Self-Care for Scurrying Souls

On this day before Thanksgiving, whether you are shopping, cooking, or traveling to be with loved ones, most likely you are in motion and, possibly, going non-stop. You are thinking of that long shopping list, all the pies you need to bake (or pick up), or are making sure you remembered to pack all the necessities before you get in the car and start the long trip to Grandma’s.

I get it. I’ve been there. This Thanksgiving, my biggest stress is to continue making products to get into my Etsy shop and to sell at upcoming craft fairs. I feel like an elf in Santa’s workshop.

Yesterday I took product photos until my back ached like I’d been weeding the garden for hours. Then I sat in my office chair for the rest of the day and late into the evening editing photos, listing products on Etsy, and making ornaments. 

Although the day started off with a pretty challenging Vinyasa class on YogaGlo, the rest of the day I forgot I lived in an actual body and didn’t take care of myself. My diffuser sat on my desk unused, my throat was dry because I didn’t drink enough water, and my back ached from all the photography, and sitting and hunching in my chair. 

You know what’s great about our bodies? They only put up with so much and then they lay down the law. My back and neck sent up a cry of protest overnight and I woke up with a lot of soreness and stiffness.

I am using Arnica gel on my neck and shoulders and a pain blend massage oil on my back.

I am drinking tea and plenty of water.

I am diffusing a great blend for my stuffy nose and asthma, and am getting up to walk around periodically.

I am taking time for short yoga sessions.

I am reading poetry because it lifts me up in ways prose can’t. (Currently I’m reading Devotions by Mary Oliver.)

So today will be a different story and I’ll still get plenty of work done. This is my plan:

The takeaway from this tale: don’t wait until you’re sick or in pain to take care of yourself!!! Do it right now!

And now for my diffuser blend. You may not have heard of the first two essential oils, but I encourage you to incorporate them into your life. I get most of my oils from Aromatics International. They have some pretty amazing deals for Black Friday week. Here’s a link for $15 off your first order.

Niaouli has fruity, fresh, warm and camphor-like qualities. It is great to support the immune system and healthy airway and lung function. It is antibacterial, anti fungal, soothes pain and inflammation, and is a decongestant. 

Spike Lavender is not the same as regular Lavender. It has a touch of camphor-like aroma, it is stimulating and energizing, is great for healthy lung function, and helps with pain and inflammation.

Cypress has a woodsy, balsamic, resinous aroma. It is good for healthy breathing; it promotes proper circulation, is calming and uplifting to emotions, and has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, decongestant, and antibacterial qualities.

Breathe Clear, Feel Better Diffuser Blend (I use the greater number of drops because I’m in a large, drafty room; if you’re in a small space, you can use less.) 

Niaouli 6-10 drops

Spike Lavender 3-5 drops

Cypress 3-5 drops

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my dear readers! Remember to take time for yourself today!!!

*This post contains affiliate links. It helps pay for this blog. If you choose to purchase through a link, it will benefit me in a small way at no cost to you. 

Pie Happy

“Mother took the pie out of the oven and it hissed fragrant apple, maple, cinnamon steam through the knife cuts in the top crust. She was making her world beautiful. She was making her world delicious. It could be done, and if anyone could do it, she could.”
J.J. Brown, Death and the Dream

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The day before Thanksgiving, I baked a grain-free pecan pie from Gluten Free and More Magazine and I told you I would share photos if it came out right. Well, I’m happy to report that it came out beautifully and it tasted scrumptious even four days after Thanksgiving when I finally got around to trying it.

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The crust came together easily, with few ingredients and pressed into the pie plate without crumbling. It cracked, but was moist and it was easy to repair and crimp the edges.

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The filling just mixed up in a bowl and then was poured into the crust and baked.

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I am going to use this pie crust recipe for all sweet pies from now on. Apple is next on my list, and raspberry after that.

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“America has developed a pie tradition unequivocally and unapologetically at the sweet end of the scale, and at no time is this better demonstrated than at Thanksgiving.”
Janet Clarkson, Pie: A Global History

 

What did you bake this Thanksgiving?

A Real Thanksgiving

 

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It’s been a year rich with variety:

tender conversations with people I love,

being misunderstood and unheard by some,

being truly cared for and acknowledged by others.

Feeling kindness when I didn’t see it coming,

and attempting to accept what can never be changed.

 

Laughter, music, tears, blue days as well as sunny ones,

discovering new friendships and rekindling old ones,

launching a little business before I felt ready,

figuring out how to best mother my children where they’re at right now,

listening, saying I’m sorry, trying things even if I’m uncertain,

living through pain and finding joy in the middle of sorrow,

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looking at life with openness and a sense of the possible,

trusting that God’s love for me is unwavering,

that God loves all of us, bruised and broken as we are.

 

I am giving thanks that, for all my faults, I am still capable of loving and being loved,

As long as I live, I have a chance to love, to work, to grow, to be myself in this world.

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Thanksgiving and Parkinson’s Law

 

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I only just heard about Parkinson’s Law this year, although I’ve lived it my entire life. Here it is: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” It’s so true! If I have a month to prepare for a musical performance, I take that long; if I have a week, well, that’s how long it takes too.

And this carries over into how many possessions we acquire and store, how much food we consume, etc. If we have a large plate for dinner, we will fill it and eat everything on it. If we have a lot of closet space, or a garage, we’ll accumulate stuff until we fill the available space. This article from Medium posits that constraints are the best thing you can work with. Give yourself a shorter time to complete tasks and you’ll be more productive.

This article shows how you can use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage. I was thinking about Thanksgiving preparations, in particular. I guess we should all try making the list and then allotting ourselves a certain amount of time for each task.

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For example, I need to make sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and chocolate pie, all tomorrow. Yikes! All gluten free and dairy free. When I’ve made them and if they’re a success, I’ll share photos and recipes with you…

But I also need to take a trip around the corner to the Amish market to purchase spices for mulled cider and flax seed for my friend’s flax and lavender pillows. And then sew up the pillows. That feels like a lot. So I’ve got only one day and am going to become a pie making and flax warming pillow machine. I’m giving myself three and a half hours for the food and two hours for the pillows, plus a half hour for the shopping trip. By sundown tomorrow, I’ll be looking forward to an evening of reading and writing.

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I’ll report back on how my day goes…

What’s on your day-before-Thanksgiving Day list?