“It’s not about whether you spend your life in a boardroom, your bedroom, or on a beach with a mai tai in Maui. When you look back on your life, the only thing that matters is, did you spend it doing what you love with the people you love? Were you happy? Did you make the most of this beautiful, terrifying, messed up life? Did you let go of all the things that held you back, so you can hold on to what matters most?” ~ Miranda Bailey
Just Life Grief
There are no rules for surviving holiday grief. Do what you need to do to survive. Honour your loved one how you need to, and do what feels best for your fragile, aching heart. You are missing a huge piece of you, so do whatever you need to do to find a sliver of peace. Angela Miller
Self-nourishment for the Holiday Season
It is hard to believe that it is December already! For many, the next few weeks will be a whirlwind of baking, shopping, organizing, eating, preparing, spending, drinking, wrapping and socializing. And while this can all be fun and joyful, it often comes with stress and overwhelm. By the end of it we often feel tense and worn out. So, this year instead of letting all of these external factors run your life for the next month, create for yourself how you want to be and feel.
Here are 5 of my favorite quick and easy self-care practices to help you nourish yourself and ease the stress so you are able to truly embrace and enjoy the spirit of the season.
- Stick to your daily routine – If you are into a regular daily routine that works for you, now is the time to stick to it, not to stop. Get up at your regular time. Continue with your daily exercise routine. Eat regular meals. And get to bed at your normal time. Keeping a schedule and keeping your body in the flow of what it’s used to will help minimize stress.
- Carve out some “me time” – Each day build in a little window of time just for you. Maybe it’s a few minutes of yoga or meditation in the morning. Sipping cup of hot tea while planning your day with intention and focus. A short walk in the fresh crisp air. Time out at the end of the day soaking in a hot bath or reading a few pages of a good book. Whatever brings you a few minutes of peace and solace will do wonders.
- Pack a power smoothie – Food can be challenging during this busy chaotic time. A great way to get in some nutrient dense nourishment is with a power smoothie. It can be prepared quickly and taken with you while you’re out and about. My favorite recipe is 2 handfuls spinach, 1/4 of an avocado, 1 scoop collagen powder, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 heaping Tbsp. cacao powder. Top with water and blend until smooth. Yum!
- Take time to breathe – If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, anxious and at the end of your very last nerve, just breath! Pause. Collect yourself. Focus on your breath. Close your eyes. Take a long slow breath in for the count of 4. Hold it for the count of 7 then slowly release your breath for a count of 8. Repeat this process 3 or 4 times. This simple breathing exercise will help calm your body and your mind.
- Find the gratitude – In the business and materialism of the season we can easily lose focus on what’s really important. Spending time in gratitude really helps to put things into perspective. This can be done while driving in the car, during your morning mediation, while out for that quick walk, or before bed. What are you grateful for? What or who do you appreciate in your life? Deliberately cultivating gratitude can increase well-being, happiness, optimism and energy.
This holiday season set yourself up for success with a de-stressing plan. Don’t let external influences shape your Christmas season. Instead find what’s true within you. What brings you joy and peace? What makes you feel calm and restful? Be in the moment. Let go of expectations – both your expectations and those of others. Focus on what you truly enjoy and have a joyful holiday season.
“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend,,,when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that is present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Happy Father’s Day to all the Birth Fathers, Adoptive Fathers, Step-Fathers, God-Fathers, Pet Fathers, and those men who mentor and guide us. Today is a day set aside to celebrate all of them and to remember the Fathers who are no longer here to celebrate with us.