Well hello! Welcome back. Been a hot minute…I’ll fill you in briefly as to why, and more on all of this “stuff” in posts to come…but…I’ve been well, just a teensy, weensy bit busy. In the last few weeks I launched a business and a website, finished off my last weeks at Amazon, my father was admitted to the hospital (still there), not to mention we have three boys, a dog, a holiday that passed us (Thanksgiving, I think?) and one more on the horizon (oh holy Amazon shopping-palooza), graduated from a year-long integrative nutrition program and oh, I have cancer and I started my treatment two weeks ago. <Insert ALL the overwhelmed, exhausted and even cRaZy emojis here>. I literally just took a subconscious but very audible deep breath in and out after typing all of that. Anywho, just wanted to catch all of you up on my whereabouts and let you know that I’ll be getting onto the regular Wednesday/Sunday blog post schedule now…so get ready!
I know I’m preaching to the choir with all the “busy-ness” of life above – this is nothing new for any of us. We ALL have our “stuff”. Most of it we keep tucked deep inside, wrapped in a neat tidy box in a place that NO one can ever find it. My advice to you??? OPEN THE BOX! Let it out. Share the struggle. There is a BIG difference between continuously complaining and whining on how bad your life is (we all have THAT friend that we may need to say “bye Felicia” too temporarily or permanently) and sharing the difficult aspects of life with those chosen people. You know who these people are. Cherish these people in your life and give them the gift of the total you – the good, the bad and yes, the ugly, even the ugly cry. Often times you help others when you share your pain and vulnerability (along with all the good stuff, too of course).
This time of year – “The Holidays” can be so very taxing, grueling, depressing, lonely and sad for many. Often a lot less fa la la la la and a lot more ahhhhhhhh. I find myself, too, going in and out of holiday glee and holiday glum. If you are an adult, it’s just different. There’s so much expectation. So much consumption. So much focus on “want”. So many places to be and so much to do in our already jam-packed go-go-go schedules. Anyone feeling me? I saw a quote on Black Friday that said something to the effect of “only in America people trample each other one day after being thankful for what they already have”. Isn’t it true? I want, I want, I want. The consumerism aspect of this time of year can be a bit of a turn-off for me and I am working consistently on ways I can focus on and participate in all the good that comes this time of year instead…like: more people volunteer this time of year than any other time of year, more people give to charities and non-profits, families and close friends spend time together (which is usually a good thing ;)), people givegifts and hopefully enjoy a few days off from work. Ok, I know I sound like the grinch, and that is not my objective. I am merely pointing out that this time of year can be rough, so…it’s THE most important time to take care of YOU.
In the end, it always gets done, right? So, take a deep breath, put your feet up for a spell, breathe deeply in and out, run a hot bath, make some hot cocoa and chill,my fellow humans. (Keep in mind I’m telling myself this as much as I’m telling you). What helps me stay on track during this sometimes emotionally draining time of year? Honestly, there’s no magic bullet, but I do believe these things have helped me from completely losing my shit, so I hope this might help you, too:
- NO means YES (to yourself)
- Make this a resolution -write it everywhere. Especially in the holy-hellish month of December…if it’s not a HECK YES it’s a HECK NO! You don’t need to give an excuse to others, simply decline and thank the individual for the invite/opportunity etc. Awwwww…doesn’t that already feel good? You don’t owe anyone anything (except a timely response).
- To do list! Check, edit and update daily
- This makes me feel in control and it feels good to see items physically checked off so I can ensure nothing is forgotten
- I use an app called Wunderlist – I highly recommend it – check it out! Just add new items or check them off as you go (I know you always have your phone with you ;)), you can categorize them and everything!
- MOVE Yo Body!
- Be sure that you are doing SOMEthing active every dang day. Whether it’s a couple of short walks around your office building each day, a quick yoga sesh from home, a quick trip to the gym or whatever is your “thang”….DO it. It’s your daily dose of energy AND calm. I promise.
- Meal Plan
- Don’t let the busy holidays knock you off your healthy eating habits. Make your life easier by planning in advance each week and making sure you have healthy snacks and (simple) meal items on hand. (more on this coming soon!)
- Eat the frog!
- Do that thing/those things you DON’T want to do first/early in the month/week/day so you feel lighter. Leaving that “thing” for last will just weigh you down every day (mine was Christmas shopping and Holiday cards – got ‘em done early this year and it made a HUGE difference in my December happiness index)
- Take it easy on caffeine and alcohol
- I know, I know – some of us have these things on regular intravenous drip this time of year, but I promise, they will only make all of your problems bigger and more anxiety-provoking. You don’t have to give them up completely, but be mindful of when you’re reaching for a third cup of coffee at 4pm – maybe you just need a little nap? Or when you’re hitting the wine every night because you are so over the holiday stress (I get it!)…try a fun non-alcoholic drink instead sometimes (suggestions coming soon!).
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- I think this one is completely self-explanatory. Drink up, buttercup!
- Getting enough of those? Have a wind-down period for 30-60 minutes before bed with no blue light (screens). Read (remember books? J), journal, talk to a loved one, work on a low-stimulation project and then crawl in bed with enough time to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- I know everyone talks about it and many think it’s cheesy, but people, it works. You can’t have bad thoughts when you are thinking about things that make your heart and face smile! Do it first thing after you wake up – before you start your day. 3 things – just list or out loud proclaim 3 things that you are grateful for. Sharing these with a friend or partner is a great idea, too and keeps you accountable. You can repeat this exercise at night, too for bonus points :).
Ok my friends, here’s to hoping no one completely loses their $hit over the Holidays and we can fa la la la la ourselves happily into the New Year ready to take on 2020 with gusto! Can you commit to the above through the end of December? Yes, yes you can. I know you can, so why deprive yourself? Knock it out and stay safe out there, there are people in crazy sweaters and random men in red suits – it’s not safe for anyone! I kid. Merry everything to each of you and have a good night.
Love ALWAYS wins.
Becky…with the good life