Care For Yourself to Flow Through the Holidays

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Finding time to take care of yourself during the holidays isn't selfish.  If you are giving to everyone except yourself, the holidays become a chore instead of having enough energy to love yourself and those around you.


The month of November brings forward the start of the holiday season, with the Thanksgiving holiday just a few weeks away.

When you start gearing up for the holidays, does it ever feel like they come pre-packaged with stress – causing you to feel unbalanced and irritable?

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While the holiday season can be filled with much joy, it can also be a stressful time of year.  Perhaps the holidays stir up:

  • worry about money,
  • buying gifts,
  • dealing with uncomfortable family dynamics,and/or sadness around the absence of loved ones who are no longer here with us to celebrate the holidays.

We practice a style of yoga known as Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, at Mind Body Flow Yoga.  The word, “vinyasa,” means, “flow.”

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We create flow by linking our breath with our movement, creating easeful movement without resistance.  We find balance – a happy medium between effort and effortlessness.  Like, water running over rocks, or a smooth, graceful dance.  The goal is to carry this flow with us into our life off the mat.  During the holiday season, it often feels as though we leave our vinyasa on the mat and forget to take it with us as we go about our lives. Perhaps we should ask ourselves the question this holiday season, “How can I approach this holiday season with “flow,” to make myself happier and healthier?”  If we form an intention to carry flow with us in every area of our life (not just on the mat in class), this can help bring forth a more centered and enjoyable holiday season for ourselves and our loved ones.

This holiday season, I want to encourage you to do 3 things, to help you flow through the holiday season with greater ease:

  1. Make time for your yoga practice.  The 60-75 minutes you spend on your mat, will pull you away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and your life in general – allowing you to help quiet your mind.  During the holidays, most people skip getting to yoga class, to make room for more seasonal activities.  That’s a recipe for stress.  You add potentially stressful situations to your plate and lose your stress reliever at the same time.  Instead, do what you can to maintain your yoga practice.  If you find it hard to find the time, simply scale back (i.e.- instead of coming to class 2-3 times a week, come to class once a week, rather than skipping your yoga practice entirely, because you don’t have time to get to the studio multiple times a week).  You are worth the time and effort of getting to class.  Taking time for ourselves helps us to better nurture not only ourselves but our relationships.  When you are happy and fulfilled, everything else just seems to flow with a greater sense of ease…even difficulties.
  2. Feel your feelings.  The holidays often bring up strong feelings for people around everything from family losses, to meeting high expectations of visiting family, to new relationships.  Most of us, would rather flee/run from these strong emotions, rather than accepting that it is natural to feel them this time of year.

    Allowing yourself to sit with and experience a strong emotion, reduces the stress around it.  Are you grieving a departed relative or friend?  Are you sad about a recent breakup?  Are you angry with a loved one?  The more you allow yourself to feel your emotions, the more clarity and ease you’ll create around navigating through them.  And the easier it gets to sit with them and accept them, rather than avoiding them.  Know that feeling (and in return, healing) doesn’t have to look pretty.  Real healing is hard, exhausting, and draining.  But, let yourself go through it.  Don’t try and paint it as anything other than what it is.  Be there with your feelings and for yourself, with no judgment.

  3. Give yourself the gift of presence.  One of the easiest ways to have your peace and joy of holiday enjoyment robbed is losing the ability to experience the wonderful moments that happen in the present, by becoming so wrapped up in planning the best holiday experience.  While you worry about whether everyone is happy with the meal, if anyone is fighting about politics, or if the kids are eating too much sugar – you miss the beautiful moments that make the holidays magical.

    Whether it’s the look of joy and pride in your parents’ eyes, the look of excitement on your child’s face, the excitement of carrying on a cherished holiday tradition, or even the simple comfort of snuggling or holding hands with your significant other after the last guests have left – you have the ability to experience so many beautiful moments and feelings as your holiday unfolds.  When you stop trying to make your holiday “perfect” and fit an “ideal,” you create space to savor and cherish the holiday as it is.

    A great way to start savoring and embracing the present moment is to take pause to identify one thing you feel good about right now and then meditating on that thought every time you feel your mind drifting off to thoughts that don’t serve you or fall in line with gratitude.  There is no way to overindulge in gratitude and good feelings.

By getting on your mat, feeling what you feel, and giving yourself the gift of presence – we take care of ourselves in return and can create inner-peace this holiday season and beyond. When we feel grounded and balanced, we position ourselves for greater ease and vinyasa…flow. We can then put our best foot forward, taking our yoga off the mat and into the world this holiday season.

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2 thoughts on “Care For Yourself to Flow Through the Holidays”

  1. Yes! That is all TRUTH!!!!!! We use pretty disposable paper plates for Thanksgiving. The food tastes great and the clean up is sooooo quick., I am definitely going to FLOW through these next two months. Let’s drop the stress and add the ease. See you on YOUR magic carpet.? (yoga mat)

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