With the Christmas holiday this week, many people will be spending time with extended family and friends to celebrate. For some of us it is a time of warmth and love. For others, the holidays can be quite challenging and lonely. Most of us have at least one family member who knows how to push our buttons. It is up to us to manage how we relate to them so we can support and nurture ourselves.

Stress is a part of life and it is often a part of the holiday season, whether it is due to personality conflict, weather, travel, or lack of time to get it everything done.

The San Francisco sky was lit up with a soft beautiful pink hue yesterday morning when I went to work. By 4pm it was dark, cold and wet – a welcome site for local skiers. The sky has a variety of clouds moving through it, some pink and light while others are dark and threatening. Our minds have the capacity to hold joy and peace one moment and grief or stress in the next. Just as the clouds do not affect the sky, we can allow our emotions to have a minimal impact on the state of our mind if we allow them to float by and not identify with them.

So this week, know how to be your own friend. Do what you need to in order to take care of yourself. If you have a tendency to be hard on yourself, find some time alone, close your eyes, and reflect on something you have done or said in which you were kind, generous, caring or contributed to someone’s well-being.

You may also find it helpful to say these phrases to yourself:

May I be happy

May I be peaceful

May I be safe

May I be free from stress


I’d love to hear your strategy to take care of yourself this week!