AND MAKING THE MOST OF THE SEASON
As we write this, swirls of snowflakes are blanketing Bend in the first snow of the year. No matter how old you are, the first snow IS magical – transforming our landscape into a wonderland of wintry delights. What fun!
This festive start to the holiday season also ushers in the expectations and hopes we all share for the special gatherings and connections with our friends and family. We have parties to host and attend, gifts to buy and wrap, meals to cook and enjoy. And in the midst of all the activity, we can quickly find ourselves out of balance and wondering why such a lovely time of year can wear us down instead of filling us up.
We’d like to offer up a few simple ideas for slowing down, restoring your health, and cultivating true happiness..
First, give to yourself to expand your capacity to give to others.
It may seem counterintuitive, but how we care for ourselves deeply impacts how we care for others. We need to be aware of the stressful cycle of giving and doing to the point of exhaustion. In spite of our best intentions, the holidays can be the perfect set-up for becoming overwhelmed by the “shoulds” and the “have to's.” Clearing away the noise and becoming mindful of what truly nourishes you is an act of generosity to yourself. That kind of discernment will help you stay rested, relaxed, and nourished so you can bring a state of balance and happiness to all of your relationships.
Discover and celebrate simple joys.
What did you love most about this season when you were a kid? Children have an innate sense of wonder that guides their play and discovery. Write down your best memories of the holidays from your childhood and ask your loved ones to do the same. No doubt it was the simple joys that made everything seem special – the evening walk in the snow counting stars, the smell of your favorite foods cooking in mom’s kitchen, chopping wood for a cozy fire, getting bear hugs from grandpa. Gifts are a special part of the holidays, but things alone don’t make memories – our connections with others do. Let that list of simple joys become your guide for what to do in the coming weeks, and what experiences to seek and create.
Shop small and buy local.
Let’s be honest, shopping for gifts can be the most stressful part of the holidays. No matter how much you try to plan ahead, you will probably still end up doing some last minute running around for gifts. So how do you make it all more enjoyable? Our advice is to give gifts from Bend’s local makers. Not only will you find unique gifts that have a memorable story for your loved ones, but you also get to make a personal connection with the artisans in your community. The simple decision to support a local artist or small business compounds your good intentions - a full circle of generosity. Even better, choosing meaningful small gifts honors the tradition of the holidays and lessens the overall impact on the environment. That makes everyone smile!
Nourish your body with foods that love you back.
Last, we encourage you to choose foods that give back to your body rather than deplete it. Tis the season of sugar plums and candy canes, heavy entrees and tasty libations. Trust us, we know it is all so good and oh-so hard to resist. As Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” Yet if you really can approach all those delectable things in moderation and balance them with good, clean eating you can sail through the holidays feeling lighter and more energized. Sugar, alcohol and caffeine only amplify stress, suppress your immune system, and put you on a crash course to feeling badly when it’s time to ring in the new year.
Fresh, raw organic juices can be the antidote to holiday overindulgence. One juice a day is enough to remind yourself how good healthy habits feel. We’ve got a six pack of holiday goodness here for you - just ask!