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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Treating Ourselves

Nov 28, 2023 06:30AM ● By Marlaina Donato

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For many of us, this time of year is a whirlwind of well-meaning obligations, and we struggle to hold onto the intended joy of the season. Somewhere between the office holiday party and making a toast on New Year’s Eve, it is easy to lose sight of the magic because we lose sight of ourselves.

During this hour of stillness when nature slows down to restore life force in the very roots, we can make a conscious decision to give back to ourselves by honoring our energy reserves. Being more realistic with our finances and not seeking an escape from holiday stress through overindulgence are holy choices we can make. Deciding not to spread ourselves too thin swaps exhausting multitasking for authenticity and the pleasure of being in the present moment. Re-defining priorities without misplaced guilt allows us to give others our undiluted presence.

As the winter solstice nears and another chapter concludes, how much lighter might we feel if we bless ourselves with the soul-necessity of inner peace? How many beautiful memories might we store up as spiritual nourishment for the journey ahead? Just as the solstice kicks off a bit more daylight as we inch toward spring, tending to our own roots not only makes us stronger but also ensures a future harvest from which everyone around us can benefit. 

Ideas for a More Balanced Season

  • Host a fun, potluck gathering instead of doing all the cooking. 
  • Say “No” to an event and spend that time with someone that doesn’t have family or holiday plans.
  • Instead of a tangible gift, write a heartfelt letter to a loved one and lavishly decorate the paper and envelope.
  • Choose a morning to sleep in late or make yourself a delicious breakfast.
  • Enjoy the unique beauty of winter, pausing to notice a sunset or deepening twilight.
  • Share treasured stories and memories with a gathering of friends.
  • Avoid rushing and risk running behind.
  • Decide to not harbor any regrets.
  • Abandon perfection.

Marlaina Donato is an author, multimedia expressionist and cultivator of women’s wild well-being. Connect at