“Happy Holidays!” – It’s that time of the year. Everywhere I turn there is a saturation of joy and cheer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of spreading kindness, gratitude, and giving. But the holiday season is also well known to be one of the hardest times of the year for so many people. The days are darker with the seasonal change, the holidays can be financially strenuous, family dynamics can be strained, and it can be difficult to celebrate when not all the important people are sitting at the table. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one or the added stress of buying gifts and planning events, everyone could use a little boost of self-care during the holidays.

Self-care means to nurture ourselves in the way that best suits us as individuals. It’s about listening to and evaluating our needs at that moment and honoring them. Some days I need to have a meal with friends and family, other times I need to be alone and do yoga or watch a movie.

A cozy night spend with friends, chocolate, and wine.

There are so many great places in Detroit to use as a self-care opportunity. I love being outdoors and by the water and there are many parks in Detroit with wonderful river views: Belle Isle, Historic Fort Wayne, Alfred Brush Ford, and of course the Detroit Riverwalk. Not everyone is up to the outdoors in the cold, icy weather; a cozier option is to grab coffee alone or with friends – either to reflect or socially engage. Avalon has a few locations, and I love their pastries, but there are so many coffee shops to choose from… the Bottom Line is also one of my favorites. For physical movement and de-stressing, I do yoga frequently at home. Even just 10 minutes in the morning and night can be a great way to start the day or wind down for sleep, and there are lots of resources online to get flows for free. There are also many places to engage with art. The DIA is beautiful and is free to anyone with a tri-county ID. I also love gazing at the murals in Eastern Market and throughout the city. The top of my list for self-care destinations to try next is definitely The Detroit Zen Center – clearly I’m partial to the mindfulness activities – I’ve heard several glowing recommendations from friends.

Self-care is priceless, and there are options for every budget. So go get your nails done, visit a park if you’re up to the cold, grab a coffee or a hot meal if you’re not, buy some art supplies and paint, or join me at the Zen Center! Whatever suits you – make sure you take extra moments to pause, breathe, and take care of you this holiday season.