Whole Living Daily

No Time for You? Make Like a Squirrel and Save Little Bits Here and There

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Image courtesy of Worms and Germs Blog

Welcome to the holiday whirlwind! I'm already feeling like I need a weekend yoga retreat to get back on track—too much eating, not enough moving, not enough sitting still, and the full-court holiday press is still a week away.

With all the hubbub of the season, you likely won't have many opportunities to fully immerse yourself in whatever your self-care practice is, whether it's hitting the gym, going for walks, meditating, or getting to yoga class. But that doesn't mean you have to forego your health- and sanity-promoting activities altogether. To get the inspiration you need to stay on your particular path, just look to the squirrel.

There is no such thing as a proper meal for squirrels during the wintertime. They get by on eating a teeny little nut here and there. They are a great inspiration for how to take care of yourself during the holidays—take whatever little tidbits you can find and trust that they will carry you through until you've got the opportunity to gorge on long, luxurious sessions of self-care again.

It's all too tempting to have an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to taking care of yourself. One missed day of your healthy endeavors makes it that much more likely that you'll skip them the next day and the next day and the next. Avoid the tendency to think "There's no hope for staying healthy now – pass the pie. I'll deal with the fallout in January." Because even little bits of sanity-saving self-care can help you make wiser decisions, meaning you'll be more apt to gain two pounds instead of ten, for example.

On those days life unexpectedly eats in to your self-care time, find ways to squirrel little pieces of your practice away – five deep breaths before you get out of the car to come inside, a 10-minute walk before you eat lunch, one delicious restorative stretch in bed before you turn out the light. Granted, these little amounts aren't enough to move your practice forward, but think of them as a bookmark—they'll hold your place for you and keep you from having to backtrack when you are ready to re-dedicate yourself to your taking excellent care of yourself again.

What's your sanity-saving plan for the holidays?

Kate Hanley is a regular contributor to Whole Living, a passionate yogi, and the author of The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide. She's also founder of msmindbody.com.

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