Sunday, December 13, 2009

Its That Time of Year

Yes it is that time of year. I've given much thought to what I'd like to share with you during this frenzied month. You can relax this is not about baking one of the best cookies ever, or creating unique, must-have decorations, finding the perfect gift or looking spectacular this holiday season. This is about you and what you can do for yourself. Now isn’t that wonderful? Go ahead, get yourself a hot cup of coffee, tea or cocoa and sit back, relax and enjoy what lies ahead.

I have put together a little gift for you-the practice of self-care. I can imagine at this point at least half of my dear readers are questioning my sanity. “Now, in December?? Have you gone mad? Can’t it wait till January? I’ll make some resolutions for the new year”. Not a chance. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? If you don’t make time to do what you love and what helps you be a better individual, who will make that time? Now that we agree lets move along to some ideas my research has turned up.

Sleep: Sleep is important for concentration, memory development and the repair to your body’s cells from the previous day.

Gratitude: Upon awakening each morning, take a few moments to express thanks for something that is important to you.

Stretch: A great way to get your body active, stretching awakens your mind, heart, circulation and metabolism.

Drink Water: A glass of water helps to re-hydrate you and awakens your joints and muscles, sending a message to your vital organs that its time to start the day.

Meditate: Take a few minutes to set some intentions for yourself each day and visualize how you would like to see your day unfold.

Are you still with me? From the time you open your eyes until this moment might total up to about 5 minutes. I think you can fit that in!

Eat: A good, healthy breakfast is the best way to fuel your body at the start of each day. Make time to eat within the first hour of waking up. My husband, John, creates some of the most delicious, healthy omelettes. He's always searching for the next perfect recipe.

Include Power Foods in your diet:

Cinnamon-lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Avocado-promotes healthy skin, rich in Vitamin E.
Garlic-boosts immunity with its antibacterial and antiviral
Japanese food-wasabi and shitake mushrooms both help to fight
cavities and the formation of plaque.
Vitamin D rich foods-oily fish, eggs, cereal and vitamins all
add extra D especially in winter when we are not often in
Honey-contains anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and if you
can find local honey you will taste an amazing difference.
My son, Nicholas, is a firm believer in the healing
properties of Manuka Honey.
Green Tea-you know about the anti-oxidant properties of this tea
But did you know it’s the beverage of choice 10 minutes
prior to working out?
Bananas-good for regulating blood pressure, known as the “happy
fruit”, helps improve your mood.

Socialize: Make small talk, call a friend. Casual conversations help keep you sharp, improving mental function and memory. My dear friend Sheryl and I chat just about every day.

Walk: The more you walk the healthier you’ll be, physically, emotionally and mentally! My son, Christopher, has been heard to say that I (his mom) would walk across the country if they let me! He’s right.

Massage your feet: At the end of the day, place a tennis ball under one foot and roll the ball under all four corners for about 1-2 minutes for each foot. You will feel the difference! I learned this in a yoga class, it’s amazing.

Give Something Away: See what happens when you give away the simplest, easiest gift…a smile to a stranger. For more encouragement visit
My son Michael's group "The Deadly Syndrome" have participated in a fundraising Christmas Concert for the past 3 years. All proceeds go to charity. My step daughter, Donna Marie, grew her hair and then donated it to "Locks for Love", she looks great with her shorter hair and now someone else can enjoy her donation. My step daughter Francesca along with her boyfriend Jay, are a source of inspiration and support to the many people they come in contact with every day. My son Alex has donated much of his time to fundraising for the school he attends and spent a summer teaching English to members of a small village in Panama.

Find your Passion: This is no small assignment. The most challenging piece to this suggestion is to just let it happen. As mentioned in my earlier blogs, finding one’s passion usually happens when you’re not looking. Take a step back and voila! you are doing something you enjoy, then another layer is added to it and you are exploring another facet of what interests you. Moving through these various stages is more a spiral rather than linear process. Enjoy it; see where this adventure takes you.

My step daughter, Erica, has perfected her creative skills and presented us with a beautifully knitted blanket. She and her boyfriend Matt, have discovered how much fun golf can be. Jillian, my daughter in law, is great at photographing her 2 little sons and creating beautiful pictures. She's made beautiful books using her photography skills. Jenni, Michael's girlfriend, recently completed a world tour and has seen her success as a musician soar. Nicholas has focused on his passion for making music , my daughter Katina has pursued her love of horses in college. John Paul, my step son,has followed his passion for motorcycles while his wife Melissa brought her passion for nursing to life. My son, Christopher loves what he does for a living and is working on perfecting his golf game.

Yes, I do try to put in to practice most of what I have shared with you. I hope you can take away something new after our little visit. I hope our family's accomplishments inspire you to pursue your dreams.

Slow down, stay in the moment. Try to focus on what’s REALLY important; don’t dwell on the little things. Enjoy the people in your life for they are your treasures. Listen to the silence of the early morning, the quiet of your home late at night, or the sound of snow gently falling. Breathe and be thankful for all you have.

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!


  1. What a beautiful encouraging way to start a Monay morning...Thanks Jo.

  2. You are an amazing inspiration! I just keep moaning about not enough time. Someday perhaps we can walk across the country together. Have a wonderful Christmas! MaryEllen

  3. Thank you for your comments. Eric, what were you doing up so early? Listening to the silence? Nancy, maybe Mary Ellen and I will stop by on our walk across the country!Thank you so much,I'm glad you are enjoying the blog.

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  5. Wow! Your best blog so far! You didn't realize I was feeding you pre-packaged frozen omelettes all this time? Walking cross country...are you searching for Forrest Gump?

  6. If Mary Ellen and I were to walk across the country it would NOT be in search of Forrest. Sorry to disappoint but we would take some of those yummy omelettes. :)

  7. Thanks Joanne...this was very refreshing to read seem to have found a perfect place to seem completely at peace!
    Merry Christmas!

  8. Thank you Kristen,
    Merry Christmas in your new home!

  9. Hi

    I came across your lovely blog and thought you might like to take a peek at mine. I live in the French Alps and write about food and renovating our old watermill. Would you be interested in exchanging links? I am now following you.



  10. Oh yes, I would love to exchange links! How exciting. I hadn't checked my blog the past week but would be delighted to hear from you.
    Thank you!