I hope you are starting 2015 with a bang and some excitement about the new year. If not, maybe some of what I am about to say will help. As for me, I am looking forward to making some changes. I have a habit of naming every year. I have done that for many years, but, for some reason, did not do that for 2014. I just couldn’t find the right words, and it showed. It was a reasonably good year, I accomplished some of the things I set out to accomplish, and had a great deal of joy in my life, but there were some things missing from the final tally. This year will be different. This year is The Julie Project.
First off, how did you do with the stress of the holiday season? Many people get sick around the holidays. It is believed by some that the “cold and flu season” exists purely as a response to lowered immunity caused by the stress of the holiday season, and not by germs. I think stress, along with spending more time indoors (there are fewer germs outside), focusing more on other people, and less on self-care, and trying to do too much during the holidays, is what lowers our immune system and allows us to become ill. My body tried to get sick, but I knocked it out with Cold Snap (a Chinese herb product to increase the immune response), Zicam and Airborne. I should have started taking these products before I got on a plane December 19 and taken them through the holiday season. I was left with some minor sinus trouble. Since I was traveling from December 19 to December 29, I have a little fatigue from with traveling, but not too bad. I got plenty of sleep, practiced yoga and meditation and ate well while I was gone. I know those are practices that strengthen my immunity. What do you do to help yourself stay, or get, well? Do you have any products or tips you use to boost your immunity?
I like to take stock of my life at the end of the year. Here are some of the questions I ask myself and how I answered them this year. I am not going to list everything, just the things that may be interesting to you or are more general and will serve as an example.
What am I grateful for?
1. My loving husband, George.
2. My babies (dogs), Sarge, Pearl and Mitra.
3. Friends and family.
4. My health, the good and bad of it all.
5. My ability to read, which enriches my life more than I can say.
What did I accomplish in 2014?
1. I did a 15-day juice fast in May. It was not easy, but it let me know I can be disciplined when I want to be disciplined. I can’t use the excuse, “I don’t have any discipline,” any more. I know better! Damn. That makes life a little more liberating and a little more scary. LOL
2. I wrote a novel in November. Last year I found out about National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org) where participants write the first draft of a novel in 30 days, and I wanted to participate. I finished on November 29. Whew! I can’t wait to finish editing the novel and I plan to participate again this year.
3. I finished 4 extensive knitting projects, three of which involved many skeins of yarn, and one of which required only two skeins, but involved lace and took many hours to complete.
What can I improve upon in 2015?
1. My sleeping habits: I don’t get enough sleep because I go to bed too late and still get up early most of the time. I will have less pain, more energy and will be more productive if I get 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night, instead of 6-7.
2. My eating habits: I haven’t been eating enough greens or fresh fruits and veggies. If I eat better I will have less pain and more energy, and will likely lose some more weight. Yes, it will take more planning, I won’t be able to just find something in the cupboard. I will eat six or more servings of fruits and veggies a day. The benefits will outweigh my love of laziness. LOL
3. Clutter in my house: My house isn’t my sanctuary right now, it is a bit of a mess. When my house is tidy again, it will better serve me and my needs. I will be able to work more easily, will be more productive, and my home will be easier to clean. Above all, I will enjoy my home more.
What are some steps I can take right now to help myself meet my objectives.
1. I can ask a friend of mine to help me with accountability. I asked one of my girlfriends to do “Integrity Day” with me. This is where you schedule a day, or even a few hours, to check in with each other every hour. During the check-ins, you say what you did the last hour and what you plan to do the upcoming hour, and so on each of the next hours planned. It creates accountability and you end up getting more done. This is something for once a week or less often, and is used to help you finish up projects or things you have procrastinated on, not normally for day-to-day tasks, but it is up to you.
2. I signed up for a food-related challenge. January 5 through 25 I will eat one raw vegan meal a day.
3. I hired a professional organizer. We start on January 8.
These are just some of the questions I like to ask myself at the beginning of the year. I focus on the positive, on gratitude, why I am proud of myself, what I can change and why, and how I will change the changeable. I find this helps me more than focusing on the past and what was wrong. I like to come from a place of love for myself and my life, and a potential for joy. These are the things that change my life for the better and that will, ultimately, cause the least amount of stress, We all know that stress exacerbates Fibromyalgia symptoms. With all this in mind, what will you change and how will you love yourself more this year?
May 2015 bring you joy, love and peace.