Getting together with family over the holidays reminds us to feel thankful for our many blessings. It’s a busy time, though, and people often get stressed out by extra chores and disrupted routines. So, in addition to giving to others, we need to keep in mind the importance of taking good care of ourselves. Then we can enjoy taking part in the delicious feast without feeling as if we’ve been cooked like the turkey!

Turkey cooked and ready to eat

(Creative Commons image via flickr)

Busy crowds and holiday music on store loudspeakers may be okay in small doses, but often they leave us needing to rest and recharge. Meditation, reading, and long walks in nature are ideal for relieving stress and getting into a reflective state of mind. This week I’ve been reading The Way is a River of Stars, in which the author describes walking the pilgrims’ route on the Camino de Santiago. The book is a gentle, peaceful narrative with the cozy feel of a handmade quilt; all the details have been carefully arranged and lovingly stitched together.

Keeping up with regular exercise routines during the holidays is important—not just to maintain weight, but to feel healthier in general. Familiar routines make our lives more predictable and less stressful; and when we don’t let ourselves get too busy for them, we’re sending a powerful message to the subconscious mind that things are under control. Exercise also gets the heart rate up and leaves us feeling invigorated and energetic!

And last but not least: Set aside time each day for personal projects such as crafts and writing, even if it’s only a few minutes. We live in a culture that often dismisses our creative impulses as nothing more than unimportant hobbies, fantasies, and obsessions. But even if we never make any money following our dreams, they are precious anyway because that’s how the authentic self flourishes—by coming out to play!

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.


  1. Hi Meg, the crazyness of the holidays are so much, that after we need another holiday to recover from the first one. I’ll order this book, I love all the books about the “Camino de Santiago”, one day I want to go there, I’m not sure if I’ll walk all the camino, but for at least to visit some points. I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving!

    • I like the idea of taking an extra holiday in January to recover — especially if it could be someplace warm! And yes, we had a good dinner and family get-together. Hope you did as well!

  2. Oh so true — and love the gentle reminders!
    Hoping you had a blessed Thanksgiving!!

  3. hugs for reiterating that we should be kind to ourselves…something i need to remember from time to time…

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