Self-Care During the Holidays

Old Fashioned Winter HolidayAre You Feeling Stressed?
Guess what?  The holiday season is here.  Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Hanukkah,  Winter Solstice, Yalda, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner.  As children we get very deeply conditioned about what it means, all the expectations, ‘shoulds,” and “should-nots.” As much as you may be looking forward to the holiday gifts and festivals, it can also be a traumatic experience. Do you remember hoping, praying for your favorite gift, so excited for weeks… then you open the gifts and you got something else? How sad and disappointing it was!

Holiday StressThe Role of Childhood Experiences 
Very often when the holidays are approaching we feel stress, without always consciously knowing why. One of the main reasons is lack of self-care. We tend to be very outwardly focused, thinking about what is expected of us, how to do the “right” actions, find the “right”  gifts for our family and friends, neglecting our own wants and needs. If you didn’t get the  gifts you had really wanted as a child and teenager, that sets up another layer of tension and stress today, because childhood experiences create an assumption in the subconscious that the same experiences will happen today.

Happy HolidayHow to Have a Stress-Free Holiday
Here are some of the ways to take care of yourself, so that you can experience more relaxation and joy during this holiday season than you had before.

1. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths into your belly. Ground yourself first. Get a sense of your feet on the ground, connected to the earth. Feel your tail bone, and imagine that from the tip of your tailbone a strong grounding cord is coming out, like a tree. Your grounding cord is moving deep into the earth, all the way into the very center of the earth, and is anchoring itself there. Feel yourself deeply connected to Mother Earth, grounded in this moment in a peaceful and relaxed way.

2. Realize that this is your life, you come first. Say to yourself out loud: “This is my life. I come first.”

3. As a child your survival depended on your caregivers, you didn’t have much choice. Now as an adult you have choices you didn’t have back then. Feel in your gut the fact that you can choose to take care of yourself now and ask for what you want. “I deserve to ask for what I want.”

4. Take a few deep breaths, all the way down into your belly.

5. Ask yourself what you want in this holiday season. Imagine the possibility of a stress-free holiday.

6. Making mistakes is part of being human. We can learn from our mistakes, apologize, and forgive ourselves. Realize that who you are is always lovable no matter what mistakes you have made.

7. Your Self-Love Chamber is in the middle of your chest. Put both of your hands there and send yourself unconditional Love. Feel it spreading through your body.

8. Say to yourself: “I love myself exactly as I am.”

9. Imagine your ideal holiday. Write it down. Say to yourself: “I deserve to receive a joyful holiday.”

10. Write down two-three self-care actions you can do for each of these holidays.


Rabia ErdumanRabia Erduman is a Health Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. She was born in Istanbul, Turkey and later spent ten years in Germany before arriving in the United States in 1983.  Rabia utilizes Psychology, Transpersonal Hypnotherapy, Craniosacral Therapy, Polarity Therapy, Reiki,  and Trauma Release to assist clients in their process of self-discovery. Rabia also teaches Tantric and spiritually-oriented workshops. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance and/or to find out how you can have your health article printed here on our blog site, contact us or visit our website at