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During this time of year our noses and feet are cold, we are bundled in our heavy coats, and the weather and money can keep us feeling dull.
The winter time may bring up feelings of guilt for people that cannot afford a gift-filled, full-coursed meal, or friends and family attended holiday parties. If this sounds like you—on a budget and feeling like you need to brighten up yourself—take a look at this list of ideas to help you fill your time, and to create your days off of your screens and into some enjoyment:
1. Bake a cake.
The best thing about making a cake is that the box can cost anything from two to four dollars. (Although be careful some of Duncan Hines boxes have come into cases of Salmonella within the past few weeks.)
2. Play with your dog.
Dogs are literally always by our sides wanting to be near us. Go for a leaf crunching walk with your buddy. Teach your dog new tricks, shop online for awesome dog shirts or coats for the holidays! It runs about $25 to buy your Dog an "Puppies Against Patriarchy" T-shirt, and a simple click of a YouTube video you can spend some time teaching her/him 10 new tricks!
3. Find your creative outlet.
If you are like me, your brain requires a "Go, Go, Go" type of mentality. If I'm not writing, I'm reading self-help books, thinking about donating to a social justice organization, calling my family, checking in with friends, piecing together a puzzle, or catching up on my shows! My creative outlets include crocheting, writing poems, reading, and anything involving music. I've found a winter bucket list to complete in your pursuit of your own.
4. Send a photo and personal heartfelt letters to family and friends.
The Holidays are a season for gratefulness. We all know someone who has been a gift to our lives. Get your lighting correct, pick out your best shirt, snap a photo, and write out what your loved ones mean to you. The cost to print a photo costs cents at your local Walmart or Target. You have a sweet gift, that will warm their hearts.
5. Practice self-love.
I learned about Metta from a spiritual guide/healer that has blessed me. Along with practicing Buddhist walking meditation (where every time your foot hits the ground you kiss the earth with your feet), I also take more time throughout the day to check in with my body. If you notice where in your body feels discomfort or tight, give your body some love by greeting these feelings and soothing them with acknowledgment and change. Here is a chart to show you what different feelings may mean in your body.
Body responses such as a lump in the throat can mean sadness, headaches can mean anger, and shortness of breath can mean fear. You should take some time to explore the seven Chakras and attempt to balance them.
My advice would be to do this when you have ample time to commit to the process. YouTube has many videos about each Chakra, and how opening them will be the key to a more spiritually balanced life.
Personally, the Chakras that I have been working on me for the past year are the Throat Chakra and the Sacral Chakra. However, it's really self-love and patience that are the guide to healing all of these in their entirety.
6. Find a healthy snack.
My personal favorite are clementines. Everyday I easily peel open an clementine and enjoy the sweetness, the fresh joy of juice providing me with Vitamin C. It has also been proven that Clementine's contain foliates that improve brain health, reducing depression and everyday distress.
7. Read poetry.
One of the most beautiful gifts that anyone could give me would be a poem. I remember dabbling in poetry as a child for a Mother's Day gift for my mom and aunt. It's love in words, which is my favorite gift to give. When you think of a person, it is your way of saying I see you. It is like a lingering kiss, the taste left on your lips from the giver. Currently, I am reading Singular Bodies by Dr. Ruth L. Schwartz. Check it out on Amazon! :) There are so many poets in history, from the Queen Maya Angelou to June Jordan and Oscar Wilde. I go to the Poetry Foundation's website, and I also get a Poem-a-Day sent to my inbox! Escape into the mind of someone else's observations with poems during those cold, long nights.
As always, stay present, get your rest, and find your happiness during every season!
Much Love to All of My Readers <3