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  • Writer's pictureGwendolyn Houston Jack

Rest Isn’t a Reward: G's Self-Care List

I know what you're thinking. This is a photography blog. A photography blog is supposed to be about photography. So why is this woman writing about rest not being a reward?

Five tips for Self-Care are take a walk, eat snacks, drink hot chocolate, just say no, and make time for you.
G's Self-Care List

Well, photography is about humanity and the world we live in. Whether wildlife, a birthday party, or time with friends, it's about us and how we interact with life. And this is why this blog post is so important. It's the holidays, and nothing brings more anxiety and stress than the holidays.

This is my gentle reminder to take care of you. We've all heard the saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup." Well, you can't. There will always be a need to focus on oneself, and the holidays are a wonderful time to do so.

I have a list of ways to make self-care accessible. I shared this list on my social media accounts, but I wanted to share it with you.

Take a walk.

Yes, there are several health benefits to walking. However, that's not our focus today. Talking a walk can increase your energy level and improve your mood and memory. And walking can also reduce stress and tension. A few minutes alone will do wonders.

Eat snacks.

This isn't a blessing to go binging on everything in the kitchen. Instead, this is the permission to have a snack that makes you happy. It could be a handful of candy-coated chocolates, almonds, or a small bowl of freshly popped popcorn. The goal is to enjoy a small indulgence.

black mug with sippling black only written on it filled with hot chocolate and ole smoky moonshine.
Hot chocolate with a dash of Ole Smoky Moonshine

Drink hot chocolate.

Who doesn't like a cup of hot chocolate? Believe it or not, there are a few health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart attack risk. But that's not why it's on the list. Chocolate tends to raise one's spirit easily. And if you're like me, add a little spirit like Rumchata to your mug.

Say "No."

"No" is a complete sentence. The holidays bring about the expectation to meet everyone's requests. As a result, we often overbooked and overcommitted to events, meetings, and parties we would rather not attend. So here's your permission to say "no" to activities you're too tired for, don't want to attend, or have no interest in. Yes, this includes family gatherings too.

It sounds harsh coming from a family photographer, but I understand the stress of attempting to attend every event. Sometimes it's best to keep it simple and stay in.

Make time for yourself.

And this is where our last tip comes in. If you do nothing else for the remainder of this year, please make time for yourself. It may be five minutes or five days; be sure to craft time to recharge your batteries or enjoy what makes you smile. Me? I love watching all the "Die Hard" movies. Yes, I've seen them over 100 times, but these movies bring me joy.

A bottle of McBride's Sisters sparking rose sits in a ice water bath in a clear ice bucket. It's on a patio table outside next to a blue candy jar.
Patio treats: McBride Sisters Sparkling Rose and candy.

For the past few years, I've done a tech disconnect. I put the phone, laptop, and most technology away for at least five days. That time has come now. I've been counting down the days since October for this break. The good Lord knows I need it. Although I'll be out of the office, feel free to schedule your photo consultation. It'll be back to business as usual when I return.

Remember, rest is not a reward. It's a requirement.

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