This is my week to host the December Sanity Retreat 2013 – when I looked ahead to the month, my goals were daily reflection, daily check-in’s with myself, and twice-weekly sessions of focusing on my breath for 10 minutes (like I said in July, baby steps on the meditation front). While I envisioned them as discreet tasks, this December really turned out to be the month of being present for me – whether it was getting stuck overnight in Chicago during a business trip, local anesthesia not working during a small procedure, or just the day to day – this month has been a great reminder that some daily mindfulness can go a long way in making things more pleasant.
I had also mentioned wanting to fight a little less hard against my hibernation tendencies and focusing more on this time as a time for reflection and mindfulness. So, I skipped a lot of my morning workouts and slept an extra hour (easy to – it is SO dark outside the first few weeks of December). And I worked out at night on those days that I would ordinarily work out in the morning. The world did not end. And yesterday, when it was actually rather temperate in DC and I could not fathom the idea of working out in the evening, going to the gym in the morning seemed plenty natural. I also discovered that while travelling, by comparison, working out in the morning is much easier, even in December when the sky is SO dark at 6am. The difference? It is much easier for me to get up to go work out when the gym is an elevator ride away.
I mention these little bits and pieces because a lot of these realizations were the result of daily reflection and daily check-ins. I try hard to listen to myself generally, but sometimes, when things get busy, it is easy to just say “must stick to the schedule” because, let’s face it, the schedule sometimes feels like the only thing between a semblance of order and complete chaos. Schedules are still a good thing, but some flexibility sure helped this month, as did making workouts a bit lighter and more about time for me rather than a certain pace or goal. There have been several times this month where I have just stopped whatever I was doing and focused on my breath, and it really makes a world of a difference.
Cheryl, Kate and Carrie were all fantastic support during our virtual retreat – their posts about seeking and giving joy and maintaining a gratitude practice have been just what I needed this month – joy and gratitude have been so important to me this month. And speaking of gratitude, I got stuck in Chicago with a colleague from another city I had met just once exactly. As it turned out, we fortunately had a lot in common, and were excellent travel companions.
More on the December Sanity Retreat 2013
The holidays can be a beautiful time of family bonding, celebration and beauty. They can also be an overdoing, overspending, overstressing time of all flavors of excess. For the last 3 years, Cheryl has hosted the December Sanity Retreat and the July Self-Care Retreat. This is our 6th retreat!
As a gentle extra nudge towards, the retreat includes 2 giveaways:
Giveaway #1: Let us hear your voice!
Prize: a $50 nuts.com gift certificate (they are not sponsoring, but do have healthy gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. options (US/Canada)
Comment on any of our hostesses’ posts on the Sanity Retreat, like this one. Leave me a comment on how you cultivate gratitude in your life, OR what you’re most grateful for.
Giveaway #2: make the challenge your own!
Blog on your own self-care plans, and a post will be chosen at random as the winner. If you don’t have a blog, contact the hostess of the week and they’ll post for you.
Prize: um, ironing out details–either a gift certificate or a box of self-care books, meditation CDs, CHOCOLATE and other fun things from Cheryl.
As always, self-care is whatever it means to you. So the December Sanity Challenge can be on whatever YOU need to work on to stay sane during the holiday season
Balance around food * Joyful movement * Sanity & stress management * Making space for art, expression, and spirituality * Connection with friends and family
Or whatever else speaks to you along those lines.
The challenge—post on what you plan to do to make your holidays sane, happy and healthy. Make it specific! Not just “I’ll get more sleep”, but “I’ll get at least 7 hours of sleep, 5 days a week”. Not just “I won’t go crazy making desserts”, but “I’ll make a maximum of XX desserts, and space them out over XX time”. You know what you need to do to keep this doable, and writing it down will help you get there!
I’m delighted to be joined by wonderful hostesses with likeminded blogs:
- Kickoff: Gluten Free Goodness – on feeling gratitude every day
- Dec 7th Kate of Eat, Recycle, Repeat – on showing joy through acts of kindness
- Dec 14th Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl – on seeking joy in the everyday
- Dec 21st Valerie of City Life Eats
- Roundup: Gluten Free Goodness
I hope you choose to join us, too. Grab a badge and we’re good to go!
We’ll also be meeting up in our Facebook group for extra encouragement and support. You’re more than welcome to join us there.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers