December 4th ~ De-stressing!

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me,

 a nice cup of chamomile tea.

 

Well we’ve made it home. (OK not yet, but when I wrote this I really did intend to post on date.) It was a wonderful cruise (pics to come, I promise!) but coming home is also so very nice. Now it’s time for me to play catch up and plan my month and change out my decorations. I’ve got to get my meals together for at least a week, hit the grocery store, find a tree…oh so much to do! And after all that I plan to de-stress a little so that I can savor the season in good health, good spirits, and good fun!

Aside from the 15 minute energy booster walks and Pilates sessions to stave off all that calorie intake, they are also  incredible de-stressers. Once the kids are on their Christmas Break from school and you’re all spending a lot more time together on a daily basis, these 15 minute walks will really help. There’s something about a 2 week Winter Break that is totally different from a 2 and a half month Summer Break. Is it because there is so much more going on outside in the summer? Summer day camps, swimming, beaching…..very little of that in the winter to be sure. While the kids will still have their times running around outside (we are in the South after all) there will plenty of indoor time that can tweak the nerves of even the most patient parents.

Don’t let looking at that full, busy calendar scare you. The calendar is a useful tool, meant to help- not stress. It’s easier to tackle a lot of things when you can see what’s expected and then get through them one at a time (for me it’s easier anyway).  But if you start to feel overwhelmed then put on a jacket and go outside for a quick 15 minute getaway. The fresh air will do wonders, not to mention the benefits of exercise for both body and soul.

If the weather is not participating and you are about to loose your mind, do what I do and lock yourself in the bathroom. No, no, I’m just kidding- although jumping in the shower does help me calm down. Water is theraputic, plus just being in a space all by myself for 10 minutes puts me in a different frame of mind.

Be prepared for the winter solstice, which is the shortest day and longest night of the year, typically around Decmeber 20th. If you’re already feeling stretched then you may be at risk for a mood dip. Getting outisde while it’s still light out will help lift your spirits.

Have a cup of tea- preferably in a quiet part of your home, or if you can get away to a local coffee shop by yourself. But beware of a crowded coffeehouse. The energy levels and noise in there will not be calming. I love tea in the winter. Chamomile is a very relaxing tea, best drunk in the evening. The health benefits of green and black teas are extremely good, and you usually can even find your favorite flavor in a green variety.

My favorite teas are:  Bigelow Orange and Spice, (It’s very Christmas-y but I’ll drink that anytime of year- especially when I’m craving something comforting) Stash Organic Chai Black and Green tea, Tazo Green Tea, The Vert, and The Republic of Tea Cranberry Blood Orange.

If you have 20 or 30 minutes to spare, run a bath and enjoy your cup of tea soaking in the tub. You get both the calming benefits of tea and water. Take these small moments to recover your sanity and enjoy the holiday season. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember the real reason for the season.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:17  NIV

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