Now, I want to have a heart-to-heart with you about the holidays. Specifically, about creating a plan to nurture ourselves through this hectic season. It is officially the beginning of October and before we know it the holiday hubbub will be upon us. I have already seen sparkly Santas in a store or two and that has me thinking about how easy it is to set aside our own needs when we go about our shopping, shuttling, and merry-making for our friends and families. Last year I wrote a post entitled 10 ways to nurture yourself through the season of turkeys and trees. I think that it is really important to consider what you need in your own life, not only to manage stress, but to truly thrive even when things are hectic.
“Peace, it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble, or no hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~Unknown
Know what feeds you
I am a part of a triathlon training group and we train from January to August. I love the seasonal nature of triathlon training. I love that we start a fresh season at the beginning of the year and slowly ramp our training through the spring. We take a break in the fall and then start all over in January.
This year was my second season with the group and something interesting happened shortly after we wrapped up our season. Up to that point, I'd honestly been feeling a bit burned out on training and I welcomed the end of August with open arms. The first couple of weeks were fine. I changed my exercise routine to be more weight-training focused and cut back on my swim/bike/running. I was still getting the exercise that I needed to keep my spirits up but something was missing. I started to feel stressed and grumpy and a bit depressed. At first I couldn't figure out what was going on with me but, after some reflection, I figured it out: I was having tri training withdrawals! I missed my tri training friends and the support and friendship that I get from this group that is unique to that area of my life.
I have so many wonderful people in my life whose friendships feed me in a zillion different ways. This was a great lesson that reminded me that, despite my somewhat introverted ways, I still have a social side that is energized, fed, and nurtured by the company of others.
Winter survival plan
I don't want to wait until the dark days of winter and the craziness of the holidays kick me in the backside to think about how I'm going to stay centered. It is really important for me to approach this season with a plan. Not a shopping, cooking, party plan. But, a plan for nurturing my whole self; physically and mentally. I'll share my list of reminders to myself for this year. When I get to January, I hope to have gained some wonderful new memories and to have enjoyed the winter holiday season moment by moment. I hope that you will stop to consider what you need as well.
- Social: Spend time with friends and family doing things that are fun instead of stressful. Make time for gathering just for fun.
- Fitness: Keep up with my running plan. Consider entering a turkey trot and a snowshoe race! Go full moon snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
- Health and immunity: Get lots of sleep. Get a flu shot. Drink lots of water and eat whole foods. Get my omega 3s. Stay away from high-sugar foods. Get some sunlight as often as possible. Play outside!
- Soul: Take hot baths with pretty smelling things followed by my favorite lotion. Sit in the spa. Do one thing at a time and finish one thing before starting another. Read books and magazines. Light candles. Listen to music. Work in some yoga and meditation. Write.
- Family: Spend more time on "want to" than "have to". Laugh together every day. Take day trips to build a snowman or to the beach. Read stories by the fireplace. Have date nights with my hubby. Have a nighttime stargazing picnic with hot drinks and fuzzy blankets.
What is in your plan this winter?