Friday, December 28, 2018

The December Self-Care Saturdays: inspiration for your home self-care practices

key words:  self-care, practitioner resilience, wellness, mindfulness practices; mindful cup of tea, mindfulness learning with kids, "forest bathing"--nature the outdoors and your health, dealing with holiday stress

The December Self-Care Roundup

Some inspiration from the Self-Care Saturdays theme over at our public Facebook Page

The Mindful Cup of Tea
  • Practice mindfulness or "being-in-the-present-moment" with a warm cuppa.  My kids do this well with their hot chocolate lately--down to watching the marshmallows melt.  

Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey
  • This is my family's 2018 favorite and the book is based on her songs.  I recommend getting the matching songs; most of them are part of her Mindful Moments for Kids music compilation.  More at this blogpost.  If you follow an Amazon affiliate link from our blogpost and buy within a few hours, a few pennies of your purchase go to the Project.  However, if you want to support the Project the best and most direct way is through our website. Thank you.

Have you heard about "forest bathing" or want to read more about the health benefits of spending time outdoors?
Check out these recommendations...🙂🏞🧗‍♀️🛶🚲🏔🎣☕️
Nature, the Outdoors, and Your Health on our Gift Ideas page, just below the "outdoor fun" section:

  • Forest Bathing:  how trees can help you find health and happiness
  • Shinrin Yoku:  The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing
  • The Nature Fix: why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative by Florence Williams
  • Blue Mind:  the surprising science that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make you happier, healthier, more connected and better at what you do by Wallace J. Nichols
  • The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs:  use outdoor clues to find your way, predict the weather, locate water, track animals--and other forgotten skills of natural navigation by Tristan Gooley

Self-care check are you doing today with the holiday stress?  Challenged to stay grounded? (12.21.2018)

  • Take a moment while you are reading this and breathe several belly breaths (diaphragmatic breathing) and stretch.
  • It's the longest night of the year tonight.  Great time to be quiet in the evenings and enjoy the starlight or the bright winter moon (if you have minimal cloud cover).  Please share a photo of your night sky when you take time to go outdoors this weekend.  For all of you in stormy weather conditions, stay safe and maybe share a pic of your warm mug of cocoa cheer.
  • Related articles:  mindful cuppa, short daily practices to manage overwhelm, and tips for dealing with holiday stress from

Move Your Body!
"Remember how amazing you felt the last time you hit the gym or took a hike in the woods?  How clear and calm you felt after your last yoga class?  Exercise can settle your mind.  It can make you feel refreshed from head to toe.  It helps to dissolve tension in places you may not have realized were tense.  You want to remember this feeling.  The next time you exercise, pause for a few minutes afterward.  Sit down or lie down to fully savor the post-exercise glow....The state of your body reflects the state of your mind.  A good walk clears away the mental cobwebs."  Read more at Winter Got You Down? article on

Get Outside and Move! 
This 6-month study found that exercise (walking or bicycling) for 30 minutes 3x/week improved your brain's function.  For the study group, about age 65 - 90+, 6 months of exercise at this rate lowered the "brain age" by 9 years.
My takeaways:
  • Not moving/sedentary lifestyle is not good for your brain
  • You can reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle by moving, at least 30 minutes at a time.  Every day if possible.
  • With all the data now on health benefits of being outdoors and in nature, for that extra health boost:  do your movement time...
    • Outdoors--better if it is a green area (assuming no smog or other air pollution warnings for your area that day), or woods or near a large body of water (lake, sea)
    • Do some gardening every week--working with healthy soil is good for our brains, too
  • Read more about this study at ReachMD or CNN.
You can read more about the health benefits of time spend outdoors in the book, Nature Fix. You can follow the link to the Amazon store for this book in paperback or audiobook at our gift ideas page under "outdoor fun and health benefits of nature".

Be proactive this holiday season to combat loneliness and help others do the same
"Be proactive this holiday season to combat loneliness or to help others do the same.  Map out a plan before you find yourself feeling fully disconnected and isolated.  By anticipating feelings of loneliness--either your own or of someone else (even a stranger)--you'll be better equipped to face them." If your mind is stuck in dark rut, call for free help at the national hotline:  1-800-273-8255.

Related blogposts
November Self-care Saturdays Roundup

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