As we cruise into the shortest, darkest days of the year, I have been thinking about how to stay grounded and healthy. The holiday season can be filled with excesses...consumerism, rich foods, rushed and careless drivers, too much to do in too little time, expectations that may not be met...the list goes on. I've been collecting some intentions for myself, some very simple practices to support my immune system and my spirit. There is nothing here that takes too long, and each can be sprinkled in through the day, whenever it fits. I thought I'd share the list here with you. I may even go so far as to make a chart to check off my progress EVERY DAY.
- Brush my teeth and floss. Simple, I know, but I'm still working on making flossing a habit.
- Take specific vitamins and herbal supplements. Another no brainer, but sometimes I forget.
- Stretch. Best case? Every muscle, with care. Worst case? Hands over head and down to the floor whenever I can catch a minute to do it.
- Eat to nourish. Period.
- Get outside and walk in rain, sun or snow. The longer the better. But I'll take what I can get, even if it's just from the farthest parking space to the door of the destination.
- Make time to sit down and read a poem. Some of my favorite poets? Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Marge Piercy, Danna Faulds, Richard Wilbur. Cries of the Spirit , a fabulous anthology of women's poetry, edited by Marilyn Sewell.
- Meditate. Set aside the time to sit or catch a bit of time between commitments. But breathe deeply, relax and empty out the monkey chatter.
- Hydrate. Morning, noon and night.
- Send at least one piece of snail mail "just because".
- Recommit to my ritual of evening gratitude.
I would love to know what you might add to this list. What are some of the things you do to take good care of yourself? (Because, really, we are no good to others if we're grouchy, tired and run down).