December Self-Care Wisdom

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s December…and not even a peep from me! It’s the end of a trimester of teaching, so I’ve got a whole lotta term papers to keep me engaged and occupied. So I asked a group of bloggers that I appreciate and respect to share their wisdom on self-care through the holiday season. In fact, I got so many wonderful responses that this will be Part 1 and Part 2 will be up on Weds. Oh, and for holiday dessert inspiration & a TasteGuru giveaway, hop on over to my website.

And please–leave comments on how YOU take of yourself and your family through the holidays!

Jonathan is the blogger behind the Canary Files. His recommendation:

The energy of the Holidays, often manic and unfocused, can threaten to unhinge even the sturdiest of constitutions.  So when I feel myself being carried away, I bring it back to my breath.  Breathing in mindfully, experiencing the full capacity of my lungs, and then letting it all go, filling myself with emptiness and space.  And in doing so, I remind myself that every moment, every situation, and every challenge or joy in life, is like a breath:  Fully there, and then fully gone.  It brings me back to the bigger picture that the bounty of life is not experienced in holding on and struggling to keep things the same.  Rather, it is in letting go and allowing one’s self to become a contributor, as opposed to a bystander, of the unique beauty within a moment.

His recent post on stepping back from social media is a winner, and I love this part:

Many have remarked to me, often with concern, that they don’t see me as much on social networks or here on the blog.  That they miss my posts, that they hope I am okay and that something more fun is occupying my time, and that they trust I will reconnect again soon.  To which I can only smile and reply that the reason I am less “social” is because I am connected.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erin a few years back. Erin is the voice behind Gluten-Free Fun and Gluten-Free Globetrotter and also the founder of the NYC gluten-free meetup group, so she’s a great one for gluten-free support! She offers these suggestions:

After a long year and a flurry of activities between Thanksgiving and the New Year, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmake sure you make time for yourself this holiday season. Make a big cup of tea and watch Love Actually for the hundredth time. Bundle up your loved ones and go for a drive looking for the most elaborate display of Christmas lights in your neighborhood. Eat that extra gluten-free sugar cookie if you want it. Stop and reflect on the amazing things you have accomplished in 2014 and what’s to come in 2015. Smile and hug your loved ones.

Debi is the writer behind Hunter’s Lyoness, where she shares her journey, her recipes and her restaurant reviews. I love her words of wisdom:

Holidays with chronically ill me are not the scenes of Norman Rockwell artwork. I don’t pull out the decorations the day after Thanksgiving and throw tinsel and holly boughs all over the apartment. Things changed for me long ago as I explain in When Tradition Gets Tossed Out The Window. My yearly reminder is to not meet everyone else’s expectations and focus on my own instead: maintaining my health and sanity. If I have any inkling that my physical or mental well-being is at risk by doing something people might expect during the holidays, I don’t do it. I know it’s hard to let go of expectations; that when you see everyone else decorating and baking you feel you should be doing the same. But when you are bedridden, or close to it, and you regain that precious health, you do anything to protect it. I just lost an aunt I’m close to right after pulling myself out of an adrenal crash and was facing other stressors. After helping clean out her condo, I’m back home, the stressors piled on, facing Christmas while trying to prevent another adrenal crash. I’m counting my spoons each morning and taking everything moment by moment, not caring if anything holiday related is done or not. 

Y’all know Ms. Shirley Braden already, right? She’s the author of Gluten-Free Easily and also All Gluten-Free Desserts, so if you need last-minute dessert inspiration, that’s where you’ve got to head. Her advice:

Just “Be.” We spend so much time and effort trying to do everything else, but that.  Other than that, I’m still letting go of stuff as self care. Christmas decorations and such. It’s a wonderful thing, but also takes some effort to do, so self care is still important while doing the purging process. I let fewer and fewer items on my “to do” list, but no matter what, life always seems to “fill up” and add some stress, you know? I’m working hard to not let that happen, but maybe resistance is worse than letting it happen. 😉

Personally, the letting go of “stuff” is the hardest for me, and yet the most necessary.

Need more inspiration? There are a ton of posts from previous self-care retreats:

…and we’ve got a Facebook community for daily-ish quotes and inspiration on gluten-free living well.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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