December is upon us, and between the holidays and the end of 2016 around the corner, it is easy to get swept up into rushing around, conquering to do lists and getting by on fumes until January. I know that I have definitely lived that reality in the past. With this in mind, I wanted to share what is helping me enjoy the holidays, which is focusing on my own self-care. For me, if I am run down, tired, and not doing the things that help me live a happy and healthy life then, I have a hard time showing up for anyone else.
Taking time to slow down, gather my thoughts, and detaching from everything is key to my self-care because it allows for me to relax and let my thoughts go. Many people achieve this by meditating, which I am a huge fan of and working on developing a practice of. However, there are times when I am too “amped up” or need an activity to help my mind let go a bit and that is when I turn to puzzles. The act of sorting, searching and fitting pieces together is therapeutic for me. It also exercises my brain so that I can be more present and unwind a bit. Recently, I was working on a puzzle and thinking about an ongoing issue when the solution hit me: piece by piece the puzzle comes together and so does life. Kind of simple and kind of perfect.
These little tart berries are a powerhouse of nutritional goodness and are a great daily addition to many meals. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber all help support the immune system protect against free radicals damage (yay for antioxidants), and great for healthy digestion. Plus, cranberries are in season so they are fresh and cheap than other berries. For more information, check out The World’s Healthiest Foods Website.
I have been making my own cranberries sauce and adding it to yogurt, snacks, and honestly anything I can. To maximize the health benefits, skip added sugars, lightly cook the cranberries with a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar over a medium heat until cranberries are soft. For a bit sweeter version, you can mix in other fruit such as persimmons or pomegranates. Yum!
A few months ago I started practicing yoga again and rediscovered how much I love it! From the exercise component to the mindfulness aspect it has been a wonderful way to take care of myself. I take classes at a local studio and find that I am more committed to practicing yoga by going to a class. However, there are many yoga videos on youtube too. Or if yoga is not your thing go for a walk and just appreciate the sights and sounds. Disconnecting, moving your body, and breathing is the key.
Random Acts of Kindness
While this not so much a thing, but an act I wanted to mention it as a reminder to myself and to encourage others to do the same. The holidays, whether you celebrate them or not can be hard for a lot of people and it can make sane people go a bit wonky. So from holding a door open to smiling, giving a compliment, or just saying thank you to a hard working person, being kind, patient, and understanding can go a long way. It is a bit cliche but everyone is dealing with something and you never know when the smallest act of kindness will alter their lives or your own.
Take some time to appreciate and practice kindness for strangers, friends, family, and yourself. After all, we could all use a little more it now and every day.
Happy Holidays! See you 2017!