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Self Care Tips for the High Holiday Season
By Sierra Debrow, ISJL Education Fellow
The High Holiday season is like hiking through the hilly countryside. We start out with wide-eyed excitement, eager to start the New Year and to see all of the incredible opportunities that it will bring. The month of Elul begins, bringing with it a spirit of introspection and preparation, reflection and a can-do attitude. Then, the month is over, and Rosh Hashanah is upon us as we hit our first significant milestone. It is a new year! We blow the shofar and dip our apples in honey, hug our families and join together as a part of the Jewish community. But as we continue our trek through the holiday season, we must remind ourselves that we cannot keep climbing forever. Eventually, we must slow our pace, take a deep breath, and plateau for a bit before we continue our spiritual climb.
As the High Holiday season rapidly approaches, it is essential that we practice taking care of ourselves. Doing so allows us to fully appreciate the personal and spiritual development that comes at this time of year. Below are just a few ways to make space for yourself during this busy time of year.
Sh’mah… to your body: Sometimes, when we are continuously on the run, it can be challenging to stay attuned to what we need physically. This is especially true of the High Holiday season, when our minds are focused on religious and spiritual matters and not necessarily on the actual world we live in every single day. Make sure to take time each day to listen to your body’s needs—stretch, have a snack, and hydrate. Rest when you feel like you need to do so. We can only grow spiritually when we take care of ourselves physically, too.
Keep a journal: At first, the task might seem daunting. But even taking five minutes out of your day to reflect on how you are feeling, what is going on in your life, and your ongoing goals can be an important self-care tool. Journaling can be as detailed or as brief as you would like. It can be used as a process of introspection and to center yourself and can help you evaluate your own learning and development as the High Holiday season continues. For some journaling tips, click here.
Find YOUR space: In the hustle and bustle of the season, sometimes it is difficult to literally find space for yourself. Our thoughts can get cluttered with to-do lists and what-ifs. To maximize your me-time, find or create a space conducive to your happiness and well-being. Get a comfortable chair to relax in after a long day, and indulge in some face masks or essential oils. If outside noise bothers you, put on some white noise while you put your feet up and relax.
The High Holiday season can feel like an uphill climb with little time to rest in between. As the season continues, remember to take time and make space for yourself, and enjoy the joy that comes along the way.