Friday, December 30, 2016

There's an app for that

At the beginning of December, I wrote a blog post all about how in preparation for getting swept up into the annual madness that is the month of December, I wanted to really double down on all of my habits and be really proactive about taking care of my health - on the cold & flu front as well, the foot front, the workout front, the mental front - all the fronts.

I'm very proud to say that, along with the indulging, joy, stress, and travel that goes along with the holidays, I've done just that.  The biggest tool for me in maintaining my routines, habits, and health has been - because it's 2016 - an app.

I downloaded the Productive App at the end of June after seeing Marc use it, and I seriously can't believe I haven't written about it yet.  I use it religiously every single day to track habits that I want to keep up with - daily habits, weekly, monthly - it's incredibly flexible in the frequency you want to set.  There are plenty of built in suggestions as well as options for you to write your own.  If you go a whole day with every single habit done, it marks it as a "perfect" day - which as an upholder, gives me a ridiculous amount of joy.   When I went back last night to look at my overall progress, I saw that December had more days marked as "perfect" than any other month since I started using it - definitely not what I expected.

January and New Year's is a time that I love - I welcome any arbitrary excuse to find a fresh start, to renew or begin good habits and become introspective.  This app - and I don't use that many - has truly helped me to end this year on solid foundation so I can look ahead and aim even higher for 2017, instead of needing to use New Year's as catch-up.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Organizations to Donate for Aleppo Aid

I had an actual topic for an actual blog post planned today, but Aleppo looms too large.  Instead, and in the spirit of this season which is coming at the end of a violent, divisive, tumultuous year, I want to put some resources all in one place if you're looking to spread some charity and goodwill toward our fellow man (and women and children).

Save the Children Federation:  Donate to the Syrian Children's Relief Fund
"Save the Children is on the ground in Syria, and is helping refugee communities throughout the region, providing Syrian children and their families with emergency care, shelters, protection, clean water and warm clothes."


The Compassion Collective:  Together Rising
Touted by Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, and Glennon Doyle Melton, this charity is specifically aiming to create a mobile hospital.  More info here

Doctors Without Borders for Syria
Donate directly via this link to this group that gives desperately needed medical aid.

Hand in Hand for Syria

As the name suggests, a hands-on organisation which prides itself working directly with Syrians inside Syria, even when other aid organisations considered it too unsafe. They had a team inside Aleppo when it was over-run by Assad loyalists last week and are still sending aid into the area


There are certainly more, but this is a great place to start.


For our birthday's this year (mine was last Tuesday, Marc's was last Thursday) we agreed that we didn't need any stuff (especially since Christmas is right around the corner!) and agreed to donate to a charity of each others' choice for our birthday's.  Marc will likely choose an environmental cause, and my original plan was to give to the Center for Reproductive Rights (which could still use our money!), but the fact that Aleppo keeps hitting bottom and sinking lower and becoming more desperate - that's now where my birthday money is going.  


Please, please, please, find something you can sacrifice out of your holiday season this year and let's put our money, resources, and prayers to where they are truly and desperately needed.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Music Share - Winter Playlist

I am 100% using my birthday, Marc's birthday, and the birthday of my client's beautiful baby all happening in one week (not to mention the rockin Karma Kids Yoga holiday party) as an excuse for not having an original blog this week.

Instead, please accept my offering of my newest playlist - songs that make me think of winter (or that just go with the songs that make me think of winter).

I'm particularly obsessed with Leslie Odom, Jr's version of Winter and his incredible new album Simply Christmas.  Check it out on Spotify!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Focus on Foundation

I'm on call for a birth right now - my first time being on call in December.  I wasn't sure what to expect, as this is the most wonderful / most completely insane time of the year, but so far I'm finding it to be an incredibly grounding force - despite the nerves and "Oh my god, I haven't looked at my phone in 20 minutes" anxiety that pops up with being on call.

For me, December isn't just about Christmas - both Marc and I have birthdays 10 and 12 days before, right on the heels of Thanksgiving - and we have two gorgeous nephews born in November and December as well.  There's always something going on, always money to spend, always places to go, always Titan Theatre Company's A Christmas Carol to go see (opening this Friday!), always a holiday party.

What being on call demands, though, is (along with sobriety!), self-care.  Getting enough sleep, staying healthy (no easy feat after a week with three snotty children over Thanksgiving, but we made it!), and keeping myself organized and ready to go is essential.

This December also marks a desperately long-awaited turning point in my recovery from my torn plantar fascia.  It was a complete shock back in August to hear that I needed to be on crutches for six weeks, and a bigger shock when I saw just how ridiculously long the recovery process was taking.  My original doctor said recovery was 6-8 weeks - and my sports medicine doctor confirmed my suspicions (after it was taking so long) that practically no one fully recovers from this injury in less than 3 months - at the absolute minimum.  And getting back to running obviously takes more time from there.

Since re-adjusting my expectations to that new time-frame, December has taken on an entirely new significance.  Now that it's here - now that I'm healthy - now that the emotional shock of the election is shifting (heaven help us) into reality - and now that I have an external obligation to take excellent care of myself - I'm finally able to see myself getting back to my life pre-injury.  Upping my physical activity not just doing my PT homework or even having a great swimming workout, but being more active overall.  And if we're being honest, here, November was spotty at best on the workout front.

As anxious as I am to get back to running - and it feels so close I can taste it, yet still far - what I really need to get back to first is a consistent, actual, strong yoga practice.  I still have to pull my punches on some standing poses, as that deep bone-bruise type heel pain is still present, but I feel I can get back to the studio - my beautiful yoga-home, The Giving Tree - and start to rebuild a strong foundation for myself.  And is there any better time than December to give yourself that gift?

The world tends to go mad in December and try to build itself back up again in January.  My intention this month is to focus, amidst the joyful noise, on rebuilding my foundations now so that come January when that frenzied New Year's energy is abundant and everyone emerges hungover and bleary-eyed and ready to live their best life because it's a new year - I'll be ready to build.  And hopefully, maybe, just maybe - ready to run.