If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy…

Yet, women often find themselves at the bottom of their priority list after kids, relationships, work, and family. Women have a misperception that taking care of themselves is not important or even selfish.

Just as airline passengers are instructed to put on their own oxygen masks before helping their children or fellow passengers with theirs, we must learn to attend to our own well-being first.

Enjoy these ‘holiday zen’ tips and put yourself at the top of your to-do list this holiday season.

You actually DO have the time.

Instead of saying “I don’t have time,” try saying “it’s not a priority” and see how that shifts your perception. Often we trick ourselves into thinking we have a shortage of time, and as a result operate at a frantic pace that you won’t want to do.

For example, you might have time to vacuum but you just don’t want to do it. Instead of saying “I don’t have time to vacuum,” try saying “I’m not going to vacuum because it’s just not a priority.”

Changing our language reminds us that time is a CHOICE. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, with this shift in perspective, we can choose differently.

Book a massage. And another. And another.

Many people believe that going to a massage therapist is just a way to pamper yourself. The truth is, the scientific benefits of receiving a well-done therapeutic massage are endless and can alleviate muscle pain, insomnia, depression, and significantly affects stress and anxiety.

Additionally, having something to look forward to that makes you feel good makes the future seem bright, which can diminish stress in the present moment. According to Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project, anticipation is key. By having something to look forward to, no matter what your circumstances, you bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place. In fact, sometimes the happiness in anticipation is greater than the happiness actually experienced in the moment.

Wear White or Off-White

Winter is typically a time for darker colored clothes. However, wearing white or light colors allows you to project light. It is said that wearing white increases your energy field (aura) by three feet, which increases your physical energy and protects you from taking on other people’s negativity. Try it for yourself and see how the colors you wear affect your mood and energy!

Fix Your Breathing

This is the Holy Grail of tips! Quick, try this now: place your hand on your belly and take a deep breath in. What happened? If you’re breathing incorrectly, your chest expanded, belly contracted and your hand moved in toward your spine.

Almost everyone sucks at breathing. I am not exaggerating. As a yoga instructor, I have seen first hand that most people are what I call “reverse breathers.” “Reverse breathing” is a learned style of breathing that actually activates your fight or flight nervous system and has you in an endless cycle of stress.

So, let’s fix it. Put your hand on your belly and as you breathe in, make sure your belly expands and your hand moves away from you. As a you breathe out, your belly should contract and your hand should move toward you. Watch a baby breathing as they sleep… you will see exactly what I mean.

Yogi Hair Hack

Consider the possibility that the hair on your head is there to do more than just look good or give you bad hair days. From a yogic perspective, hair is an amazing gift of nature that can actually help raise energy. If you feel your energy starting to wane, get a wooden comb and brush your hair. This will stimulate the energy meridians in your scalp and invigorate you. All the tiredness of your day will be gone!

If you have long hair, another energy booster is to put your hair in a bun on the crown of your head. In India, a Rishi is known as a wise one who coils his or her hair up on the crown of the head during the day to energize the brain cells. A ‘rishi knot’ energizes your energy field (aura) and stimulates the pineal gland in the center of your brain.

(cool) reader deal

At Ojas, all day long, they hear “I have been looking forward to this massage all week/month/year!” Ojas specializes in amazing therapeutic massages and as a (cool) progeny reader you get $10 off the already low new client massage. Just use code COOLPRO. Book at www.OjasWellness.com.

This article originally appeared in our 2015 Charmed Holidays Guide. Kelly Wilkes is Owner/Founder of Ojas Wellness.