Skip to main content

Nurturing Ourselves Through the Holiday Season

Nurturing Ourselves Through the Holiday Season by Kelley Grimes at Cultivating Peace and Joy

“Dig the well before you are thirsty.” Chinese Proverb


For many the holiday season is a wonderful time filled with family, friends, festivities, and fun. But for others, the holidays can feel stressful, highlighting loneliness, disappointment, and loss. This is especially challenging when it seems the world around you is feeling the holiday cheer. But whether you have waited all year long for the holiday season to begin or you cannot wait for them to be over, nurturing yourself is the key.

Finding ways to stay grounded as you navigate the holidays is a foundation of cultivating peace and joy and is essential to transforming stress and overwhelm. Here are five empowering strategies to get you started:

1)  Start the day out with your most self-nurturing practice.

If you know that exercise, meditation or acknowledging what you are grateful for is your most nurturing practice, choose to begin your day that way. Prioritize ten minutes in the morning for your most nurturing practice and notice the difference it makes. The more filled up you are from the start, the more energy, patience and perspective you will have with what unfolds in your day!

2)  Simplify your holiday experience.

There are many ways to simplify the holiday season including choosing not to over commit, being intentional about the invitations you accept, inviting others to help with food at holiday parties you host, simplifying your gift giving by purchasing gift cards or donating to a meaningful cause in someone’s name, and choosing to focus on what is truly important to you. Cultivate a “choose to” mindset rather than feeling pressured by a “have to” mindset to create more peace and ease in your life.

3)  Create time each day for self-reflection.

Nurturing ourselves requires that we know what we need and then make supportive choices for ourselves. This is important at any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. Spend some time each day cultivating your self-awareness by journaling, meditating, creating a list of things you appreciate about yourself and your life, and/or just pausing to breathe, connecting with yourself and the present moment. What a difference an intentional breath can make!

4)  Be sure to include play into your holiday experience!

Play is such a powerful self-nurturing strategy and allows us to connect with ourselves, others and the present moment with ease. Finding ways to release stress and increase joy by being playful and having fun is healing and transformative. You can play board games, watch holiday movies, dance, hula-hoop, take a walk, bake your favorite holiday dessert, and/or be creative all in the spirit of playfulness! Give yourself permission to play this holiday season.

5)   Set an intention for peace and joy this holiday season!

I believe that intention setting is a simple and powerful tool that can transform our experiences. Set an intention each morning or before each holiday event. Choose to cultivate peace and joy each day by nurturing yourself consistently and embody the true meaning of the holiday season. When you come from a deeply nurtured place, you are able to spread more love, kindness and compassion in the world and the positive ripples are endless!

Choosing to nurture ourselves consistently empowers us to transform the overwhelm and stress of the holiday season into more peace and joy in the world.

May you nurture yourself deeply this holiday season and experience true peace and joy as you nurture peace in the world from the inside out!

Kelley Grimes

Sending you so much peace, love and gratitude,

Kelley Grimes, M.S.W.
Counselor, Author & Speaker

Sign up to receive daily reminders with our mobile app!

Join the discussion 26 Comments

  • Leila says:

    Beautiful piece Kelley! Thanks for sharing.

  • Jill Celeste says:

    Here’s to simplification! This year for Christmas Eve, I decided to not host a party and invite my family out to dinner instead. All I had to do was make a reservation. It was so freeing! I hope you and your family has a wonderful holiday season, Kelly! BTW, I love the peace sign on the garage!

  • Peggy says:

    Really great tips Kelley! I’ve already signed up for a yoga class on Christmas morning ????

    • How wonderful Peggy – yoga on Christmas morning! I am so fortunate because my daughter Fiona is going to lead us through a class on Christmas Eve as she did last year. We moved everything around in our living room and invited over family and friends for yoga. It was a wonderful way to infuse our house with peace and joy and ground ourselves at the same time! Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Suzie Cheel says:

    Kelley feel so blessed Xmas will be relaxed with no family stress this yearxxx

  • These are all wonderful ideas and I usually incorporate all of them, although I sometimes have to remind myself to play! Lovely post.

  • Great post Kelley! Love your practical tips.

  • Lore Raymond says:

    Yes, keeping it spiritual and simple. Amen! Inspired by your gentle reminder, “Cultivate a “choose to” mindset rather than feeling pressured by a “have to” mindset to create more peace and ease in your life.” Hugs xoxox Lore

  • CK Kochis says:

    Wonderful guidance, Kelley. Christmas can bring an intense amount of stress to some people, and I believe your tips will help them to experience a merrier holiday. This year my intent is to be as gentle on myself as possible…

    May the true spirit of Christmas touch the heart and souls of all. Blessings…

    • Thank you so much Cindy. I also intend to be as gentle and compassionate to myself as possible. It is the key to honoring, healing and nurturing ourselves for sure. Sending much love and compassion your way!

  • Thank you Kelly for your beautiful reminders to nurture and care for ourselves during this potentially stressful and challenging time of year.

    • I am so glad you found the reminders to nurture ourselves supportive! May we all feel empowered to transform the stress of the holidays and find the peace and joy waiting for us! Thank you so much for comment!

  • Dr. Schavi M. Ali says:

    I love the Hanukkah candle lighting ceremonies. Even though my family is not Jewish, we appreciate the gratefulness of this holiday because it honors God’s miracle of allowing one small bit of oil that logically could only light one oil lamp for one night to burn for nine nights in the ancient temple of Jerusalem. This is a reminder of the many miracles we are thankful for receiving. So, we light a candle each sunset during Hanukkah and give thanks for miracles. Both Hanukkah, Christmas, and the celebration of Winter Solstice (especially here in the Midwest) are festive times and relaxing times. We love to sip on hot cocoa with peppermint sticks or hot apple cider with ginger and cinnamon. We also love watching holiday movies. We sleep-in each morning of the holiday season for about an hour longer than usual and bask in the quiet and peace. We move slowly into each day with prayer, exercise (Yoga), then breakfast. I usually write in my journal at some point during the day. December is truly a sacred month. We find that as we engender peace and love, this vibration is picked-up by family and friends, and they too then, are calmer and engage in more relaxing and spiritual activities. May your holiday season (and all who read your website) be filled with joy, peace, health, and love!
    Dr. Schavi M. Ali

    • I love all the self-nurturing practices you have shared and your commitment to engendering peace and joy so that it radiates out to all in your life. I intend to celebrate the miracles all around me and thank you so much for your lovely comment!

  • Ginny Baro says:

    Thank Kelly for the reminders! Ever since I “gave up” on the “hype” I’ve been truly present, calm, and realistic about the type of experience I want to create. I no longer drive myself frantic looking for presents or pushing myself to the limits, running myself haggard in the process. It’s amazing what happened when I stopped. The truth… nothing happened… people who love me still love me… people who I connect with, I still connect with… but what did happen is that I am peaceful. No season should take that away from us. xoxo Happy holidays to you and yours!

  • Thank you! This is so helpful.

  • Kelly, this is such a timely post. One most of us are going to truly benefit from. Thank you!
    xoxo, Z~

Leave a Reply