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Going Inward Toward Self-Care

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Good beautiful morning to you. As the seasons change and we transition from fall to winter, we tend to go inward. As all species on this planet, we prepare for the winter by nesting. Squirrels bury acorns into the ground, and we look forward to snuggling by the fire with a good movie or book and a cup of hot tea. But all these romanticized images of the upcoming change of seasons isn’t always the reality.

Heading into winter also brings additional stressors to our already busy lives as we juggle upcoming holidays, work demands, social events, potential issues with parents or children—or both—the financial impact of inflation and increasing food and energy prices. Rather than focus on what we cannot control, we can adjust our mindset and how we respond to external pressures.

Making sure we make self-care a priority, we put ourselves in a position of being joyful, present and positive, regardless of what goes on around us.

Here are a few tips to get through the holidays with grace:

Get plenty of sleep. Did you know we need an average of nine hours of sleep every night? And teenagers need even more! When we are sleep deprived, we have difficulty managing stress and wanting to take the time practice self-care. Our eating habits suffer and it’s never fun to exercise when we’re exhausted. Instead, go to bed at the same time every night and try to awaken at the same time every morning. Your body heals only when it sleeps, so getting enough rest is definitely high on my priority list.

Keep alcohol to a minimum. To our bodies, alcohol is a foreign substance and hard alcohol, like whiskey, tequila and vodka, is toxic. Our bodies don’t recognize it so it’s unable to metabolize, pushing it straight into fat storage. Alcohol is also a depressant and interrupts our sleep cycle. While it may seemingly be helpful to get us to sleep, it actually disturbs the quality of our sleep typically by waking us up in the middle of the night. Keeping drinking to a minimum, and making sure we are eating healthy food with it, will help us manage

Get organized. Take extra time to figure out your schedule in advance and try not to book every available hour. Allow for some downtime so you can rest and not be in chaos because as we both know; unexpected situations arise and you want to be in a position to handle it without getting overloaded or stressed.

Start every day with a spiritual practice. Even if you spend only five minutes in the morning, you can do a simple gratitude meditation simply by centering your awareness on your heart, and thinking of 10 things for which you are grateful.

Eat healthy foods as much as possible. Incorporate whole, healthy, high-vibrational foods–that is food as close to nature as possible–especially your leafy greens, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. You’ll have the nutrition for your body to heal and the energy to get through your day.

Focus on lean protein. Include a portion of lean protein in every meal, like chicken breast, fish, Greek yogurt, pork tenderloin, tofu or brown rice and beans. Protein is the backbone of your immune system and will help keep you strong throughout the flu season.

Don’t be hard on yourself. Make the best decisions around your nutrition given the options available at the time. Keep in mind that simply holding your health at the same level through the holidays is an accomplishment!

And now, here’s my favorite Thanksgiving recipe to share with you.

Cranberry Orange Cardamom Sauce Recipe

I was never a cranberry sauce fan until I designed this recipe and now our Thanksgiving table wouldn’t be complete without it. It’s easy to make and doesn’t have the high sugar like all other cranberry sauce recipes. It also has a delicious orange flavor, along with aromatic cardamom, giving it an extra level of deliciousness. Check it out here!

Mindset Moment:

Life is easier when we go with the flow of society, but that’s not always what’s best for our mind, body and spirit. Asserting our right to be happy and healthy sometimes means we don’t go with the flow of the habits everyone around us is practicing. This takes a strong mental attitude and love for yourself to do what you know is right, for you.

My Motto:

Remember my motto, “self-love is the foundation for self-care”, for when you love yourself, taking care of yourself becomes easier.

May you feel your vibrant best so you can share your light and your gifts with others! Have a most amazing Thanksgiving!

From my heart to yours,

Toni

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