Christmas and New Year's are upon us. Weather may be rotten where you are. Schedules may be busy. The to-do list may increase exponentially. The cooking and cleaning may overwhelm you. Expectations will NEVER be met 100%. Just not a possibility.
What's a person to do?
Go for a stroll. Not a walk. Just a stroll. After your large holiday meal, grab the hand of the kid closest to you and ask him/her to go for a stroll with you. The dishes will wait. Remember, no one will do your work while you're gone. Have no fear. It'll all still be there when you get back to it. So, do something relaxing as a treat. Stroll.
Taking an easy stroll after a large meal is good for you. It makes room for dessert more quickly, after all. And who doesn't want that?! It's also a time to bond. Maybe with your husband. Maybe with your grandchild. Maybe with that sister in law you don't really like very much. There is not much that can't be improved by taking a stroll.
Make it at dusk or just after. Marvel at all the pretty lights. Breathe in the crisp, cold air. Be grateful that you are alive and able to walk. Think of all the things to be grateful for. Most of us could easily rattle off ten things we're grateful for. So, bypass that list (which includes the good health of your family members and the roof over your head) - not because you shouldn't be grateful for them, but because we're ALL grateful for such gifts and we need to be grateful for them EVERY day. But, on this holiday - whatever holiday you celebrate or whenever your family gathers - find TEN MORE things to be grateful for. Think about them on your stroll. Tell your SIL that you're grateful for her presence. It won't hurt anything if it's not the absolute truth and you'll probably shock her (in a good way).
Later, once the house is quiet and the dirty dishes have been tended to, WRITE down your gratitude list. Write down TEN THINGS you're grateful for TODAY. Write down those ten and stash your list somewhere you can get to it in a couple of days, weeks, or months. You'll need it more then than now.
What are you grateful for now? Here are some that come to my mind (after the health of my family, etc):
that I can walk despite my hip pain
that I have a job to go to and work that's important
that my dog is such a great walking companion
that my husband likes the very imperfect hat I crocheted for him
that I found enough bags and crepe paper to handle all my presents
that my house looks great with its new siding and gutters
that my mom and MIL are still alive and healthy (okay, they're 88 so I can double dip here)
that my younger son has found his 'calling' in law school
that I can afford a mani-pedi if I really want one
that it wasn't me who fell yesterday and broke an ankle (altho' it was a friend and I'm sorry for him and you call me self-centered if you want)
that no winter storm has deprived my house of electricity (thus warmth and hot water)
that I have enough matching dishes to feed the whole clan
that I was introduced to the idea of a Gratitude List 13 years ago
and, finally, just for me - THIS HOLIDAY IS OVER!! (call me a Scrooge. I admit it!)
What's on your list?
When you're having a bad day. Pull out the list you made this holiday and read it. Guaranteed to improve your mood. Gratitude is right up there with walking for making any day better.
***************************Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude. You can trust the information you find here. It's from a dedicated walker. Trust me and your life will get better! I promise.
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