It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us; and I don’t know about you, but I want to laugh and cry and scream all at the same time. Things seem to rapidly accelerate this time of year, both at work and outside of it.

Finding the perfect gifts for loved ones, penciling in every holiday party, traveling to see family, decorating the house, attending the Nutcracker, baking cookies for work; the list goes on. All of these activities are fun and joyous; but at the same time can be draining and consuming.

The ‘me time’ seems to dwindle come November and December. An evening I’d typically be spending cooking dinner with my boyfriend is taken over by my work’s holiday party. That Sunday morning meditation is distracted and shortened because I am remembering I need to use my day off to get my mom’s Christmas gift.

My daily yoga practice begins to dwindle as I tell myself it’s too cold and too dark at the end of the workday, that I'll find the time tomorrow and end up on the couch doing the very thing that my body and mind need least. 

Then I wonder why I feel lethargic, gluttonous (who can resist all the cookies and candy canes?!), emotional, and tightly coiled.

Holiday fatigue is a very real thing for most of us, and it’s normal and okay to be affected by. But, in the end, all of these holiday stresses are excuses and should not get in the way of taking care of ourselves; or making time for what helps to keep us calm and grounded – like yoga.

We require balance in our lives to be whole and happy, which means intentionally making time to counteract the busyness, overindulgence, and stress of the season.

Maybe that means saying no to a holiday gathering or two so that you can fit in your decompressing bubble bath, or ordering takeout for dinner so that you can make it to Better Buzz for a detoxing, stress-relieving class. Try and make it a goal to sweat at least three times a week, to have at least an hour of solo time daily, and to take care of yourself, whatever that means to you, at least once a week. Your body and soul will thank you; and so will all of your loved ones.

So this holiday season, let’s not forget the root of it all: giving.

Giving of ourselves, gifts, time with friends and family, donating what we can to those in need. What we often forget is to give to ourselves as well.

So sure, go ahead and buy that extra pair of earrings for yourself while you're shopping for your friend; allow yourself that extra half hour of sleep the morning after your work’s holiday party; and make sure to carve out time for your yoga practice whenever you get the chance. It can make the difference between enjoying the spirit of the season and feeling exhausted by the stress.

Allow yourself to feel fuller than ever this holiday season (in your heart, not your stomach) by boundlessly giving to others, and more importantly, yourself.

I look forward to practicing with you soon at BBY! 

Laura Whitby is a student at Better Buzz Yoga.