The Spirit of Giving: Celebrate Yourself

My beautiful yoga friend and teacher Monica Ross has been opening her classes lately with a discussion about giving. Surely, the holiday season is about love and sharing gifts with friends and loved ones, but what about making sure we take time to give back to ourselves? As Monica says, the holidays demand much more of our outer energy, and so it’s vitally important to focus on tuning in and letting ourselves receive a little bit of energy too.

As a very busy-body type lady with three jobs, lots of friends and a passion for cooking all my meals at home, I often find myself forgetting to do stuff for myself. Not only does this leave me feeling depleted, it makes me feel like a total stressed mess. Sometimes I get so spun out that I feel that I can’t find time for friends, yoga, blogging or even being a good girlfriend because I am so focused on getting things done. Surely, many others struggle with this daily as well.

After a heartfelt conversation with my boyfriend and a dear friend about how my stress levels seem to often get the best of me, I’ve decided to really focus on tuning in a bit more, letting things go and just trying to relax into life. And so far it feels amazing. I’ve begun to not stress so much about my blogging (after this I am not going to be writing for a whole week!), I’ve tried to really make time for yoga and not just attend class as another item on my to-do list. I’ve quit caffeine to help me keep calm. I decided not to make individualized homemade food gifts, said no to dinner invitations, and not been stressed about bringing awesome homemade dishes to those I have attended. And most importantly I’ve given myself time to just play and relax. Sometimes this means taking a whole day for e-toxing (no technology for a whole day) and other times it means sitting and watching the waves for hours.

I find that when I truly tune in to myself, I am a much more calm, centered person than I often perceive myself to be. I do actually have my shit together, I am a good girlfriend and I am as socialable and active as I want to be. Sometimes this means staying home all night by myself, and other times it means spending quality time with good people. Mostly I feel a steady, calm energy that makes me feel, just, better.

So to you too, dear readers, in this week of holiday stress and joy, find time to give back to yourself. Learn to celebrate yourself a little bit too. Find time for a quiet cup of tea, a long morning walk, do some deep breathing or head to a yoga class. Try to find the joy in the moment, be at peace with not having everything exactly as you might want it, and try to give yourself a little love.

I wish you a calm, joyful season and a beautiful start to the new year.

this is not me; but it could be you!


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About Andrea Bertoli 597 Articles
A vegan chef, cookbook author, wellness educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in Honolulu. Follow my delicious adventures on Instagram


  1. You go girl! You have a huge heart and are always giving giving giving (and going going going!) Nice to see you taking a time out for yourself and relaxing.

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