Snow Globe Hawaii © lynette sheppard

’Tis the season. This Christmas/Hannukah and the holiday last year pegged the stress meter well into the red zone for most of us. Menopause AND a pandemic? Does not seem at all fair.

But if we’ve learned one thing from Covid, it’s this: self-care is primary. Without nourishing and nurturing ourselves, we deplete our energy and are not able to fully help the others in our lives.

So this holiday season, the most important gift is to yourself. Make a list of what might be enough – enough to make the season festive for you and yours without excess stress.

A smaller tree? No tree but greenery? One batch of cookies? Or store-bought? Donations instead of gifts for the adults? Coupons for a massage from you, making dinner, at-home spa day? Then you can just sit back and enjoy family and friends.

Theresa-Venus, Karen-Venus, and I gave one another the Christmas gift of relaxation. We took a staycation and split it three ways. Just beach, frou-frou drinks, reading and sleeping. That was our gift to one another and rejuvenated us enough that we fully enjoyed our Thanksgiving.

Dewitt and I have decorated a tree. Our favorite Christmas ritual is the tree. That and carols.

There will be no cookies this year. No gifts for adults save donations in their names. Parties and travel are still not happening thanks to the Omicron variant but we will see far-flung family and friends via Zoom and our Facebook Portal.

The Portal has an ultra-wide lens so it feels like you are actually in one another’s living rooms. I’ve cooked meals with friends over the Portal even though we are thousands of miles away. BTW, I have no linkup or connection with Facebook or Portal, in fact, when our son bought us one, I didn’t want it. Just another screen or so I thought. Then I tried it and was hooked. We even read stories to the grandkids on it.

Most important, make another list. A list of all the things that rejuvenate you. Hot baths, binge watching holiday movies, ordering take-out for dinner, quiet time to read or pursue artistic endeavors. And be sure you gift yourself at least one of these nurturing behaviors each day.

And who knows, perhaps next holiday season, we might make self-care a habit. I’m hoping that I will. Mele Kalikimaka from Hawai`i and enjoy.