just how do you give yourself this kind of protection? The answer is BOUNDARIES!

Creating boundaries, along with clearly defined consequences for violating those boundaries, is essential to self-love. If you don’t create your own boundaries, others will do it for you—especially over the holidays. They’ll determine what you’re comfortable with, whether it be what you talk about, what you eat, your personal space, and so on.

Setting your own personal boundaries starts by identifying your needs. 

What do you need over the course of the holidays? You may need more space. You may not want to talk about certain topics. If you’re hosting, you may not want people venturing into certain rooms in your house or drinking red wine while standing on top of a carpeted area. What do you need in order to feel comfortable and content?

It is vital to your physical, mental, and spiritual health to develop boundaries that safeguard your needs and to clearly express them to your family. Boundaries are especially tough to cultivate and enforce over the holidays, as family always has a way of crossing the line.

Show yourself some self-love by determining where you’re willing to compromise and where you are not.

The holidays are not a free-for-all for your family to disregard your boundaries. And no, no matter what anyone says, having boundaries is not being selfish. They are absolutely necessary and one of the best self-love gifts you can give yourself over the holidays!

Boundaries are a HUGE topic that I’ve covered in much more detail here: Why Personal Boundaries Are Important and How to Develop Them.

3. Prioritize Self-Care

Being busy isn't an excuse for putting off self-care. It’s during stressful times that self-care is all the more important.

And it doesn’t need to be complicated! Simple acts of self-care will open you up to self-love over the holiday season.

Think about what sparks joy for you. What are the activities that leave you feeling refreshed? What’s something you can do just for you?

Here are some ideas for holiday self-care:

  • Journal (Use those writing prompts!)
  • Working on a holiday craft
  • Draw, color, or paint
  • Sing holiday songs (or if you’re tired of Christmas music, turn to your favorite tunes)
  • Go for a walk (Look for holiday lights in your neighborhood)
  • Treat yourself to a mani, pedi, or facial
  • Slather on your favorite scented lotion
  • Practice meditation and/or yoga
  • Bake cookies
  • Light your favorite scented candle
  • Take a warm, bubbly bath

These simple activities only take a few moments. Take 5 minutes for a short breathing meditation or 10 minutes to write down gratitudes in your journal, or 20 minutes for a short walk around your neighborhood.

The benefits you’ll receive from these activities far outweigh the time you’ll lose. You’ll have better sleep, more energy, and an improved mood.

A car can’t drive without gas, and a heart can’t find self-love without self-care!

“Acts of self-care are acts of self-love.” - Rhonda Britten

4. Embrace Imperfection

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others over the holidays, family or otherwise, which can easily spark feelings of inadequacy. Is your house as tidy as your family’s? Are your neighbor’s lights better than yours? Did your sister or brother get a better gift for your parents?

But folks, it’s not the end of the world if something doesn't go perfectly. It’s okay if the turkey is overdone. Use more gravy! It’s okay if a present isn’t wrapped perfectly. If you rip the last of your wrapping paper before you finish wrapping all of your gifts, why not try using some newspaper? It’s okay if you didn’t get to everything on your to-do list, and it’s okay if you’re having a bad day.

It’s okay to feel disappointed or embarrassed if something doesn’t go your way. We’re all human! What’s important is not allowing a disappointing result to define you. Instead of turning to negative self-talk, laugh.

I don’t mean in a cruel way; just have a good laugh. We all make mistakes, and having a good chuckle at your own expense can actually stop fear in its tracks. Laughing allows things to roll off of you.

The holidays are not about perfection. The holidays are about sharing with each other, spending time with each other, and relating to one another. And no one can relate to perfection!

Repeat after me:

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

“I am a perfectly imperfect human being.”

Fearless quote - I am a perfectly imperfect human being

Fear of failure is as natural as breathing, but you must, must, MUST keep in mind that every failure is really an opportunity to grow, learn, and connect with others.

Instead of mocking you, it’s just as likely that your family will admire your resilience in the face of adversity.

Remember, you don’t connect with others through your shared perfection; you connect with others through your shared flaws, failures, and imperfections. 

Who do you root for in a story or when watching sports? Do you root for the completely polished side who wins time and again, or do you root for the plucky underdog who bravely stands up in the face of impossible odds? And the thing about the underdog? They’ve lost—A LOT! But they keep going, and that’s why we admire and relate to them. Because we’ve all lost too.

Just think of Rudolph. All of the other reindeer thought his glowing red nose was silly, but it was just what Santa needed to guide his sleigh. 🦌

We don’t know where our perceived failures or imperfections will take us, but the more you embrace and learn from them, and the more you practice self-love, the stronger and more resilient you’ll be this holiday.

Give the Gift of Self-Love to Yourself

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The holidays are TOUGH! Between all of the cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, driving, and hosting, coupled with the negative feelings of loneliness, resentfulness, anxiousness, grief, and so many others, it’s a wonder we put ourselves through it every year!

But when we remember to practice self-love, we can take the challenges the holidays bring in stride and remind ourselves of how lucky we are to celebrate with the people we love. Or, at the very least, find the strength to tolerate during the holidays.

So this holiday season, I want you to:

  1. Go easy on yourself
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Practice self-care
  4. Embrace imperfections

The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. We are who we spend time with. So find time to surround yourself with people who are passionate about practicing self-love, and slowly but surely, you’ll crack the secret code to fear.

Join our Fearless You family to finally begin living the life your soul intended™. 

Wishing you a love-filled holiday season!

xo Rhonda

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