The holiday season can leave us feeling totally exhausted, run down, or even financially strapped. We can find ourselves tapped out, run down, and exhausted. It’s ironic that this time of year, the weather begs us to stay inside and quiet down, and yet we find ourselves constantly out and about. We trudge through the snow and cold, buying gifts, meeting friends, or attending holiday parties. It’s at this time of year that finding a balance between the external world and the internal world is important.

When finding yourself run down or simply doing too much, a good question to ask yourself is, why? Why do I keep going so fast? What’s inside of me that’s not allowing myself to settle down? What would happen if I took a break and allowed myself time to slow down?

Through meditation, we can be gently reminded of the calm that lies inside us. We can be gently reminded of what’s on the inside and perhaps what’s underneath all this running around and ‘busy-ness”. Through meditation and mindfulness, we are yet again reminded of what’s important.

Here are some tips to practicing mindfulness over the holidays:

-Notice how many invites you accept. Remember that it gets dark sooner, the weather is colder, and at the end of a busy week, you may want some rest. Pace yourself.

-When engaging socially, remember to check in with yourself. Perhaps you find the middle path and be social for a few hours and not the whole night. Perhaps it’s a few drinks, and not a slew. Find what I call the grey zone; the middle path in between the two extremes. Find your grey zone.

Get plenty of sleep

-If meeting with family that gets you triggered, build in a self care routine. That may look like cutting your time down that you spend with family or planning a yoga class. Take time to reconnect with yourself.

-Food can also be plentiful this time of year. Usually it’s the sugary and not very healthy. Pay attention to now much you eat, how much you drink, how much sugar you consume, and how you feel. Pay close attention to what goes in your body.

Have gratitude. This time of year, we can forget the meaning behind the different holidays. Perhaps it’s not about gift buying and spending money, but more about kindness, compassion, and patience. Make this your gift to yourself and others this year.

Notice with these self care tips, if this year is perhaps a little different than last year.