This past year has been difficult for me. I wasn’t in the holiday spirit last year. This year is a little better, but it will be our first without my Dad. When my parents’ owned a day care (I was in college), my dad dressed up as Santa for all the kids. And then when my kids and nephews were little, he did the same. My dad was always a focal point of entertainment, and his presence is sorely missed when my family gets together.
I just returned from a trip to Salt Lake City for work, and Portland to see my mom and one of my brothers and sisters-in-law. We had a nice family dinner while I was there. It reminded me of all of holidays of the past, but as the years go on the numbers attending just dwindles. We are all spread across the country in four different states – just in my immediate family. If you start counting cousins and in-laws that’s another six states. So family gatherings just aren’t the same.
April is Stress Awareness Month. Is it a coincidence that it coincides with one of the major stressors in American’s lives? (Tax Day) We all face every day stressors such as our commute, our jobs, paying bills, raising kids. But then there are those other things that compound and have longer lasting effects on you. Perhaps you have finals coming up or a work deadline or family troubles or maybe you’re battling a chronic condition or illness. Or perhaps you have a combination of many stressors in your life.
Stress can be positive – it’s what activates your fight or flight mechanism, or helps you to meet a deadline – or negative. It’s the negative stress that has a detrimental impact on your health and can show up in many ways – over/under eating, not sleeping, acne, physical ailments like stomach or heart issues, and flares of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. Learning to cope with these burdens so that they don’t build up can make a huge difference in your health.
It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, and appetite problems — and yes, even heart disease.
Lately I haven’t been loving myself enough. I have been running on empty, with “no spoons” left to give. No energy to blog, no creativity left to give, and dealing with my messy life.
So taking a few days to enjoy a getaway with my family last week was definitely the self-care, self-preservation, and refueling I needed. Being outdoors is my happy place, as I believe it is holistically therapeutic to be outside.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings.”
~ William Blake
I took these pictures while on vacationing in Oregon this past January. We took a day trip to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, visit the Tillamook Dairy factory, and stop by Cannon Beach and the famous “Goonies rock”. This day was special because it was one of the few days we got to explore Oregon — we spent the next two days of our trip snowed in!