The holidays are upon us. The colorful lights that carefully decorate random houses in all types of different neighborhoods are a daily reminder that we are all collectively looking forward to a very special occasion. In the midst of the chaos of our lives, many of us expect the stress that comes with this time of year. But at what cost? There is the added pressure of buying the right gifts for our friends and loved ones before the big celebration on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. There is the menu that needs to be agreed upon and the last minute details that can spike one’s level of anxiety. This is the time where it is so easy for us to forget about the care we ourselves not only deserve but need. Before we know it, we are left completely depleted, with no energy to care for ourselves.

How do we take care of ourselves when there is so much we need to do for others during the holiday season? It is easier said than done but sometimes we have to be selfish. I myself often look forward to waking up when it is still dark in order to just breathe. Sometimes I take that time to catch up on emails or to check out funny and heartwarming reels on Instagram. Other times I meditate and recite positive affirmations. Most of the time, I find the time to write and it fills my soul so much that by the time the rest of my family is up, I am ready to give of my time and of myself.

But again, I know all too well that it is easier said than done. The important thing is to acknowledge it. Acknowledge the fact that sometimes you need alone time, especially during this holiday season where tending to those added obligations means you neglect your own needs. This holiday season, try to find that alone time to just breathe and be by yourself, perhaps congratulating yourself for a successful family gathering or sneaking away to indulge in a guilty pleasure.

And just remember that self-care is really caring for those around you. You can only help others when you yourself are fully charged. How do you charge yourself up? What will you do this holiday season to simply breathe? I know what I will be doing: I am going to immerse myself in the Disney movies that make me happy, continue the meditation ritual I recently abandoned, and sit down in front of my laptop and do the one thing that fills my soul: write.

How will you show yourself some love?

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