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Give and take—taking care of yourself during the holidays

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‘Tis the season of giving. But as we give, give, give in the spirit of the holidays, it can be all too easy to forget about our own happiness and well-being when all the shopping, finances, family gatherings, and planning builds into stress. Not to mention how challenging and lonely this time of year can be for some people. This year, we want to make sure that, within the swirl of festivities, you’re able to take the necessary time to take care of  YOU — to give to yourself for a change so that you’re able to show up with a quieter, calmer, more contented mind for yourself and others.

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Take Care of You: The Headspace way

This month we're featuring the “Take Care of You” collection, our recommended meditations to help you do just that. Think of them as a ready-made gift that you can turn to whenever you like, wherever you are. You can find it in the “Featured” topic in the Headspace app, or simply click the links below to open any of the specific meditations or exercises.

Back to Basics When festivities or planning become overwhelming, take a few moments to find a quiet place, reset, and recalibrate. Sometimes, we just need to breathe, de-stress, and be kinder to ourselves, without judgment, without inner-commentary, without heeding any negative thoughts.

  • Basics (to introduce or reacquaint you to the fundamentals of meditation)
  • Letting Go of Stress (to alleviate any building tension or feeling of being overwhelmed)
  • Kindness (to infuse your day with kindness and remind you to be gentle with yourself)

Enjoy alone time However festive and social we might feel, we all need space from time to time. For those of us whose aloneness can feel empty, it’s worth the reminder that when meditating, we’re meditating alongside other Headspacers around the world.

  • Alone Time (single meditation, to go inward and savor that golden “me time”)
  • Reset (single meditation, to encourage an overactive mind to come to a natural place of rest)
  • Unwind (mini meditation, to give the mind time to unfold, unwind, and let go)

Don’t forget about sleep! With so much going on and so much to do, it’s not always easy to turn off and go to sleep. And when it comes to the mind, the harder we try to fall asleep, the more awake we are. Here are three exercises to help you relax and wind down at the end of the day.

  • Goodnight (single meditation, designed to soothe body and mind, preparing you for a restful sleep)
  • Sea Shapes (a 45-min sleep sound, a mix of clarinet, cello, and waves to help lull you to sleep)
  • Switching Off (using a visualization to help you power down and drift off)

Tips and insights Some of us might not find it easy or natural to take care of ourselves, so we’ve included the following guidance as a helpful reminder about the importance of self-care and how it sends ripples into our outside world and the relationships we have with our nearest and dearest.

  • Precious Human Life (a 1-minute animation on appreciating life’s preciousness)
  • Compassion and Awareness (understanding the two foundational qualities of meditation)
  • Planning (a meditation obstacle audio, offering advice about a mind that keeps looking ahead)

Be kind to your mind

  • Access the full library of 500+ meditations on everything from stress, to resilience, to compassion
  • Put your mind to bed with sleep sounds, music, and wind-down exercises
  • Make mindfulness a part of your daily routine with tension-releasing workouts, relaxing yoga, Focus music playlists, and more
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