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

Ten Easy Tips for Reducing Holiday Stress

FEELING HOLIDAY STRESS?  Looking for solutions? Try these ten easy tips.

10 Holiday Tips for No StressIt’s that time of year when we start to think about the upcoming holidays and everything that it involves: family, friends, presents, what to wear, food, travel and much more. It is important that we prepare ourselves and get ready to welcome this busy time of year. We need to reconsider and re-evaluate what the holidays really mean to us and how to accomplish the most in the least amount of time so that we can better enjoy and cherish the festivities. Here are a few ideas to reduce stress during this season and savor every moment of the holidays.


1. Plan your day and manage your time. Make various “to do” lists and classify the items into different categories.

2.  Do not over-commit. Prioritize your invitations by the most important events for you and your family.

3.  Share tasks. Set realistic goals for the amount of projects you can do in one day and ask for help.

4. Prepare for shopping days. Eat a good breakfast and always carry a snack with you. Wear comfortable clothes, good walking shoes, and do not forget your shopping list.

Holiday Shopping List 

5. Make a budget. Be true to yourself and do not set your expectations too high. The holidays are not about impressing anyone.

Woman  Sleeping

Get enough rest and sleep.

6. Take a break and reward yourself. Get enough rest and sleep.

7.  Be patient and understanding with others.  Make it a point to be courteous and try to remember that everyone is under the unusual stress of the holiday season.

8.  Indulge without guilt. Do not get upset with yourself if you overindulge.  Remember to be good on a daily basis and to exercise.

9.  Give the gift of health by giving healthy gifts that help people find well-being and balance.

Healthy Holiday Gifts

10.  Last but not least…….Have fun!!!  It is all about the journey.  Happy holidays and best wishes to you from the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance!

Camile WesternGThis article was written by Camille Western. Camille practices Massage and Holistic Arts on the Monterey Bay Peninsula.  She is  a massage therapist, a Thai Yoga instructor, and a Health and Wellness Educator for the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance (MBHA).  For more information about the MBHA, or if you would like to print your health article on our blog site, contact us. 

Healthy Holiday Tips

Healthy Holiday Tips

Click to enlarge photo, and copy and share with friends. Holiday times are often times of stress upon the body, mind and spirit. Here are a few tips to help us maintain a healthy, happy, body.

Feeling stressed? For some this is a wonderful season of great joy and celebration, but for others it can be a challenging time of managing the temptation of overindulgence.  Often weight gain, fatigue, stress and communication challenges occur which lead us to unhealthy bodies, minds, and spirits.

How can we maintain optimum health while still enjoying these festivities with our families and friends?

Here are some great tips as a gift to you from the Alliance:

 1. Don’t skip meals beforehand
2. Keep plate sizes and portions small
3. Drink mostly water & limit alcoholic drinks
4. Make time for daily exercise routines
5. Eat 70% vegetables, and 30% other foods
6. Skip dressings, butter & gravy
7. Eat slowly and thoughtfully
8. Give away leftover dishes
9. Avoid stressful topics of conversation
10. Schedule time alone to rest and recharge
11. Keep up your spiritual disciplines
12. Avoid long hours watching TV or chatting
13. Trust and act on your inner guidance
14. Go for a walk after dinner
15. Be thankful and see lessons and blessings
16. Remember that you are lovable and valuable

AND of course, after the day is over, the melodic symphony of  sounds of family and friends has disappeared, the smells of baked goods has left the building, you’ve changed your clothes, washed your face, and everything is tidied up and put out of sight,…… join us folks here at the Alliance and tell us how you are doing.

We are and will always be your health and wellness friends.

Best wishes and Happy Holidays!
~MBHA Staff and Volunteers