The GIft of Health

As November closes and the December countdown begins, many of us feel as if life gets more hectic by the moment. "To Do" lists get longer and longer with all the extra things that need to get done like decorating, shopping, baking, writing letters, sending cards, and parties to get ready for. These are on top of everything else we normally have to do like work, taking care of kids, cleaning house, grocery shopping, and doing laundry. The sweet music of the season seems to change into unwanted discord.

The time usually spent taking care of yourself gets pushed way down the priority list, sometimes disappearing entirely. Who really has time to sleep enough, shop for healthy foods, cook meals, and exercise when there's so much to do? It often seems easier to reach for the sugary treats that have invaded our lives or grab fast food to eat in the car as you drive to the next errand. 

This season seems to create what I call the Internal Cycle of Chaos: increased stress, irritability, disrupted sleep, eating unhealthy foods with less control, and avoidance of exercise. As this cycle continues, it really effects your body. In addition to dark circles under the eyes and shorter temper, your immune system is weakened. It's easier to get sick. And, you can become more accident prone. Just ask my mom who's recovering from an elbow replacement after slipping on ice 3 weeks ago. She was wondering how in the world she was going to get everything done that week. That fall really took care of her list. As Simon & Garfunkel sang, "Slow down, you're moving too fast..."

It's time to give yourself the gift of health. Taking care of your health is a priority. If you don't, who will? Even in these hectic, busy days, schedule time to walk, choose healthy foods, eat mindfully, relax, breathe, and sleep. And, do some things that really make you happy, nurture your soul and bring joy into your life. Whether it's spending time with someone you love, listening to music, painting, writing, or volunteering, it's an important part of your health. As you make your list and check it twice, make sure you're number one!

What's on your list for self care this week?