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Holiday Gift Guide # 7: Treat Yo 'Elf

If for those who love the holidays (Coach Shelby) it can be draining, tiring, and overall a lot of added things to our to-do list. If you aren't a lover of all things tinsel, carols, and beyond, it can be even more of a drain.

That's why we decided to save the best for last on our Holiday Gift Guide series----the Treat Yo 'Elf list that costs little to no money but can fill up your tank even more than any fancy gift.

The World Famous Zen Shower: This may not be WORLD famous but Shelby believes it should be. She credits these showers with helping her postpartum as well as the continuing journey of maintaining mental health. Taking a mundane activity like washing yourself and elevating it. Light a wonderful candle, turn on some music (here is her go-to playlist), and let the hot water rejuvenate your soul. It doesn't have to be long or completely quiet but even a little zen goes a long way.

At-home Mani/Pedi: Never underestimate how some pretty painted nails can make you smile. Going to a salon isn't always realistic time-wise but after doing your nails for a while you get pretty good at it! Go to any site (Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, etc.) and you can find press-on nails, nail polish strips, etc that make an at-home manicure easy peasy!! Some of the brands we love are Lily & Fox, Dashing Diva, and the BEST nail polish that actually lasts is Revlon Color Stay Gel Envy (no lamp needed!)

At-home Spa Day: Combine that Zen Shower, and at-home mani, and make it a full-blown spa day. Make some lemon water, invite some friends over, and enjoy the fun! You can sit around in your jammies, robes, and eye mask and relax with less of a time limit (and a lot less of a bill) than a traditional spa. Taking our home and treating it as a haven will also help associate being home as our safe place to relax vs a revolving door or chaos, even if for just a small portion of time.

USE your coffee gift card: No regifting it, actually USE IT! Go get a tall triple espresso cappuccino with almond milk, whipped cream, spun three times, shaken not stride! Ok, that's not a real order but you get it. Use the gift card to literally fill the cup and enjoy! Don't drink not for anything else but yourself. Don’t drink coffee? Buy a pretty cup or mug a cup of tea, or maybe a fun little snack! Cake pops do make some great fuel we've been told.....

USE YOUR PTO: This is something Coach Christine is extremely passionate about and for good reason. If you work for a corporation or somewhere where they offer "Paid Time Off" or "Personal Time Off", USE IT!! It's given for a reason and should be yours to enjoy, not just for when you have to go to a Dr. appt, pick up the kids from school, or anything else like that. Take your PTO for a mental health day, a random Tuesday, or just because you can. We have yet to meet anyone that doesn't like to have some extra "me time". Walking date with Hunny bunny or a friend or YOURSELF: While we love running, walking can be a great time to fill up those energy levels without pushing so hard. Some of our best talks with others happen on walks and it can be the perfect time to take a moment to decompress even when you are short on time. Maybe even use that coffee/tea gift card on it

Dance party for 1 : Can you tell we REALLY promote movement and music? No? Well, here you go to drive that point home. Get up and dance! Science has proven that dancing can improve your mood and as far as we are concerned dancing around is a great pre/post-run warmup! Heck, you can even count it as a workout with some of THESE awesome ideas. Watch the sunrise/sunset: Even though we recognize that not every geographical location can make this a reality, we have a solution! Christine shared that Disney+ has actual footage of these occurrences AT DISNEY! Why not start and end each day in the happiest place on earth? Check out all the options HERE and if you can see the real deal at home, at Disney, or out on that walk we mentioned above---DO IT! Don't have Disney+? No worries! Check out EarthCam for that warm glow!

Sleep in or take a nap: To the parents out there, Shelby feels the pain that this isn't always realistic but if you can make it happen it's a game changer. Even sleeping in an extra 30 min can leave you feeling brighter, lighter, and happier. Christine loves to be able to sneak in a 10 min nap to hit that metaphorical "reset"

CALL a Friend: Maybe it's someone you haven't talked to in a while or someone that you know you can always call and lean on--either work! Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Ask them how they are (and listen), tell them how you are (for real), set up a get-together, tell them someone silly, or just tell them you've been thinking of them. This act is a win-win honestly. It makes you happy to connect and also lets the other person know you thought of them, feel safe with them, and care to talk to them. Who knows, it could turn into a regular thing that evolves from a phone call to a hang-out, to something to look forward to every week!

Write a gratitude letter: This isn't something you have to send, publish, or share. This can be a letter either handwritten or typed to just get it all out. Write all the things that you are grateful for, that make you smile, or something that you are looking forward to. The feelings you get by writing it out and letting the words flow can spark those endorphins and fill you up like a warm cup of coffee. It may seem hard when you start but start small, maybe you are grateful for fuzzy socks, not having a 9 am meeting, or just that it's not raining---all is fair in love and gratefulness. It doesn't have to be complicated to make you smile.

With the holidays being heavily commercialized we often associate happiness with stuff, spending money, or a tangible reward but that isn't true. Happiness is time, connection, thoughtfulness, and being present. That's not to say we don't love gift giving, I mean we did just publish 6 other episodes all about stuff, but we also want to always bring it back to the base that we don't need things to be whole. Move, dance, sing, take care of yourself, lean on others, and lead with love---You are doing great!

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