How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon. Dr. Seuss
Though this post was originally penned in 2014, this list of nine ideas still applies today. I am looking to take care of myself this December, and I hope you will, too.
Our fresh, nine foot Christmas tree is beautiful and smells amazing. When we picked it out on Sunday, we had the folks at the Calvary Children’s Home tree lot cut the end off so the tree would be even fresher. As we all know, it is important to water a freshly cut tree daily to ensure that the needles stay in place until we ring in the new year on December 31, 2014. As I watered the tree again this morning, it made me think about ways you and I can take better care of ourselves during this season.
Nine ways to take care of YOU in December:
(1) Start your day with breakfast. Donny and I have gotten to where we must have a green smoothie as often as possible to help us jumpstart our day. (** see bottom of post for our smoothie instructions.)
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. a Chinese Proverb
(2) Exercise often. Studies have shown that even a 20-30 minute walk can change the way you feel.
(3) Drink plenty of water. The Kennesaw Mountain National Park makes sure all those puppies who hike there are well-hydrated.
(4) Practice deep breathing in the car, in bed just before you rise, anytime, anyplace. (The 4-7-8 exercise: breathe in for count of 4, hold for a count of 7, breathe out for a count of 8, emptying lungs completely. Repeat.)
(5) Practice your faith on a regular basis. Reading my Bible helps me to keep my life in perspective. *There are many free on-line devotions we can connect with. My friend and college roomie, Susan, lives near Knoxville, Tennessee. Susan and I both read My Utmost for His Highest regularly and frequently email or text about something we have read. Our small group meets weekly in my girlfriend Sara’s home, and we are currently studying 1 Thessalonians. We all agree that the more we read and discuss, the thirstier we are for more study. You may consider reading a Proverbs a day. There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs and there is so much wisdom to be found there. For example today, December 3, Proverbs 3:5-6 speaks to my heart and encourages me:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him. and he will make your paths straight.”
(6) Make and keep a running list. It feels great to mark things off!
(7) Call a friend to share what’s on your mind. Life is full, difficult, and challenging. Sharing what is on our hearts with a trustworthy friend can be very cathartic.
If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it. George Burns (1896-1996) an American comedian, actor, and writer
(8) Reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves. I try to have $1 bills or a few coins on hand to insert into The Salvation Army’s red bucket when I hear the ringing bell. That small act makes my heart happy.
(9) Make yourself a cup of hot tea, put your feet up and rest, if even for a few minutes OR take a few minutes out for a hot bath.
As you nurture your tree by watering it, consider ways you can take good care of yourself, too. It is my belief that if we consider doing these nine things, our December will be a little calmer.
** Our smoothie consists of kale, celery, cucumber, orange, apple, 3 kinds of berries (use fresh or frozen), banana, steel cut oatmeal, flaxseed meal, unsweetened almond milk, and coconut water. I don’t follow a recipe, I just use what I have on hand. These can be poured into a solo cup, covered with foil with a straw and ready to grab as you walk out the door. We have found the fridge shelf life for these is about 2 1/2 days.