5 Ways to Protect Your Energy During the Holidays

The season is upon us! Gatherings of family and friends for dinners, parties, festivals, and celebrations of all kinds. We look forward to the twinkling lights, delicious food, the sharing of gifts and laughter... but sometimes all of the commitments and social events can leave us feeling drained. Here are five helpful ways to protect your energy during the holidays.

1) Commit Mindfully

Between your family and their family and your extended family and friendsgiving and the work party and your friend's wedding and your kiddos holiday concert and that organization you belong to's gathering... phewf, getting exhausted just thinking about it all? While there are plenty of reasons to get together and you may not want to miss out or offend, it's important to commit mindfully instead of begrudgingly.

Before you send that RSVP, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself what commitments are most important. Are you saying yes because you genuinely want to be there or because you feel like you should be there? Check in with your body. If it's not a full-body, 100% yes... it's a no! Now obviously, you don't want to miss that kiddo's concert even if you aren't thrilled to listen to a class of elementary students playing hot cross buns on their recorders. But you are in charge of your own time and energy, don't allow guilt to make your decisions for you.

2) Listen to Your Body

Speaking of checking in with your body, this season is known to be harder on it. We're eating more, getting outdoors less, and can often feel the repercussions on our immune systems. When enjoying a gathering, be mindful about how you eat. Enjoy those favorite desserts and Grandma's signature hot dish. Just do so with intention rather than eating mindlessly and consuming more than your body is asking for.

If you're taking a road trip for the holidays, make breaks to stretch and move or take a few minutes to do so when you arrive! If you notice the pressure of extra social interaction creating tension in your neck or upper back, bring your awareness to your breath and stretch out your upper body. If you are somewhere you don't feel you can inconspicuously begin a mini deep breathing or stretching session, sneak to the bathroom and do so!

3) Schedule Recuperation Time

Ensure that your body, mind, and spirit are getting enough rest and peaceful quiet time. As a woman and mother, I find that this time of year is when we're most likely to drop those self care rituals in order to serve others more. We skip the epsom salt soak in the tub for late night wrapping of

children's presents or we trade our peaceful meditation and yoga time for

baking something tasty to take to our coworkers. Write these things in your planner, or set a reminder in your phone amidst your schedule of caring for everyone else. Then put in your noise reducing ear plugs such as these to ease your sensitivity to the chaos around you (and don't forget to bring them on that road trip when the kids will be squawking and listening to the same five Cocomelon songs on repeat... you can thank me later).