Saturday, December 11, 2010

Take care of yourself!

In the midst of the Advent season, with Christmas celebrations nearing, many people find that they are getting tired and fractious. Too many parties and end of the year celebrations to attend (parents with school age children know what I mean!) and too much stress about the preparations for Christmas.

Over at Flylady the Challenge of the Month is pampering yourself. Over at the Simple Savings network we have gone one step further and challenged ourselves to find ways to indulge ourselves which cost under $0.50. Lots of people have contributed ideas in what has become a very nurturing and positive thread on how to take care of ourselves and give ourselves a little delight each day.

I thought I would add a few of my own ideas, for feeling calm and relaxed in this season, as prompts for others:

1. Pampering myself is much easier if the basics have been done around the house -the bed is made, the dishes washed, I know what we are having for dinner, and any 'hot spots' which are accumulating junk have been dealt with. Most of this can be done in less than 15 minutes, but it makes such a difference to my feeling of calm it is definitely worth it. This is very much a Flylady habit and I would encourage you to make it your own.

2. Lists! Making a list of what I have got already in the way of Christmas presents, and what I might still need to organise, makes me feel calm and in control. My next step-for this week - is to write down the ingredients I will need for Christmas and Boxing Day foods, and then make sure that I have them ahead of time. I can feel OK about sitting down with a magazine or book if I think everything is organised.

3. Non-Screen Time! Now, I love blogs and Facebook and such as much as anyone, but I do find myself more relaxed if I ensure some non-screen time -and especially with some old fashioned reading. Recently I scored 45 craft magazines on Freecycle -just the kind of thing to enjoy with a cuppa and my feet up-and as they were free they were definitely an indulgence under $0.50! Maybe you could swap a book or set of magazines with a friend as a way of getting in some non-screen time.

4. Looking at things with new eyes can bring a little indulgence.
I started using a scented cream I found in the cupboard -with the title "leg rub" I guess I thought of it as something I might use when I strained a muscle. Actually it is a lovely moisturizer scented with rosemary, and it makes my legs feel refreshed when I use it. The perfume is quite pleasant and particularly nice to put on at bed time. I may as well use it up -rather than leave it in the cupboard where eventually it will go stale or dry up or something.

In the same vein, I was given a brown candle recently, by someone who didn't like it. I lit it and found it has a lovely vanilla scent which I am enjoying very much. I have it on the dining room in one of those chimney type candle holders and it is perfuming the whole place quite nicely.

Today I put together a silk flower arrangement and put it on my bedside table, where it will be in all its glory until after I put the Christmas decorations away. In its new home I get to see it every night and every morning, and it feels quite special to have it there.

Making a cup of real leaf tea and sipping it in a china cup can do the same thing -make us feel special.

I would love to have your comments here about other ideas you have for keeping calm and relaxed and feeling pampered. Please write!

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