Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Sanity Retreat 2013 - Seeking Joy!

I don't participate in too many "blogging carnivals" anymore, but there are two each year that I really love and WANT to be a part of. 

Cheryl Harris created the "December Sanity Retreat" and the "July Self-Care Retreat" several years ago and I think the messages behind these events are so important. Self-care is hugely neglected in this country and I believe it's truly vital to our overall health and well-being, especially during this crazy time of year! 

I have been a much happier and healthier person since I began making an effort to take better care of myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Cheryl's online retreats have been a huge part of creating specific times each year to better focus on serious self-care. This month I am choosing to focus on joy. To find joy in every day. I'm also choosing to slow down and enjoy the holiday. We are not attending too many events, not baking too many cookies, not buying too many gifts, etc... 

I've also broken down tasks to do them slowly through the month. I have a bad habit of putting things off until the last minute and then having a major holiday breakdown three days before Christmas! This year I want to find the joy in each day during each small task. From washing dishes, to making dinner, to wrapping presents, to writing cards (yes, I still love sending Christmas cards! I won't give that up!)... I plan on finding joy in the every day of December. 

So this year my focus is on joy. Today I've found joy in the sun coming out this afternoon after a rainy and gray few days.  What can you find joy in every day this holiday season? 

Some joy I found during our recent holiday trip to Washington DC!
Right outside of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, I found lots of kale
in the natural areas. It really made me smile! In all the amazing plants they could have
placed in that little natural area, they placed kale! So pretty and such a delicious
green! I wonder if the squirrels are enjoying it?

Do you want to participate in our December Sanity Retreat? Here's how you can!

More on the December Sanity Retreat & Contests
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, I’ve been delighted to host the December Sanity Retreat and the July Self-Care Retreat. This is our 6th retreat! I wish I could say it was all about altruism, but honestly, it’s been wonderful for me to have an extra excuse to focus on self-care and rein in my natural tendency to need to bake (at least) 18 kinds of cookies.
I know how powerful it is for me to focus on self-care, and I imagine it’s similar for most of you, so as a gentle extra nudge, we’re doing 2 giveaways.
Giveaway #1: Let us hear your voice!
Prize: a $50 gift certificate) they are not sponsoring, I just wanted something with 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 on this week’s post HERE
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 me.
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:
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.
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