These holidays ask a lot of us. During the time of year when it feels the most natural to retreat inward, when our bodies ache for solitude and stillness, we are expected to be our most outward expressive selves. Many of us are expected to be around lots of people, lots of noise, for long periods of time. We are expected to relive and process and attempt to heal family trauma over the course of a few days. We are asked to do all of this while making, and creating, and cooking, and giving and, as meaningful and important as gathering together really truly is, it can be utterly draining. It is crucial to give yourself the time to do what you need to care for and restore yourself, to find those precious moments of silence (even if it means hiding in the bathroom just to take a few deep breaths). Family healing and relationships are a life long process. Hold close to your heart the practices that steady your spirit.