tumblr_m1xpyj93jD1rt5p4ko1_400 While marketed as "The Best Time of the Year", the holiday season can be a challenging juggle for many. Whether we like to admit it or not, there is a lot of pressure during this time: Connecting with your loved ones, dividing time between families, finding the perfect holiday gifts, cooking, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, coordinating and traveling. And, oh yeah, there is also everyday life that needs to stay maintained: bills to pay, dogs to walk, kids to drive around, laundry to be done, and a house that needs to be cleaned. At this point, who would have any time to consider self care?

During this time, self care is the LAST thing on the priority list. We push it off to a New Years responsibility. It is the easier way, but not always the healthiest. If the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, why are we doing all this work to not even be able to enjoy them ourselves? Without taking time out for ourselves, we end up feeling depleted, flustered, annoyed, and unhealthy physically, mentally and emotionally. When we practice self care, even during this crazy time, we enhance the sense of peace and joy that this holiday season is supposed to be about. I know it takes time to pause and take care of you. But is time worthwhile. When you take care of you, the quality of everything you do to make this holiday season memorable will be enhanced. Here I will share my top 5 ways to practice self care to stay sane this holiday season.

1. Meditation Even 5-10 minutes once per day will create so much space in your life. It is like pressing the pause button, especially when you don't feel like being in the holiday spirit. Meditation helps you realize what is important, how to appreciate the simplicities and how to be grateful for all the goodness in our life. The holidays can also be a breeding ground for family tension. Meditation teaches us how to respond as opposed to react in trying situations. If you are interested in Meditation, we offer a weekly Pranayama + Meditation class from 4-5p every Wednesday with Kristina.

2. Yoga Yoga is an incredible self care practice. While practicing, we have the opportunity to connect to our physical, breath, emotional, mental, and spiritual being. One 75 minute class can do wonders for all the layers of our being. When we move and breathe for a prolonged period of time, we can detoxify all the stress and angst that has built up from all the to dos. We create a space that quiets our inner landscape, and allows us to feel calm and ready to take on the day with a more peaceful and present mind. The time you take to practice Yoga during the holidays will ripple into every experience you have during this time. We offer daily Yoga classes with amazing instructors at Yoga Bound. Do your holiday season a favor and check us out!

3. Spend Time in Nature Many of us have dogs that we have to walk, which gives us an excuse to get outside. But even if we do not have pets, it is important to take a break and get outside. Whether it is a beach walk, a hike in the hills, or a walk around the block; get outside, leave your phone at home and enjoy the clarity of fresh air and the elements that the weather brings in that day. Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break and get outside. The physical release from walking combined with breathing fresh air will shift your perspective on everything. You will come back energized, ready and more clear to dive into the to dos.

4. Green Juice a Day It's no surprise that the holidays are filled with questionable dietary choices. Almost everything is revolved around overindulgent food temptations. Instead stressing about it, give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the food and the time spent with everyone around the food. A great way to feel better about overindulging is adding in a nutrient dense green juice everyday. The live nutrients in the juice will help you digest the more unhealthy choices made, as well as give you the peace of mind of ingesting something healthy that day. Starting the day with a healthy food choice, usually helps you make healthier choices as the day progresses. Make sure on your next run to the market you get the ingredients in this simple recipe, so you can make a your juices in bulk and grab and go for a few days following.

5. Gratitude Practice "Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity...it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." Melody Beattie Make it a habit Every morning before you get out of bed, and every night before you go to sleep to say thank you. Notice how easily all the goodness in your life comes flooding in. You will be amazed at how starting and ending the day contemplating your blessings will change everything.