Hi flower fans!
I’m Danielle—a Miami local who spends her days rolling in inspiration and gold-filled pretties as the head of communications and creative direction for taudrey, a handcrafted and personalized jewelry company that encourages females through meaningfully personalized accessories. I’m a wife, little sister, proud tia, and dog mom, and things I love equally include solid puns, fancy pens, Madewell handkerchiefs, and ordering sides at a steakhouse.
I’m hoping to spark an honest conversation regarding being the center of your own universe this holiday season. It’s something I struggle with and am working on, and I understand how unnatural and nasty self-care seems in a season dedicated to giving and gathering. How horrible are the connotations associated with the words selfish, self-centered and self-absorbed?! And during the holidays!? Geez!
As women, we’re pretty much programed to serve others. And helping, serving and giving to others is an incredible joy sparker! The problem? When serving is done to the point of self detriment. I’ve personally served and given to others to the point of paralyzing anxiety breakdowns. Yea, not cute.
I’m a people pleaser. I feed off people thinking highly of me and have historically been driven by fear of letting people down. When those around me are struggling, I thrive on being there for and taking care of them. And this year, it seemed impossible not to. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, my father endured a terrifying emergency surgery in June, and my grandmother’s health declined rapidly in July, and that’s not even touching on some other family health issues, friends in need and put-your-big-girl-pants-on work growing pains.
So to say I struggled a bit with putting myself first in 2019 would be understatement. There were times when the struggle could be accurately represented by a 2007 Britney Spears meltdown meme.
Earlier this year, my acupuncturist Lisa said to me, “You’re so worried about letting everyone around you down, but you don’t seem to mind that you’re letting yourself down?” I was laying on the treatment bed looking like a Latina pin cushion and she dropped that wellness mic. You never know when something is going to click. And for me, it was while I was half naked and covered in needles.
So I’m really working on focusing on and giving to myself, and figure we can all work on it together!
I’m far from an expert. I truly just want us all to stay sane, balanced and happy this holiday season. Being a little selfish will help us to become the best versions of ourselves, and that’s when we’re prime to serve others!
So here are five things you can do to work on putting yourself first.
Do something YOU want to do, and put it on the schedule!
Make a list of things you did as a child that brought you joy. Then do them and let that inner child have some fun. And put each activity in your schedule so that it’s factored into your day rather than a “well maybe if I have a little time” task.
I recently started dancing again (shout out to Flower Club and the September intention for leading me to start taking ballroom dance classes!) and it has truly fed my soul. I danced from age 3 to 20 and I really don’t understand how it took me so long to get back into something that bought me endless joy for 17 years! I’ve been scheduling classes that can’t be cancelled, which forces me, no mater what, to revel in the me moments.
Just say no. Nope. Negative. No puedo!
But actually say it, because leaving invitations unanswered is just plain rude! Yes, you may have to go to your husband’s work holiday thingy, and your own work holiday thingy, but you don’t have to attend every cookie-decorating party, tree lighting, pop-up, and pot luck. I promise you that no one is going to care about your attendance as much as you think they will. Enter Lizzo “Truth Hurts” lyrics here. Take the personal time to reflect and center yourself so that you can attend the events you want to attend as a gracious and present individual.
Don’t compare the value of your time!
I struggle with this one as a non mom. Yup, there’s such thing as non-mom guilt too! Surrounded by mothers in every aspect of my life, I often feel like I need to help, work more, etc., so that the moms around me can spend more time, or have an easier time, with their babies. And I’m not saying to not help moms. My time with the babies in my life literally makes me the happiest human but it’s important to note that my personal time should not be compared. Sitting at home and relaxing on Sunday because I don’t have kids is not something I should feel guilty about. Nor should I feel guilty for not exhausting myself to help an exhausted mom. Everyone’s time and life is valuable.
When you do make a positively self-centered move, celebrate! And make it a big deal. Buy a holiday gift for yourself, or have a cocktail. Revel in the win and you’ll feel inspired to keep winning.
This one is probably the most important. Because if we’re going to start a self-care revolution, we can’t get mad if we’re on the other side of a big fat “No.” The day of my mother’s lumpectomy this year, my sister and I left the hospital to swing by my mom’s house and pick up a few of her things, as she was unexpectedly forced to stay in the hospital overnight. My sister insisted on squeezing in a workout before returning to the hospital. I judged her BIG TIME. How could she possibly be worried about getting some cardio in when our mom was in the hospital. But I understand now that working out was her process that day. It’s what she needed to cope with the stress and be present for our momma. I get that now. Sorry for the judgment sis.
Thanks for reading! You can check out my world at @taudreyjewelry21 and taudrey.com. We kind of make (by hand!) ridiculously amazing holiday gifts. And feel free to drop me a line whenever, Danielle@taudrey.com.