Simplicity is so easily forgotten this time of year! The simplicity of just talking, eating, laughing, playing, and enjoying time together. It's made in the connection to those you love. It's loving where you are, no matter where that is.
It also requires being present and disconnecting...which means putting away your phones that suck you out of the present. This year, I plan to take around this box to all my family parties and set it in the middle of the table with a sign that says: "Choose to be present, please leave your phone in the box."
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about though – simplicity? We are the ones who have turned it into over-spending, obligations, fancy clothes and five course meals with an expectation of perfection. But that’s not where the memories are made, guys. In my house, memories are made in the gag gifts, mealtime mishaps, laughter that turns into a snort and gingerbread house messes. It's when we realize how much we truly are one big, happy, messy, mixed, crazy family.
The holiday is, after all, about the simplicity of a baby boy who was born in a simple stable, sent from a God who came to connect with the lost, broken, messy people of the world. It was the simple act of unconditional love that changed us and the world forever. A simplicity that is so easily forgotten this time of year.
What do you do or will you do to keep your Christmas simple this year?
Merry Christmas to you all, from my family to yours!
1. Remember to Eat Real Food: 5 colors a day does not include M&Ms or cocktails. Once the holiday season hits, so do the sweets. Cookies, pies and cakes seem to be everywhere this time of year. As much as my sweet tooth loves it, I also feel much better when I don't let the snacks, party food and deserts take over completely. With holiday parties in abundance, I am always sure to take a healthy side dish that I know myself and my kids love everywhere we go, then I know we will have something to mix in with other non-healthy options.
2. Schedule Some Solo Down Time: Whether it's for a 10-minutes, a few hours or an entire day, put it on your calendar and let others know you're busy. Then, relax any way you want. Watch your favorite movie, soak in the tub, read a book, sleep - it's your personal quiet, alone, decompress time to help keep you feeling balanced among all the business of the season. Even if it’s just in the car from one stop to the next, turn off the radio, listen to your breathing, use a little uplifting aromatherapy, be intentional and pour into yourself. After all, you cannot love other the way you were intended if you don’t love yourself first.
3. Keep Exercise on Your Schedule: It can be harder to fit in time to exercise with everything going on but this is also when it can help us the most. Exercise can help manage stress, it releases stronger endorphins than any pill and it will help keep those extra holiday pounds at bay as well! Exercise can also be like meditation in the way that it gives you a time and space to relax and clear your mind. This rush of endorphins is the “runners high” we hear about. I know that making my morning yoga even more of a priority when I feel life getting busier and more stressful is going to keep me calm, grounded and feeling good.
4. Prioritize Kindness: The holidays are a good time to practice patience, compassion and kindness. Not only are more people feeling stressed, the holidays can be an emotionally difficult time for many. From random acts of kindness, compassion for another you see struggling or donating time or money to help others in need, now is the time. It's also going to leave you feeling light, happy and all around good! It can be as simple as buying someone’s coffee behind you in line at Starbucks, dropping by a nursing home to hand out cookies and cards, or offering to buy gifts for a single mom you know. I like to pre-make 5-10 small gift bags of essential oil sprays, candy or mints, and a $5 gift card for coffee or ice-cream. Then, when I feel led, I grab one out and give it away to someone unexpectedly. Don’t allow gift giving to be a burden, it is not how it is intended. The gift of giving is truly the best gift the holidays offer.
5. Practice Gratitude: Speaking of gifts, this is also the season of skyrocketing comparisons. With every gift you give or receive, it’s so easy fall into the trap of comparing it with others. With the advent of social media, comparing your life has become so easy and can happen right in your own living room. Unfortunately, comparing yourself to others is a recipe for destruction, it’s like a thief that sneaks in and steals your happiness without you even knowing. By practicing gratitude, you eliminate this. Every evening spend 5 minutes writing in a notebook everything that happened on that day that you are thankful for. It can be things that were awesome about your day or struggles that brought you growth in your life. It can be the beauty of the season with the falling leaves, crisp grass and first snow, or the furnace going out that forces all your family into one bed snuggling together to stay warm until the next day. Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, we all have beautifully messy lives…let’s embrace them like the wonder of a child on Christmas morning!
FREE Lunch & Learn Series: November
Are you tired of feeling the holiday overwhelm, even before the holidays start? There's a reason and a solution for that.
