During times of transition, job loss, grief, sickness and despair, we are at our most vulnerable, yet those are times when we should be most careful to be patient and compassionate with ourselves. Holidays can make us feel more vulnerable calling forth memories of loved ones far away or on the other side; the memories mixing like all the baking smells; bitter nutmeg, savory thyme, and sweet baking apples, the visceral senses and scents of tradition and family. In the midst of all the holiday preparation or avoidance, if that’s what you choose, there can be a lot of unspoken expectations and pressure. While shopping and cooking for others, take time out to do something physically soothing or psychically refreshing for yourself.

Self-Care Suggestions
• A hot bath with lavender oil for relaxation
Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
Dodie Smith, Capture the Castle
• A foot massage (do it yourself or find someone who’d like to trade)
There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophies.
Friedrich Nietzsche
• Take a walk in the woods or along the beach; if you have a dog, even better
My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing. Aldous Huxley
• Keep a gratitude journal
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. Charles Dickens
• Do daily affirmations
Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.
Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love
• Don’t abuse your body with too much alcohol or sugar; it’s easy to do. Before anything reaches your lips, ask yourself if it’s good for you.
The key to making healthy decisions is to respect your future self. Honor him or her. Treat him or her like you would treat a friend or a loved one.
A.J. Jacobs, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
• Take a nap
Sometimes the most urgent and vital thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest. Ashleigh Brilliant
• Find something funny every day to experience the lightness of laughing
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. Yiddish Proverb

Have a Happy and Loving Holiday Season