December Self-Care Wisdom Part 3!

treesPerfect timing for Part 3 of the December Self-Care Wisdom series! Don’t miss part 1 and part 2. Much appreciation to Ricki, Debi, Erin, Jonathan and Shirley for their wisdom. So on with the good stuff from Kathryn (aka ChaCha), Jules (aka the REAL Jules!) and Carrie (aka Ginger Lemon Girl)

I’ve gotten to know Kathryn through our Facebook group and appreciate her warmth and compassion. She has a wonderful post on her holiday rituals and gifts on her blog, chacha’s gluten-free kitchen, and remembering what’s important through it all.

I loved this part:

My goal these last few days before Christmas is to be mindful to avoid stress and find time to relax while caring for the people I love. Each day between now and Christmas is a little more booked than the last so I need to find time in each day for the things that count.

Beautiful, isn’t it? 2014-real-jules-giveaway-logo-300x300

Many of you know Jules Shepard as a baker extraordinaire and the driving force behind 1 in 133 and that big ‘ole cake that helped make gluten-labeling a reality. She’s had a big and exciting year, with a wedding, and changes in her gluten-free baking company and more. She shares what helps her stay grounded

I wish I could say I had found and regularly practice fool-proof self-care rituals through the holidays, and that I always manage to put my own needs first. But sadly, I succumb to the same distractions, stress and over-stimulation most others do.

What I can say is that I have made strides in what I know to be the right direction! Our family shares advent calendars each December, adds the joy of advent anticipation to our nightly prayers, and finds time to do lots more baking and creating together than at other times of the year. Focusing on the family and the true meaning of the season always fulfills me and brings me some measure of peace.
Perhaps surprisingly, I also take some time to listen … yes listen! To the words of certain carols and to appreciate and take them to heart. I had surgery last month, which has kept me from both the gym and the streets (where I usually run) where I ritually vent my frustrations and clear my head on a 3-4/week basis. In this vacuum, I’ve found even more comfort in music, meditation and prayer to ground me and keep me sane.
Words to others who haven’t yet found their daily or weekly stress-relief: open all your senses to something new that might surprise you and calm your pulse. You never know when a new scent, sound, sight, taste or touch might bring you unexpected peace, comfort or calm. Open yourself to new experiences and perspectives with this in mind – the holidays might just be your entrée to a happier and healthier you!

And the delicious Ms. Carrie , blogger, author and dedicated cat slave also shares her holiday wisdom, and starts off with a gem that I may need to have tattooed somewhere:

***********Enjoy the little things every single day… and let go of expectations.I think in general we have this idea that holidays have to be perfect, gifts have to be amazing, decorations have to be stellar, Christmas cookie baking has to be done, and you have to make it to at least one showing of the Nut Cracker or Handel’s Messiah. And some years that’s okay. There are seasons that I want the holidays to be filled with all of the stuff, all the events, all the parties, all the gifts, all the decor, etc… but this year, life has been crazy. This year, time has slipped away from me with the everyday things of life. With sick family members and constant traveling, I haven’t had the time to spend on those details for the holidays. And that’s okay. This year I haven’t decorated, I haven’t bought a single gift (yet!), I haven’t baked a single cookie, or attended any type of Christmas party or show. And with less than 10 days to Christmas Eve, I realize that trying to make all those traditional things a priority would be insane… so I’m letting them go. Instead, when we have a little free time we’re enjoying a drive around the neighborhood to see the lights, I’m enjoying Christmas music on my commute to work and while I’m washing dishes, and when it’s time to settle down for the evening before bed I’m enjoying cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix. And I’m happy. I’m not rushed, I don’t feel burdened, and I’m thankful for still having that warmth and joy that the holidays can bring. When you’re willing to let go of the big expectations, you can truly appreciate the small joys of the season in the most unexpected of places. 


Cheryl’s note: Thank to Kathryn, Jules and Carrie for sharing! It is so needed, especially since I accidentally bought 2 pounds (!!!) of black walnuts and had a meltdown because they’re too bitter and I can’t get certified GF ones in time for gifts…because clearly the sky will fall without them, right? First world problems. So then needed a whopping good feline therapy. It’s so easy to get swept up and forget what’s important, and I appreciate all of the bloggers who participated to help remind me (and hopefully, us) to focus on what matters most.

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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3 Responses to December Self-Care Wisdom Part 3!

  1. Erika Ervin says:

    Hey, I really enjoy your blog and it’s very relatable! Thank you! I’m looking for a gluten free colomunist for a Magazine I’m starting called Find Your Fit. I’d love to talk too you more about this! I’m Celiac so I do understand the importance of educating others and encouraging them to find the balance within a GF life. Please contact me so I can give you some more info on our Magazine. Thank you! 🙂

  2. Kathryn says:

    Thanks for including me with Jules and Carrie.

    I love what they have to say. Slowing down to listen is something I will work on today thanks to Jules. Carrie’s words on expectations really hit home. Both with trying to meet the expectations of others and my own for others. We’ve worked on a few already which have lightened my load considerably, but Christmas cookies? If I can talk myself out of that I will have an extra few hours. 🙂

    And it is really nice to know that even serene you needs a little bit of reminding from time to time. Thank goodness for our furry friends.

  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Erika!

    Delighted to share your thoughts. I’ve skipped Christmas cookies this year–so far–which is a far cry from my stressed over-baking of years past.

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