Stop in our "Lunch & Learn" Series this month and learn some secrets to not only surviving, but thriving, during this holiday season. We will discuss the "Top 5 Simple Holistic Health Tips" that bring you peace and joy in times of high stress...AND enjoy some healthy and warming lunch.
DATE AND TIMEMon, November 19, 2018
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
505 West Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
Register on Eventbrite Here
Questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com
"Encouragement to all women is - let us try to offer help before we have to offer therapy. That is to say, let's see if we can't prevent being ill by trying to offer a love of prevention before illness." ~Maya Angelou
Because wikipedia knows everything, here is their definition: Health coaching is the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions and strategies to actively and safely engage client/patients in health behavior change. This is actually spot on - nice job inter-web. :)
I get asked this question a lot, so I thought it would be a good topic to cover here. Let's talk statistics real quick. Did you know that my children's generation (I'm a gen-xer/xennial) is the first generation that is not predicted to outlive their parents? Did you know that 1 in 4 in the US are chronically overweight or have type 2 diabetes and another 33% are on their way? Did you know that 1 in 3 of these are children? Did you know by 2025 it's predicted that 1 in 2 will have diagnose-able autism and 1 in 2 will have cancer? (links below, thanks again inter-web)
It's statistics like these, and being and living in our culture of fast paced, quick-fix, easy or read-made mind-set that has provided us right where we are. When I began this journey of health coaching in 2012, I had my own slew of questions, issues, concerns and set-backs. I was looking for answers that my doctors couldn't give me and a therapist didn't know. I did it for myself, my kids, my husband, my family. I was my first client and still am, every day. This is a way of life, not a diet, quick-fix, laundry list of ingredients to go buy and prepare in advance.
Freedom is not found in a doctors office somewhere. You are not deficient in additional prescriptions or chemical concoctions. Your body is really smart because that is how you were created. When you cut your arm, what do you do, what happens? You clean it, nurture it, cover it and it heals itself. New skin appears within a day. Why, how? Because your body wants you to be healthy. Now, if you scratch it, pour acid on it, don't clean or cover it...the opposite happens.
So, health coaching is like this too. Our world eats away at us, it's the nature of society. But your whole-self needs attention, mind-body-spirit are all interconnected. Your dying inside to be free, fulfilled, healthy and loved while fighting against what life throws your way every day, both inside and out. I get it, I live here too.
Free takeaway for your wellness Wednesday is this: Love yourself today. Do something that makes your heart sing, laugh, and feel alive. And then, do it for someone else. After all, laughter is the best medicine!
Confession, I love podcasts, audible, online books and anything/everything I can listen to as often as I have time to fit it in my schedule. I’ve been introduced to a new spiritual writer this week, Mark Nepo, who speaks profound truths in his books and poetry. His personal fight with cancer provided him the opportunity to see and live life in a way he would’ve never done without it. Here are just a few take-aways from the podcast I was lucky enough to hear while getting ready this morning.
There is something to be said for routine and body rhythm. While we sometimes need a break, we also thrive and look forward to getting back into a pace. Why is that, I often ask myself this following a desperately needed vacation or kids summer break? I believe it all comes back to balance. Our bodies thrive with balance - not too much, not too little, but just enough.
We can overdo it on anything, from broccoli to ice cream, too much of either means bad news for your system. Same with sun and rain, exercise and lethargy. We were created to thrive in balance. If you are feeling off, look internally instead of externally, what has you off balance? What are you missing that you used to love, how can you grow, what pushes you out of your comfort zone and what keeps you in? Be willing to ask yourself hard questions and lean on the counsel of close friends. We are designed to thrive, if we will allow ourselves to.
Look, we all fall out of alignment. It doesn't have to throw you in a downward spiral, though. There are people who are placed in our lives for a reason, who are there to help lift you up, get you on track, and guide you back to your best self. That changes from day to day, momemt to moment, year to year. Lean on them when you are in need, and be willing to give your hand and heart to those you can help as well.
We all face so many trials, yet feel so isolated...like we are the only ones going through the fire. The bible says WHEN, not IF, we face trials, we are not meant to go it alone. My source of peace is always found in the Word, and the friends/fam that surrounds me. And so, I give thanks.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. ...
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;"
Hi, I'm Teresa. I am a Holistic Health Coach who focuses on autoimmunity and building your best self.