Wow, today as I was hurrying around as usual, an article in a magazine (that was laying around unread) caught my eye. The title was something about the “Depressing Decade”. It pointed out that shortly after the new millenium came 9/11 and all kinds of changes like war, a focus on terrorism, political division in the country, and ending on economic distress and anxiousness of many people. I have to say that I had not even realized that the decade was ending (even though I occasionally still write some checks with the 2010 date:) It has been such a packed full decade for me personally. I can’t believe those calendar pages and markers of time are changing! I hope to slow down somehow in the last few weeks of the decade, to write down my own personal timeline of events to remember, and to pause to place my intentions and thoughts firmly ahead for this moment and the coming “two thousand teens”. How about you?
Today is a day that I get to join in one of my very favorite things! Every year there is a community sing version of Handel’s messiah that is performed with orchestra at the church I attend.
It is so amazing to sing such an incredibly joyful piece of music. Just think of all the voices in the past 200 plus years that have sung this amazing music!
Studies have shown that singing lowers stress and strengthens our immune systems which helps keep us healthier! So…go sing to your neighbors in caroling, or with the television, or be a radio request person to your kids and ask them to request a song they would like to have you sing to them (regardless of how you judge your vocal prowess)! I guarantee your spirit will be lifted.
Click on this youtube link to watch a wonderful Hallelujah Chorus sung in a food court:
Stress(less) for the Holidays!
S unlight Take a five minute outdoor break. Sunlight can help fight the low light wintertime “blues”.
T ake time Take fifteen minutes a day just for you and guard that time carefully
R est Maintain routine hours of sleep.
E xpectations Make a list of all your “shoulds” and your “have-ta’s” then ask yourself “Who says?”
S ensible eating Allow yourself treats but pace yourself
S pending limits Set your gift ideas before you shop and stick with it
L augh Find humor in the middle of frantic. Relax, don’t take it so serious!
E xercise After the big meal, take a walk! You will burn more calories if you walk right away.
S mall gifts Think of gifts that are small but meaningful, example: write a story for your child, making him/her the hero, then read or tell your story to them on Christmas Eve.
S pirit Consider what the real Spirit of the Holidays means to you.
Today’s blog will share some simple, energizing remedies to help you enjoy this wintery season!
1) Getting enough sleep- The cold weather and increased darkness of winter is our cue to coccoon, settle in, and hibernate a little (bears have the right idea)! The reality though is late night parties, stores tempting with 5 AM openings, and a general disruption of our sleep patterns. Learn to guard your sleep time zealously! For most adults, get 8 hours of sleep a night and maintain regular bedtimes and morning wake-ups!
2) Dry skin- Running in and out of shopping malls and our cold, dry Colorado air can leave us with dry, flaky, itchy skin. Remember to pamper your skin by frequent use of moisturizer and hydrate skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water!
3) Using scents to soothe- Soothe those frazzeled nerves with aromatherapy. Christian tradition holds that three Wise Men traveled far to bring precious gifts to the Baby Jesus. Two out of three of these gifts were aromatherapy! Both Frankincense and Myrrh come from plant resins and both have a calming, soothing scent. Studies have shown that aromatherapy using Frankincense can decrease symptoms of depression. Several drops of these essential oils can be lightly inhaled from an aromatherapy room diffuser. For more information on use of essential oils, contact an aromatherapy practitioner or request information by this blog site. Oh… the third gift of the Wise men was Gold! Pretty special gifts, huh?
Another wonderful way to use soothing scents this season is to make an Orange Pomander. You can take an orange and insert whole cloves into the orange in a pattern of your choice (or all over). Place a pretty ribbon on it for tree hanging or put in a pretty tabletop bowl. The orange scent is uplifting and the clove scent is said to increase contentment and happiness. Enjoy!
What Intentions have you set for this Holiday season?
Most of us have intentions. What do I mean by intentions? Some think of intentions as the plans we make. Others may see intentions as hopes and desires. We may ‘intend’ to put up the Christmas tree next weekend, or to bake a favorite recipe for that Christmas party. Some of us make a list of our plans (intentions) and call it our to-do list.
What if we think of “intention” in a much bigger way?
What if our intentions are similar to our hopes and longings? The hopes that we carry deep in our heart?
In Christian tradition, the time leading up to Christmas is called Advent. It is a time to prepare our hearts (set intention) to be ready for quiet miracles that might be missed if not for having set the intention to see them. Other traditions also set intention, especially during the deep time of winter. Daily life slows down, families tell stories and share traditions around the fire or the kitchen table. The unspoken intention is to assure that the values and meaning that they hold close are preserved for generations to come.
Have you thought about your intentions this Holiday season? What do you hope to see, think, do or experience? How will you honor your intention?