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Holiday Blues...

As the Holidays approach there's often so much to look forward to, so much to do and it all passes by like a forward marching breeze. While many people are looking forward to tiz the season, there are countless others who may be dreading it, (especially in wake of so much unfathomable tragedy and sadness that's occurred in and around the nation and the world). It can be really difficult to face celebratory times with anyone when you feel like crawling into a ball and disappearing.

When we are stressed, grieving, or depressed often just breathing hurts... So many

people are alone or dealing with an illness, loss of a job, etc...I myself haven't been looking forward to this season in lieu of a recent loss as well as really feeling the heaviness of recent events... I too have been preparing to walk through this season and keep myself in one piece. Something to realize is that we can't remove pain, or pretend it's not there ( well we can but we'd be playing ourselves! :() ). However, I think being honest with ourselves by acknowledging that this will be a difficult period and that we can and WILL walk through it one moment, one day at a time.

Giving of yourself at anytime is a part of our God given plan to help one another prosper. Giving during the holidays can serve a double purpose; helping those desperately in need, an providing an uplift for your own spirit through selfless acts. These actions take our mind off of our 'lack' ( such as lack of family or friends ), and unfulfilling emotions and transfers it to moving into a positive space through positive actions! We can all help to make someone else's holiday sweeter, be a blessing and we'll be blessed!

[ God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.~Psalm 46:1 ]

[ Make the holidays truly meaningful by making God the center! ]

Our connection with our Creator is the most powerful and rewarding relationships we can have. What better way to reboot, refocus and re-examine your thoughts, feelings and life than through the leadership through God's Word and in Him! We are reminded that suffering is often according to the will of God, that the belief if you're a follower of God you'll be exempt from suffering and trials is misguided. Most often, we as followers of God are at the mercy of his all-knowing will, are in the epicenter of suffering! ( Can I get an Amen! ) Being reminded of this has been so comforting to me, I need to be reminded that plans for my life aren't all about me, that there's a much wider view that I'm just not privy to...I can handle that, my patience will prove my enduring faith in God and his ways... Something I've been reminded of again and again lately...

And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

[ Nuts are rich and delicious, but seeds can be tasty too! The Crew ladies enjoy snacking on hose chocolate pumpkin seed bars loaded with B 12 and magnesium! ]

[ The LivingThruGrace Crew make sure they get in their nutrients and one of their favorite ways are drinking veggie loaded Green Smoothies! ]

[ Nutrition is a large part of the puzzle for brain function and mood health! ]

Eat! I know I keep saying this but nourishing your body with real whole unprocessed

( or as little as possible) foods can really help support moods! The body recognizes real ingredients! Foods rich in Vitamin B 12 are important for brain function and keeping out thoughts sharp ( so we can make better decisions right! LOL)

Sources of this vitamin come mostly from animal sources such as eggs ( especially the yolks!), milk, poultry, fish and beef. Those who live a plant based lifestyle can supplement with a good B12 to fill the niche! Eating nuts and seeds go hand in hand this time of year (especially with simple seasoned batches of warm nuts and or seeds!). Nuts/seeds are also loaded with B12 and make sure to get in those veggies and fruits (yep, don't be sad, unwrap that holiday 'gift basket' and get to eatin' those fruits!), they are also good sources of B12.

[ My delicious 'Mistake-A-Roons! ]

On one of my blog posts titled: Keeping the Old Grey Matter In Fighting Shape (under Healthy Living), I talk in detail about how our gut is or second brain. Feel free to check it out, it just may be the catalyst to get back to good wholesome eatin'! Omega 3's whether it be from natural sources like fish ( salmon, cod, mackerel, albacore tuna, snapper, and sardines ) or from taking a high quality supplement Fish or Cod Liver Oil will enhance brain- mind moods, fight off heart disease, and other degenerative diseases as well as fight hypertension, Alzheimer's arthritis diabetes and many other afflictions!. ( There have even been studies that suggest omega 3 fatty acids can be effective in treatment with evening out mood swings of Bipolar Disorder Patients who are being treated -with meds do much better when omega 3 fish oils are aded).

[ In or on our bodies, Coconut oil and coconut products are fantastic for our well being! ]

Our brain is made up of fat and we require good fats to keep it functioning well. Coconut oil and coconut products are a delicious way to feed your brain! :() Coconut oil contains MTC-medium chain triglycerides that help protect the brain against degenerative diseases. What better time than the holidays is there to whip up your favorite macaroon recipe?! Pictured above is one of my()'Mistake Macaroons' :) that turned out to become a favorite! The recipe can be found on the blog post under Recipes titled: Coconut Macaroons? Not Exactly! Check out my adventure with my latest discovery, condensed coconut milk! Get to cookin' I smell an old fashioned coconut cake?!!!

[ Take a page out of this kitty's book and find a comfy spot to curl up and chase those z's! By the way, she has a fabulous sofa!]

While caring for others is a part of our great design, let's not forget to take care of ourselves. Apart from the aforementioned topics above, get some much needed rest and sleep (if it's at all possible LOL!), it helps rejuvenate and heal the body.

Try Dry skin brushing using a natural bristle skin brush or a firm loofa as brush your skin before bathing, it serves to wake up the Lymph System ( a large part of the bodie's immune system ) which moves toxins and waste out of our system to they don't build up and make us sick! You should brush in an upward motion and use gentle, not firm or hard scratching strokes. Dry brushing also enhances circulation, and it's invigorating and uplifting. :() What an easy and feel good way to help the body detox!

Treating yourself with gentle care and and support during those holiday blues will help get you through and hopefully lift your mood. Remember, this time will pass and we'll all be onto another, so building a good foundation of self care balanced with turning that care out to someone else will give meaning and the kind of love God gives to us and expects from us.

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