Self-Nourishment for the Holiday Season

Self-nourishment for the Holiday Season

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving

 

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“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

Father’s Day

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.

Thoughts on Mother’s Day

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My Thoughts on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can bring a mixture of emotions.
 
I had no idea how challenging Mother’s Day could be until my mother died. Most of my life it was just a day where our family did something nice for our mother. Since her death and after working with men and women who have complicated and non-existent relationships with their mothers, I realize just how much emotion this holiday can bring.
 
My first thought is that a mother is not just a woman who gives birth to a child. A mother is a woman who creates, nurtures, encourages and protects. Not everyone had or has that. Then there are the women who did not give birth to us but who have nurtured us, encouraged us, been there for us and pushed us to be our best selves.
 
Whether your mother is living or dead, available or unavailable, distant or over-bearing, there are always things we wish were different, better or had been more. All relationships are complicated and have challenges. That is just life. Embrace and celebrate what you are grateful for.
 
My other thought about Mother’s Day is about motherhood itself. Mother’s Day can also bring up feelings for women who want or wanted to be mothers but could not, who were mothers but lost their children, or for mothers whose children are no longer in their lives.
 
If you know a mother, yours or someone else’s, who you think is doing a great job, let them know. If you are a mother, be kind to yourself, it is the hardest job in the world.
 
Whether this day is a day of celebration or a challenge, be compassionate to yourself and others.
 
Happy Mother’s Day.