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3191 Miles Apart | 15 December 13 • MAV

15 December 13 • MAV

With just ten days till Christmas, I will try to keep this dispatch to you short and sweet. (Who has time to read a whole bunch of MAV’s goings-on?)

It feels like a race these days. Running here and there. This obligation and that one. These sweets and those. Which gift for whom. My advice to you today, and every day through the end of the year, and the main thing that has been on my mind in my own life: try to find small ways to S L O W I T D O W N.

Everyone I have been talking with lately has been so very stressed out, and I wanted to say to those who feel this same way, first, you are not alone. I can totally relate. It’s a busy time of year and we want to fit it all in. Especially those females among us who tend to think of ourselves as superheros anyway. Why would the holidays slow that momentum? It only makes it worse!

Here are a few small things I have done in the last week to S L O W I T D O W N and try to create just a little space. They are small things, mind you, but they have made a huge difference for me. I’d love to hear your S L O W I T D O W N ideas too! Email me (mav{at}3191milesapart.com)!

MAV’s * S L O W I T D O W N* LIST

1. PUSH THE WATER
Drink 8 glasses of water a day, period. Get a water bottle and have it with you just like you carry your wallet. You have all this extra time in the car running around? Well, you have your water right there. Don’t let yourself get depleted.

2. GET A MASSAGE
I know, I know … who has money or time? Well, if you can, you should try to find/make both. A massage is not pampering, it’s a health-booster. It aids the immune system, helps with smoothing out emotions, it helps give the body warmth and comfort.

3. LIGHT THE CANDLES
When I get home from my busy work day the first thing I’ve been doing is lighting a few candles. One in the bedroom, one in the kitchen, one on the dining room table. I love the company of a candle. I love the comfort. Candles have helped me see beauty in moments where I am feeling quite spent.

4. BUY THE COOKIES
You know I am as much a baker as the rest of us but sometimes, you just need to buy the damn cookies! Go to your favorite local bakery and save yourself some time. Just do it.

5. MAKE A *REALISTIC* DAILY LIST
Every day, after I have my coffee, I make a day list. It’s not a long one … it’s just a list for today. I pull from a longer list I have (boy is that a long list these days) and try to be realistic about what I can get done. This day list will be a good friend to you. Finish early and get yourself a hot toddy!

6. BELIEVE IN MAGIC
Listen to holiday music, wear sparkly things (I painted my nails last week!), make snowflakes with the kids, kiss under the mistletoe, remember your loved ones, enjoy each other. This is a special time of year. Try not to forget it.

7. CALL A FRIEND
This one might seem counterintuitive but it really helps slow things down. Give yourself just 30–45 minutes to catch up with a friend. You will feel more calm. You have a chance to laugh, share, connect. This is really what the holidays are about and you can start right here with a good friend. Add it to your list if need be!

8. MAKE ONE TRIP TO THE LIQUOR STORE
You probably need extra wine, bubbly or whiskey this time of year so you might as well just make one trip. Overbuy. This helps with keeping things fluid when you are invited somewhere at the last minute and need to bring a bottle of wine, or if you want to see friends and think, I’ll just ask them to all come over! If you have the booze, or non-alcoholic bubbles and cheer if you prefer, then you will have more calm in the bustling moments.

9. TAKE A TEA MOMENT
On your next store run, get a box of Lavender/Chamomile tea. When you are having a crazed moment, you will reach for a bag of this tea. You will give yourself, what I am calling, a tea moment. Sit with your tea and just breathe. This will take you 5–10 minutes. I’ve been doing this, roughly, every other day of late. Works every time.

10. SMILE
When I was very down earlier this year someone said to me, if you just smile for a little bit each day the brain will start to think you’re happy. This time of year tends to really drag us down, as much as we love it, so I think the smiling thing really helps here. Just try to smile while you’re doing the dishes or doing yet another trip to the store for butter or milk. This one works, I promise!

Merry, merry, friends!! … and take good care.