By: Beth Kalbus

Holidays can be a hectic time of year. We all have to worry about parties, family, travel, meals, cookies, decorating, cards, letters, phone calls, shopping, wrapping, Secret Santa, and the list goes on! But wait, where is the time for yourself? Where is the time for peace on earth?

We need to take ownership of our own self-care. Here are some tips:
daily gratitude habit. Post-it notes: write one thing on a post-it note you are grateful for and stick it to a mirror or refrigerator. This one is my personal favorite; every day you have two whole minutes to yourself, spend it in gratitude. While brushing your teeth, instead of going over all those lists, use this time to think of the things you are grateful for and why.

For example, “I am grateful for my ileostomy, because I get to spend time with family.”

There are magical moments in every day, we just have to take the time to see them.

Breathe. Take two deep breaths. You know your brain just went, “WHAT? We breathe all day long.” The brain is correct, however the lungs say, “but it is shallow breathing; we don’t have time for deep breaths!” Did you know just two deep breaths will help the mind refocus, blood pressure drop, and slow pulse rate? Here is how: breathe in 2..3..4. Hold..2..3. Breathe out 2..3..4..5..6. Focus on the lungs filling and emptying while thinking thoughts of gratitude. Do this two times. Now, you are ready to tackle anything.

Say “no thank you” when your schedule is over-booked and you need some time for yourself. “No, I cannot make that event, thank you for inviting me.” “No, I can't make the family favorite recipe, but I can teach you how to make it.”

Holidays can be stressful. How do you take time for yourself?