Last year, I wrote a post on the importance of giving and receiving here, which focused mainly on giving and receiving with others and this year I have been thinking about the importance of giving and receiving with yourself. As discussed in my previous post, giving and receiving are about so much more than presents.
Gift giving traditions typically focus on giving to others. Giving can be a form of communication. It can symbolize a celebration or appreciation of the other person, an affirmation of the individual’s importance in your life, and a validation that you know them. When we give to ourselves, it’s often more important to give love, nurture, self-care, time and space. Material possessions, in excess of our basic needs don’t often make us that much happier in the long-term. Giving yourself material possessions is perfectly fine, as long as you are first giving yourself the love you deserve. Giving to ourselves is also a form of communication and affirmation of our relationship with our Self. It’s representative of how we feel about ourselves and validation that we matter. Giving also supports the development of our internal conversation, the way our bodies may communicate what we need, and we in turn act accordingly. Giving to ourselves is important. So many people feel undeserving of their own love and nurture, and in turn they neglect their own needs. Making a regular practice of listening to your needs, and then giving back to yourself can also help to improve your self-esteem because our actions affect our beliefs.
Receiving is equally important. Receiving is about accepting what’s offered, validating to the giver that they matter, what they have to offer matters and they are appreciated. In my last post on giving and receiving I wrote about how receiving with grace is actually a gift to the giver. Again, it’s all a form of communication and an exchange of energy. Are you able to receive love, and kindness, and compliments? Are you able to receive your own love and nurture? When you practice self-care, stop and take the time to thank yourself for the gift. Acknowledging the good things you do for yourself can encourage you to give more often. Plus, gratitude is always a good thing.
Most of us are better at either the giving or the receiving. Take time to reflect on how well you are able to give and to receive with yourself. While you’re focused on the giving to others this holiday season, don’t forget to include yourself in that tradition. Schedule in self-care time, or simply down time so you can have space to breathe. Thank yourself for doing so afterwards. Make this a regular practice. Happy holidays!