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  • Writer's pictureTracey L. Kelley

Self-care: The greatest gift

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

There's often an interesting theory that emerges during the holidays. If we just do-do-do and go-go-go and buy-buy-buy, November and December will be merry and bright! All will be wonderful in the world, and whatever happened January through October--well, it can be remedied in the next two months!

Holiday burnout and its resulting stress is a real thing. The Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic provide tips for dealing with it in triplicate: mental, physical, and emotional. While it's important to enjoy the seasonal festivities, it's also vital to your wellbeing to stay mindful of your health.

You can do this in a variety of ways:

1) Manage expectations. The goal isn't perfection; it's to connect, relax, and enjoy the small pleasures of life.

2) Set aside differences. Remember that your ability to live and forgive serves both you and the other person well.

3) Follow a budget. Gift exchanges are wonderful! Credit card bills are not.

4) Pace yourself. Even during the holiday season, sometimes you have to say no. Parties in January can be just as enjoyable.

5) Pause now and again. A short solitary walk after dinner or staring into the glow of a candle flame can return you to center. 6) Share compassion. Do this with people you know, volunteer for those you don't, and definitely give a little to yourself.

7) Remember your self care. Ah, you wondered why a yoga teacher was talking about this stuff, didn't you?

Too often, I hear yogis talk about how they don't have time to care for themselves because of all they're doing for others. Keep in mind that your best self, your true self, needs nurturing, too. When you give yourself the gift of the healthy rituals and practices that keep you whole, you're offering everyone else the value of soulful presence. (Not a pun! Really!) So sleep well. Eat mindfully. Exercise and practice yoga with intention. Meditate, pray, or reflect. Remind yourself that these daily rituals are non-negotiable. Because you're not just a yogi January through October.

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