C is for Christmas, Christ, and for many of us, Chaos. There are cookies to bake, parties to attend, children with dreams as big as their Christmas gift list. Even more is our own expectation of grandeur, which makes for long days and even longer nights. We try to save a few bucks but spend more energy to do so at times. Here’s a few ways to find calm amidst the chaos this Christmas season:
- Lower the bar. Do you feel pressure every Christmas to bake tons of goodies, attend every event and otherwise spread yourself too thin? Yeah, me too! I always bake up a storm for everyone I know, but this year, I’ve done no extra baking. I bought a bag of special Christmas candy and put it in a pretty bowl on the bar for family and friends. That’s it! And really, I don’t know too many people who need more sugar this time of year. My house is sparsely decorated this year, but it is full of love, laughs and life. I’m not even sending Christmas cards to anyone this year. GASP! What will people think? Well, I can’t be concerned about that. I simply don’t have the time to fit it in this year without making myself extra crazy stressed.
- Make your and your family’s well-being a priority. This is a big one for us this year as it’s hit home how great a gift health and wholeness is to us. Sleep MUST be a priority! In fact, you may find you need a bit more sleep than usual. Listen up: you are not being lazy or irresponsible if you sleep 8-9 hours a night. Seriously! How crazy it is that we measure our awesomeness and endurance by how little we can sleep? It’s a sure-fire way to find your immune system depleted and sickness knocking on your door. Take a look at my Back to School Health Essentials for more ways to keep your family healthy during this season.
- Remember reality. Life is not a Hallmark Christmas movie. Oh, how I wish it was at times! Christmas is a very difficult time for many – financial burdens, the loss of loved ones, sickness and over burdened schedules are very real for many. We still have real life difficulties and decisions to make. This year I’m very aware of those who have lost people dear to them. It seems like this has been a season of loss for so, so many. Then there are broken relationships with relatives. Some face the reality every holiday that their family will never be what they wanted. Disfunction doesn’t take a break for Christmas; in fact it’s usually worse. If you are struggling this Christmas, PLEASE know you are not alone. No one is having the absolute perfect Christmas. You’re not singled out. It’s okay if you feel sad, alone or unhappy. You may be struggling right now, but with God those broken places are subject change and your life could really, truly be so incredibly better this time next year. Don’t give up! God is right with you right where you right now. And if you can, do something even if it seems insignificant that makes you feel happier and less stressed. Take a walk, read a good book, take a hot bath, catch up with a friend, or be bold and ask for help when needed.
It’s a week until Christmas today. The gifts I ordered online for my family have not arrived and due to shipping problems may not until a couple days before Christmas day. I haven’t wrapped a single gift of the few I’ve bought in-store. My son’s 4th birthday is right after Christmas. I haven’t bought any party supplies, ordered his cake, planned out party favors, etc., and I may not take a deep breath until Spring. Can you relate?
What can any of us really do but the best we can? This Christmas, let’s press into God and lean into His grace and peace. Let’s do what we can with the time, energy and resources we have while trusting Him to fill in the gaps. Doesn’t He always? Yes, friend, He really does every. single. time. Ask Him to show you the best way to navigate through this stressful season and find more joy and peace.
How is your Christmas season going so far? Are you happy with it, or do you need to scale back? I’d love to hear how you’re finding calm this Christmas!
Hello friends! It has been two months since I last updated my site. Yikes! I wanted to catch up with you all and let you know that yes, I am still here.
So what happened? You might remember that I had made mention earlier this year of battling some health problems that required me to see a specialist. I did that in September and got some less-than-desirable news about what was really going on in my body (some of which I’m not ready to go into publicly yet – but don’t worry all will be well). Here’s what I can say: I’m battling adrenal fatigue and when I realized just how bad things were, I put the brakes on everything to give myself some time to really start my recovery. Hence the lack of posting on here. My vitamin D and Vitamin B12 levels were very low, despite the supplementing I had already been doing. So now I am specifically targeting these issues with a liquid D supplement and am taking a high dose of an oral Vitamin B12 spray. I continued to have ongoing problems with insomnia, something I have battled most of my life and had become life-altering since having my son almost 4 years ago. I saw my family doctor for this and am getting adequate help.
So yes, I am taking medications right now to help get my body to finally start recovering from a lot of trauma, stress and chronic severe sleep deprivation. Even though I will always prefer and recommend natural remedies when possible, there are times that emergencies arise or what we’re doing isn’t working and we HAVE to get traditional medical help. THAT’S OKAY. Please hear that – it is okay to get the help you need, even if it means taking medicine for a time. In the last month, I have seen a steady improvement in my well-being. I’m not fighting off illnesses constantly thanks to getting more sleep and cutting back on work and stress. It took me a long time to get in this state of poor health, and it will likely take a while to walk out of it. I do know that God is leading me and I am seeking His direction daily on what my recovery needs to look like and what treatments should be involved.
Here what my treatment protocol consist of right now:
- Plenty of rest and sleep. I average about 7 hours of sleep per night right now, which is lower than the 9 I really need to recuperate. I’m working on that, but my wonderful husband makes sure I get to sleep in on Saturdays. I also nap when I need to which is so weird to say because I NEVER let myself nap before!
