Having just come off a big holiday and staring straight into the eyes of another, it really serves me to know how to take the best possible care of myself. I love the planning of holidays, the preparation, the celebration…and then out of nowhere it all feels like too much! There is no blame to cast. It’s no one’s fault. It is just what happens for me in the midst of lots of continual activity: there are too many claims on my focus.
I remember when I first started meditating, I didn’t prioritize it in busy times. It was the first thing I dropped when life got busy. I gave myself permission to stop focusing on my health, physically and emotionally. By the end of the holidays (or any busy time), I would be hanging on by a thread, energetically speaking. And then, worst of all, my treasured holidays would be overshadowed by exhaustion and unsuccessful feelings.
I know better now. I have had to learn how to deal with this. I love every meaningful part of being together with all of my loved ones, but I also love my simple routine of self care. I depend on my daily rituals, especially meditation, as an anchor in my life. It keeps my focus clear and I can balance social and private time, and then, enjoy both parts to the fullest.
Keeping my focus clear means keeping my energy levels high. I have learned how to replenish my energy all the time, when it’s easy to do so and when it’s less inconvenient to do so. Because of that, life runs much more smoothly now. The practices below keep me present in my life, under all circumstances.
- Meditation practice: No matter how late I stay out or how early I have to get up, I always go to my meditation space. Sometimes this means I have to wake up extra early to do it, but no matter what, I make it happen. It is my lifeline. Regardless of what the day brings, it holds me steady in my life.
- Nature: I go for a hike outdoors almost every day. This is one of the most revitalizing practices I have. When my world starts feeling small or anxiety comes up, I step outside. This helps me shift negativity. When I’m outside, it’s easier to relate to all the possibilities instead of all the obstacles.
- Dance: I love to dance. It offers my spirit the chance to feel free. Sometimes doing something fun and breaking a sweat can be a shortcut to clearer focus.
- Sleep: I do whatever it takes to get as much sleep as I can and to make sure that it is deep, nourishing sleep. On busy days, skimp on time in front of the television or time doing chores—do not skimp on sleep!
- For more advice to stay well during the holiday rush, check out my Holiday Ease post from 2014.