By Shannon Sabol, Holistic Health and Ayurveda Wellness Coach, www.gratefullifehealth.com
The Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten, and the pumpkins are put away … which means it is time to bring on CHRISTMAS! Like most families, it’s a special tradition for my family and I to set up the Christmas tree. Bringing in a bit of nature into our home, stringing the lights, and beautifying each branch with our collection of ornaments is a magical experience for us all.
Unfortunately, the day we planned on getting our Christmas tree, it was raining. We didn’t want to bring in a soaking wet tree, so we called around and asked if any local garden centers had their trees displayed indoors. After 3 or 4 calls with no luck, we decided to resort to a Big Box store. We piled into the car and drove to a brightly lit, overstocked hardware store to see what we could find. We found our way to the garden center and walked over to the pile of tossed around Christmas trees. Some were already tightly bundled up, and some were open and leaning against the wall. Most of the trees were not very full and showed many bare spots. Some were even starting to brown. We dug through the pile with disappointment, and were discouraged by not finding our perfect tree. We couldn’t even find a decent tree! These were not happy trees…and definitely not cared for.
I suddenly remembered another garden center, which happened to be down the street! We left the pile of unhappy, uncared for trees, and jumped in the car. When we arrived at the locally owned garden center, our tree-seeking sadness vanished. The whole garden center was beautifully decorated, warm and welcoming! It was like walking into a Winter Wonderland! We wandered past the glittering ornaments and twinkling lights, and found the Christmas tree nursery. The smell of pine greeted us, and so did rows and rows of HANGING Christmas trees! These trees were beautifully spread open, and floating off of the ground. Not only were they full, healthy and vibrant, but they were also named! Each tree was decorated with a tag with a name on it, like Popeye, Minnie Mouse, Buddy, and Elvis! THESE trees were cared for. The difference from the first store to the second was extreme. Not only was there a visible difference, but you FELT difference being around these trees.
This Christmas tree care (and lack of care), made me think about us humans. Just like Christmas trees, the care that you give yourself makes a difference in how proudly you stand, how much you sparkle, and how you make those around you feel.
Here are some sustainable tips for how to CARE for yourself this holiday season:
– PLAN for your self care: Just as you are marking the calendar for decorating, baking, shopping, and socializing with loved ones, but be sure to include your self care on the calendar. Write it down or plug it in so you make it a priority.
– Set realistic BOUNDARIES with your time and energy: Get to know what a “YES” feels like, and what a “NO” feels like in your body, when making decisions for social events and holiday tasks. Ask yourself often if your inputs and outputs feel balanced.
– BOOKEND your less-than desirable events: We all have things we have to do, but don’t want to do around the holidays. Try to create bookends around the events, like some quiet alone time with a warm cup of tea, before holiday shopping, and a hot bath afterwards.
– Support DIGESTION: Unplug. Sit down. Eat slow. Chew well. Be grateful. It’s not just what you are eating, but HOW you eat that affects digestion. Eat mindfully and pay attention to how your body responds to what you are eating.
– See REST as another way to be productive: Stillness is what balances movement. Quiet is what balances noise. Rest is what balances busyness. You will feel more energized, clear and calm after making rest a priority.
– Love your LIVER: If you indulge in extra alcohol and sweets this holiday season, try to follow it with a detoxifying tea like dandelion root, cinnamon, fennel or coriander, which is supportive to liver health. Most importantly….stay hydrated!
– Keep MOVING your body: Busy times might just mean that the intensity and duration of your physical activity change a bit. Park far away, take the stairs, or have a quick solo dance party to your favorite song. Even a walk around the block still counts. A little bit of movement is better than no movement at all.
– PRESENCE over presents: Keep the health of Mother Earth in mind and give experiences and quality time instead of material gifts. I offer gift cards which can be used for 1:1 Ayurveda coaching, yoga classes and yoga privates, and even retreats! (the next retreat is May 17-19th at Bellwether Farm!). Contact me to set something up: email@example.com
CARE about how you care for yourself. Stand tall, be bright, and watch your life sparkle!
Shannon Sabol is a Lakewood local, and a passionate Holistic Health and Ayurveda Wellness Coach. She offers lifestyle support to others by helping them see their life from a more holistic view, educates on preventative health, and shares knowledge on how to create sustainable habits and routine to create a strong foundation of health. Through the ancient science of Ayurveda, she helps others align to the rhythms of nature and discover the wisdom of their own bodies. She offers 1-on-1 coaching, wellness workshops, and is also a local yoga teacher. www.gratefullifehealth.com
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