Holiday Reflections: Our Favorite Strategies for Self-Care

As this tumultuous year comes to an end and the holiday season is upon us, we wanted to share some of our self-care strategies including favorite podcasts, radio stations, books, and meditations.  We wish you and your family joy, health, and happiness this holiday season and into the New Year!


I love listening to “The Hidden Brain” facilitated by social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam.  The podcast highlights research from psychology, neurobiology, economics, anthropology, and sociology to create a fascinating and empathetic perspective about why individuals and society behaves the way it does.

Hidden Brain

I recently finished reading Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.  The book, which is simultaneously hilarious and tragic, interweaves the lives of various characters who are flawed but lovable, and help challenge our initial judgments of others.  A great winter read!

Some of my favorite rituals include my morning Earl Gray tea, walks/phone calls with friends, barre class, and fire pit date nights with my husband.  My three daughters also bring light and laughter into our lives and help me stop and remember to grab the beauty of each day.

~Dr. Laura Rubin


A strategy I use is the Down Dog app on my phone for various yoga, barre, and other workouts. I enjoy moving around and this app provides both slower and more calming yoga and barre exercises, or engages you in high intensity workouts. Depending on the day and how I am feeling, I can choose the best workout for me. The dancer in me is also happy to get back into barre workouts. Not only am I strengthening my body, but the yoga especially helps to strengthen my mind and keep me in tune with my body.

I am also a big fan of mystery books as a nice way to disconnect for a few hours. Reading in general has always been a hobby, but the mystery books tend to engross me more. During these times, I have found it especially comforting to disconnect for a little bit and delve deep into a mystery that needs to be solved. One of my favorite mystery authors is Ruth Ware.

~Dr. Alyssa Maiuri


A wonderful book I have read recently is, Love is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times by Bishop Michael Curry.  He delivered a powerful and inspirational sermon during the Royal Wedding of Megan and Harry about the redemptive power of love.  This book offers the message of the healing power of love during these uncertain times and gives us hope for better times ahead.

Music has always been an important part of my life during happy, sad, anxious or stressful times.  I have found a channel called Happy Radio on Pandora that I listen to while on a walk or exercising and it always lifts my spirits!

~Gianna Alden


To say this year has been challenging does not seem to be a strong enough word. There were days that I felt resilient and strong and days that I felt discourage and overwhelmed. I am sure many of you felt the same way. I have many roles: mother, wife, daughter, friend, and employee, just to name a few. I have learned over time that I cannot show up in all these areas of my life if I do not first take care of myself. Self-care is so important, especially right now. Two of my main self-care strategies are exercise and meditation. Somedays it may simply be a 20-minute walk around the block or a brief 5 to 10-minute meditation, but both help to quiet my mind and fuel my soul. Meditation has been a great tool to help settle my mind, process my feelings, and even sleep better. Two books on meditation that helped me gain some insight into how it works and the benefits it has to offer were, 10% Happier by Dan Harris and Getting Unstuck by Pema Chodron. There are many meditation apps, that you can experiment with to see what resonates with you.

The Best Meditation Apps to Help You Find Inner Peace

8 Meditation Apps for Kids

Meditation is something you can do anywhere, anytime, and something you can teach your children to do too.

Wishing all the best through this holiday season and into the New Year.

~ Linnea Hauthaway