Christmas is fast approaching and for many that means celebrations, overindulgence and, of course, presents. But while buying gifts for our loved ones and seeing the look on their faces when they open them is often priceless, focussing our attention on pleasing others around us can mean we end up neglecting ourselves.

Even if you won’t be celebrating Christmas for religious or cultural reasons, or you’ll be spending time alone and not buying presents, we want you to make a conscious effort to treat yourself this year. You see, by looking after yourself well, you have the resources to then support others. You are ensuring that you’ve got a more stable foundation in terms of your physical and mental health which then means that you able to support those around you more consistently and reliably.

Your own relationship with yourself is the most important and longest standing you will ever have. After all, wherever you go, whatever you do, you will be there with yourself. This is why looking after this primary relationship is so crucial for all aspects of your life.

That’s why this year we want you to give yourself three simple and thoughtful self-gifts: sleep, time and kindness.

The gift of sleep

When was the last time you had a proper night’s sleep? The type of sleep where you awoke feeling thoroughly refreshed and ready for anything the day had to throw at you.

And when was the last time you had a good lie in? Just stayed in bed and caught up on some sleep, rather than forcing yourself to get up and face the world.

Make it your mission this Christmas to give yourself the gift of sleep. But be specific. When are you going to give yourself that extra sleep? Make a promise to yourself, write it down and follow through with it on the day you’ve chosen. Do not let it get pushed aside by something else.

Even if you just have a decent lie in on Boxing Day, or spend an afternoon dozing the sofa with your beloved pet, it will be a great start. If you need to have conversations with friends and family to afford yourself this gift, then do so ahead of time.

The gift of time

How much ‘me time’ do you set aside for yourself each week? Whether it’s 5 minutes to catch up on a bit of mindfulness or a couple of hours to read a book, we all need time for ourselves.

Now this isn’t time to sleep, by the way. This is time you are allocating to yourself to do an activity you want to do and that you enjoy. This could be watching a movie, going for a walk, even just sit and stare into space. Whatever you would like to do, just do it!

Again, you need to allocate the time in advance and hold yourself accountable so you actually use the time as it was intended i.e. for you.

For those of you who have children, you’ll know that your kids cotton on pretty quick as to whether you keep your promises or not. Well, guess what, so do we when it comes to keeping our own promises or letting them slide. In order to build that trust in ourselves, we need to trust our own word and keep our own promises. This is so important.

The gift of kindness

Being kind to others makes both them and you feel good, right? Simple things like noticing when someone has had their hair done, or telling them they are a great parent makes a positive difference.

But being kinder to ourselves allows us to be kinder to others. It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask first in the event of an emergency before you help others with theirs. Doing so ensures you are in a better position to help and the overall benefit is greater.

So this Christmas, be kind to yourself too. Do something special that makes you feel good, like taking yourself somewhere special, somewhere that’s significant for you. Or, it could be as simple as looking into a mirror and telling yourself that you’re a great person or even giving yourself a kiss (like in the image above). Take the time to name and explain to yourself all the little things you do that make you feel good. This simple action will not only reinforce that your acts of kindness make a difference, but also encourage you to do them more often – which will ultimately make you feel better.

Remember, your own relationship with yourself is the longest standing you will ever have. Wherever you go you are; after all, you never go anywhere without yourself. Looking after this primary relationship is the most meaningful thing you can do for yourself this Christmas.

You may not realise it but by showing others how to care for yourself, you will also give them permission to do the same as well as giving them the gift of seeing first hand how to do that.

These are 3 simple and thoughtful gifts that we want you to give yourself this Christmas.

If you know someone who might benefit from giving themselves these 3 gifts this Christmas, please make sharing this post your gift to them.