Do Better December 26th 2014 Post-Holiday Recovery

26 Dec

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I woke up this morning to the aftermath of the holiday parties. My body hurts. My joints ache. I can feel the tension I have obviously been carrying in my neck and shoulders. This happens to me sometimes after a long stretch of commitments. When they are finally over, my body registers the bad eating choices, the physical stress and maybe even some of the emotional stress I have built up over the past few weeks. It is not life threatening, although it can be life altering. It slows me down, but I have the choice of how to handle it and whether it stops me entirely.

I want to curl up on the couch and watch movies all day. I want to have the house magically clean itself, and I want my body to release the aches and pain I am feeling. I want someone other than me to cook incredibly healthy food that tastes better than any of the junk I’ve eaten over the past few weeks. I want my family to pitch in without being asked and voluntarily turn off their screens. Basically, I want a post-Christmas miracle, and in all of the years I have been celebrating the holidays, I have yet to see that happen. What can happen, though, is something better than a miracle. I know that sounds strange, but when you create your own magic, miracles become icing on the cake.

Creating magic usually begins with asking for help. For me it is asking my family to spend just 15 minutes helping me. It may be simply picking up and putting gifts away. It may be running the vacuum, quick mopping the floors or gathering the trash. It may be dusting or working on organizing school binders. Whatever it is, I’ve learned that there is magic in fifteen minutes, especially when it is multiplied by five which is the number of people in my family. I am continually amazed at the progress we can make when we work together. Before we work together, though, we need a plan. When I can give my family clear direction, the amount of success multiplies. A suggestion to clean up a room may show no progress at all, but a direction to fold and put away all clean clothes and pick up ten or more items to throw or give away yields visual results that my children can see and feel proud about. Working in the yard becomes weeding the front garden, trimming branches, and cutting the grass all at the same time. We can accomplish more in one hour than I can do alone in several days. It is astounding and thrilling to see. They may not love having to help, but they do love living in a home that is well taken care of, almost as much as I do.

Today, though, I choose to start with me. As soon as I have finished with today’s writing and recording, I will be heading for the gym, not for a workout, but for a pamper session. I know that spending time in the hot tub will help with my aching joints. I also know that most people would work out first and then lounge in the hot tub. If I do that, my body will hurt so much that I won’t feel the benefit of the hot tub. For me, a trip to the hot tub first will loosen everything up and release the pain. It will allow me to walk and enjoy the exercise rather than grit my teeth through it and be in pain for days. It is not the way most people would do things, but it works better for me. Then I can return home with a body that has been well taken care of and hopefully can flow through the rest of the day with ease. I know there are pain relievers I can take that will temporarily do the job, but this will do the job better and will make me feel better for the long haul, as will eating healthier.

The past few weeks have been filled with many more carbs and wheat than I usually eat. I’ve avoided the scale because no one needs that kind of stress during the holidays. I’ve done my best to eat well at home and allow myself small detours at parties. I’ve learned to eat one or two cookies instead of munching away all evening. I’ve learned to take a plate and load it up with the veggie tray items and a few other delicacies I only eat during the holidays. I’ve learned to drink water and stand as much as possible to get in a few extra steps. I have a long way to go to be fit and trim, but I know what helps and for me, no pain does not mean no gain; in my case, pain means I will not be exercising until the pain is gone and that can mean a significant gain. Again, I know it may be different from what most people do, but it works for me as long as I do what I know works.

So, on this Friday after Christmas, I am focused on just a couple of things. Today I will take extraordinary care of my body. I will treat it well, exercise it gently and feed it nourishing and energizing food. I will do some basic clean up around my home that will make it look and feel better for me. I will not do it all, nor will I try to, because I want to feel better so I can do better tomorrow. Today is truly about gentle progress, not driving myself to exhaustion. It’s about regaining my footing without pushing myself over the wall. It is about finding the tracks and getting back on them without having to make the cross country run. Today is about recovery and being kind to myself, and that feels like one of the best Christmas gifts of the season. I hope that today you can have a day that makes you smile. If you have to work today, I hope you get that day soon. A day of kindness to yourself is a gift to you and everyone you know because it recharges and renews your attitude and allows you to move on with your life in a better humor. Try it and let me know how it goes, either on the Better Living Daily Facebook page or by commenting on the blog page. You deserve a day that makes you feel better, whatever that means for you. As always, thanks for being you and have a great day!


One Response to “Do Better December 26th 2014 Post-Holiday Recovery”


  1. Do Better December 26th 2014 Post-Holiday Recovery | karenbemmes aka Better Living Daily - December 26, 2014

    […] Do Better December 26th 2014 Post-Holiday Recovery. […]

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