‘Tis the season to be grateful – for your family, your friends, your work and your health. But as we near the end of the year and take stock of all the good things in our lives, don’t forget to spend some time appreciating yourself.

During this busy time of year, it can be more challenging than ever to cultivate balance, take time for yourself and give thanks for all you have accomplished.

So often we spend our days doing, doing, doing. Then the holiday season comes and we DO even more, without ever stopping to pause, self-nurture, and appreciation all we give and all we have to offer.

Here are 7 easy ways to show gratitude – not just for others, but for yourself and all you are.

1. Engage in Self-Care

Don’t feel guilty about splurging a bit this season. Get the massage, book the manicure, and indulge your senses even more than usual. You might want to book a massage every week from now until the end of the year, or try out a new treatment like acupuncture.

I personally love Reflexology because it works on specific triggers in the body and clears away negative energy.

Find a treatment that makes you feel special – even pampered! – and reward yourself!

2. Choose Conscious Nutrition

Another great way to engage in self-care is to get conscious about the foods you’re eating. No, I’m not talking about going on a diet or skipping your favorite holidays foods. I am talking about noticing what foods you’re choosing instead of simply grabbing and going without a second thought.

Your conscious attention will lead you to foods that nourish and nurture, instead of foods that leave you feeling tired, cranky, and unsatisfied.

3. Create a Serene Environment

Cultivating a serene, supportive environment is a wonderful way to give thanks for you.

• Light candles or incense throughout your home

• Use essential oils to create balance

• Purchase a piece of art that you love

All of these environmental tools help you create a space in which to be healthy.

4. Make a Vision Board

If you can’t imagine your dreams coming true, how will they ever materialize in the world? Create a vision board using magazine clippings, newspapers, or a secret board on Pinterest. Use colors, shapes, and images that represent your ideal life, and then watch as those things miraculously start to appear wherever you look.

5. Fire your friends (if needed)

One of the most powerful ways to appreciate yourself it to fire your toxic friends.

Your time, energy, and talents are precious – don’t waste them on negative people or energy-suckers. Set boundaries in your relationships this season, and learn to put yourself first. If a friend or family member is detracting, instead of adding to, your personal health, be brave enough to step away.

6. Get Honest About Work

Is your work environment healthy or toxic? Does is add or retract from your physical and spiritual well-being?

This season, take a good, hard look at how your work environment and work relationships impact your happiness. If you don’t like what you see, be open to the possibility of change in the New Year.

7. Take That Painting Class

Ok, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a painting class (although the painting and wine class I recently took was the most fun I’ve had in years!).

If you have a long lost interest or passion, search for classes or opportunities in your area. You’ll be able to connect with those who have similar interests and may even find yourself surrounded by the warmth of a new community – just in time for the holidays.

You spend the entire year doing for others, but now it’s time to turn that attention inward. This season, I invite you to go all out. So get the massage, go to Whole Foods, book a day trip, or take that painting class. There’s no better way to express self-gratitude than by nurturing the self!

Author's Bio: 

Fran Dean Bishop is an award winning business coach and CEO with 20 years in the health management industry. She founded Aerobodies Fitness Company, (now AFC Management Services), in 1994 as a corporate service provider of health promotion, fitness management and behavior change programs for the private sector and federal agencies. Fran also designed and launched two successful health technology innovations, MyEquilibriumCoach and MECkids.com. To request Fran for a speaking engagement or workshop, contact her at franb@afmsco.com – 703-402-8477.