For a lot of us, the next few weeks are going to be super hectic. We are the holiday memory-makers, the keepers of family traditions, the buyers of presents, the bakers of cookies, the hostesses of house-guests. We want so much for our children to believe in the magic of the season, and we delight in experiencing it all through their eyes. But, man, the holidays can be exhausting — physically and emotionally. And we can be pretty hard on ourselves as we work to make the holiday season a positive experience for everyone.

When it’s all said and done — when the gift wrap has been recycled and the decorations packed away — give yourself and your loved ones the gift of peace and self-compassion this winter.

Mindfulness Northwest will host two courses in Wenatchee this January through March that teach effective tools for reducing stress and feeling more relaxed, and for being kinder and gentler with ourselves and those we love:

These classes have been taught in medical centers, colleges and schools, companies, and in community classes like these for nearly 40 years. The skills you will learn are time-tested and effective.

Each is an 8-week class with an additional day of practice and each will be held at the Wenatchee Community Center’s Veteran Hall classroom, led by experienced teacher Oori Silberstein. Their full Wenatchee schedule is posted here.

The Stress Reduction class (Jan. 17 – March 14) “is a mindfulness training program that helps us live more fully in the present moment with skill and ease, facing good times and bad with more awareness and better access to our inner resources,” according to the Mindfulness Northwest website. The training will help you reduce stress in general, and has also been shown to help people manage depression and anxiety, and sharpen their mental focus.

The Self-Compassion class (Jan. 18 – March 15) teaches you how to stop being so hard on yourself, and how to respond “to difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting.” As clinical psychologist Christopher Germer said: “A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” And we could all learn to be a bit kinder to ourselves, couldn’t we?

These are life-changing ideas. As one participant said, “I wish I had learned this a long time ago. It’s made my life easier and I am happier in general.”

Class size is limited and registration is required, so I recommend signing up ASAP.

  • Sign up for the stress reduction class here.
  • Sign up for the self-compassion class here.

And here’s a flyer you can download or email to share with friends.

The classes are offered on a sliding scale, and scholarships are available. The scholarship request deadline is two weeks before the classes start, which is another reason to sign up as soon as possible.

This crazy, busy, stressful holiday season, give yourself the gift of self-care, stress reduction and mindfulness. What a perfect way to begin a new year. These classes are not just for parents. They’re for anybody, so bring a friend. Bring a few. Let’s spread the well-being far and wide.