- Cut back on cardio exercise. Okay, I know this sounds strange but it really had to be done. Every time I would try to do one of my usual 45-60 minute cardio workouts, it would send my body into a state of severe stress, my heart rate would stay elevated even though I was working out in the early afternoon, and I would be unable to sleep well for a couple of days. I’m now using the rebounder for about 20 -30 minutes when I can, plus using light hand weights for my upper body. I’m also just starting to do some Qigong and Tai Chi and am loving them both! They are slower controlled exercises that help reduce the stress in my body and cause me to feel so refreshed afterwards.
- Supplement with Vitamin C, B12 and D. I’m taking about 5,000 IU of liquid D per day, 1000 mg of an oral spray B12 a day plus Young Living’s Super B Complex, as well as about 1.5 grams of YL’s Super C. These targeted supplements have truly helped my body to start recovering in ways I couldn’t even list on here!
- NingXia Red. This is a high-antioxidant whole foods drink from Young Living that I have added to my regime to help boost my adrenals and strengthen my immune system. I like to add YL’s Mineral Essence to about 2-3 oz of NingXia Red every other day. If you’re not on a full-spectrum quality mineral blend I highly recommend it for everyone. Even if you eat all organic produce and clean meat, our soil is so mineral depleted that our bodies will likely not get what they need without supplementing. And YL’s Mineral Essence is the only one of many that I’ve tried that I can actually stand the taste of.
- Essential Oils/Misc. I continue to use and love my essential oils. I’ve been using an oil blend called En-R-Gee in the mornings to help boost my energy levels especially if I haven’t had enough rest. And when I’m very exhausted, like right now where I’ve had some late nights and sick family members, I use my emergency back up called NingXia Nitro. I’m telling you moms, when I’ve been exhausted and frustrated to my breaking point, these Nitro save my bacon!!
- Worship & Word. Nothing refreshes my soul like time to praise & worship God! And despite these trials, He is so worthy of all praise! You don’t have to wait until church to do this – put your favorite worship music on and have your own time with God at your house. I like Bethel Worship, Jesus Culture and some various artists I’ve found via YouTube. I’ve made a playlist on YouTube of some of my favorite songs and I turn on the playlist as needed. Also, whatever time on the Word you can do at the season of life you’re in is so nourishing. Even if it’s just one verse that you meditate on during the day, you’re doing your whole being a world of good.
- Less work/stress. More fun. Our life has been way too busy and too focused on working for the last many years, and now I homeschool our son which has added a whole other level of work, even though I do enjoy it. I take time in the evenings to do at least one things that is fun and relaxing. My husband and I love to laugh together catching up on episodes of Parks & Rec. And after being an entrepreneurial family for over 14 years, I can say this: no amount of success is worth losing your physical, emotional, spiritual and relational health. I may not get to the top of the ladder quickly, but when I get there, I will have my health intact. I’m determined.
I hope I haven’t lost you in this long post! I want to encourage you that God really desires for you to live in a state of well-being; I’m just convinced of it. The pit you’re in (and me too!) may seem too deep to get out of it, but time will keep passing and eventually we’ll find ourselves on the other side.
Please, let me know what you’re doing to take better care of yourself! We could all use the input from each other as an encouragement on our journey.
I was in a bind today when I realized I had run out of Thieves spray. I use this amazing spray all around the home to sanitize all sorts of things. Today I was changing the bedding and I like to spray the mattresses and pillows with Thieves spray to kill dust mites and remove odors. But when I grabbed my bottle it was empty! Then I realized I had everything I needed to make my own Thieves sanitizing spray and in literally one minute, I had a full bottle again!
Make Your Own Thieves Spray
- Empty 1 0z bottle of Young Living Thieves™ Spray (or you could use any empty spray bottle you have)
- 4 tsp. distilled water
- 1/2 tsp. witch hazel
- 5-7 drops Young Living Thieves™ Essential Oil Blend (available here)
*Remember if you are making a larger batch, you will need to increase the measurements of ingredients I’ve listed here.
Put all ingredients in bottle, replace spray cap and shake well.
Why Thieves Spray Rocks
Thieves™ Oil is a potent antibacterial blend of essential oils. Now that we’re moving into Autumn, I like to keep a bottle in my purse because you never know what gunk is on your shopping cart or when you’ll have to use a less-than-clean public bathroom. Yuck! Besides using it to kill dust mites on our bedding, I like to use it to:
- Dust furniture – I spray it on my disposable duster and not only does it kill the dust mites, but it keeps dust from forming in the furniture as quickly.
- Kill germs on shopping carts, door knobs, toilet handles and the like
- Spray the dog’s bed. He’s a dog and he smells like one!
- Disinfect toys
- Bathroom deodorizer. I live with men. Enough said.
These are just a few of the things I use Thieves spray for, but the uses are practically limitless. Make a bottle to keep at home and one to carry in your purse or diaper bag.
Tell Me What You Think
Have you ever used Thieves spray? What are your favorite ways to use it?
If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know how passionate I am about healthy living and holistic health. I’ve made many healthy changes in my life, but I’m still working to combat other aspects of my well-being that aren’t quite where they need to be. Can you relate? I think we all can say we are a work in progress! That’s why I want to let you know about an exceptional collection of resources that’s available to help you be the best YOU!
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