Reclaiming Your Rest

Despite their joys, the hectic nature of the winter holidays can be wearing for those who need moments of solitude to feel rested and recharged. Learn how editor Hannah Kincaid creates those relaxing moments for herself.

  • Taking time to be mindful of your wellbeing will help you make it through the holidays rested instead of stressed.
    Photo by Getty/momcilog

The holidays can be exhausting. As much as I enjoy spending time with my family, the bustling weeks between Thanksgiving and the new year present few opportunities to recharge in solitude. Over the past few years, I’ve focused on uncovering slivers of time — anywhere from 5 to 40 minutes — to reclaim my rest during this season. The following three habit shifts have provided tranquility when I’ve needed it most.

Yoga nidra: Yoga nidra is not your typical yoga practice; it’s done lying down while listening to a guided meditation that can be anywhere from five minutes to one hour long. The meditation walks you through various states of deep relaxation and then back again to a waking state. I’ve found that this provides the benefits of a power nap in a shorter time span.

I learned about yoga nidra when I stumbled across Karen Brody’s book Daring to Rest, and I’m so inspired by the results I’ve personally experienced that I’ve decided to launch a Mother Earth Living book club so we can work through her plan together. To join our book club and reclaim your rest this holiday season, see “Mother Earth Living’s New Book Club,” below.

Early mornings: It sounds counterintuitive to wake up early if you need more rest, but if you recharge by finding moments of solitude, then early morning hours — when the rest of the world is still asleep — may be for you. I wake up at 5 a.m. to journal, work on creative personal projects, or simply drink coffee while my mind wanders. I look forward to these moments of silence, and I always regret hitting “snooze” more than once per week. 

Take a walk: You can feed an introverted soul by disconnecting from technology and claiming 20 minutes for a solo stroll. Because this time can quickly devolve into mental chatter, I practice what I call “active observation” on my walks, where I look closely at the trees, flowers, bugs, and so on. This helps me appreciate my environment while staying aligned with the seasons. If I stumble across a particularly beautiful object, I’ll bring it home (if I can) to add to my seasonal altar.

How do you stay rested and recharged during the holidays? I’d love to hear your tips and recommendations at, and I look forward to working through Daring to Rest with many of you via our new book club!

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