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  1. Monica the timing of my reading of this post is ideal. Yesterday I woke up early. First day of vacation. Watched It’s a Wonderful Life. Had this very strong desire to go to the gym….went biking with hubby instead (80 degree Fl weather). Afternoon concert with my mom immediately followed by two parties last night. I feel like my need today is to regroup. As a counselor self care is in the core of our profession (challenging for sure). The meditation cards were helpful Thanksgiving. In need of a daily dose of spiritual connection. My goal this break. 🙂

  2. Penny Nakamura says:

    AMEN! Monica, you nailed it! Great Advice!

  3. Loving #6 tonight, Monica! My ladies’ group and I have been focusing on stillness topic this month, and I just downloaded the awesome meditation cards…thank you for putting those together; I’m totally using them. In Minneapolis the snow has arrived…it’s breathtaking to stand still and watch the snowflakes fall…slowly feel the snow sink under your boots. (Similar to feeling the sand beneath my toes and listening to the ocean waves when we lived in CA – you can relate to that one better!) Merry Christmas 🙂

  4. These tips are so good! I homeschool my four kids (like you!) and my husband and I have a church plant we’ve recently started, so it’s really hard for me to do all the Christmas work + homeschool + regular life and still be sane! So this year I declared December to be “Christmas School.” We’re having a very relaxed month of Christmas prep instead of the regular school subjects, and I’m finding that I’m really enjoying every day rather than trudging through a to do list that’s exhausting. I am pretty certain this will be an annual tradition. I just wish I’d figured this out when my oldest was in kindergarten! (He’s a freshman. Ha!)

    1. Oh Sarah I love that so much! I would love to try that too, I’m just not sure how I could swing it with the curriculums we use where we know exactly which lesson we need to be on to finish the school year at a reasonable time…I’d be willing to sacrifice quite a bit for a relaxed December! Way to go for it. You’ll never regret it! 🙂 XO

  5. I really appreciate this reminder, Monica! After staying up into the wee hours of the morning 3 days in a row- I crashed before 9pm last night-getting nothing done. I bet a little time for self care might have made a much better week. Now, when to fit in a date night?

  6. Thanks, Monica, I needed this reminder. On top of the holidays, my older son is going through some emotional challenges, aka he’s 11 and starting the teen stuff early, so parenting has been hard this month so far. I can’t choose his attitude for him, so I’m praying that God will guard his heart and mind and guide him. And give me the strength to be unpopular with consequences. My fear of him shutting down and our relationship being damaged is very real. I’m too empathetic for my own good and need to do some toughening up myself. Anyway, I’m going to make a conscious effort for self-care and foster my relationship with that cute man who calls himself my husband, so we can do this hard parenting together. Merry Christmas to the Swansons!

    1. I am hoping your kindness and clear boundaries will be gifts to your son!

    2. Oh Paige…I hear you. I read recently (and of course forget where!) that the 11-13 yr. old stage may be harder on boys than the teenage years. I can see why–it’s a very confusing and changing time. Hang in there. And you’re right to do what you can (though it’s hard) to not walk in fear. Setting an example in your own attitude and consistently is often the best thing you can do. Be strong–and absolutely plan that date night! 🙂 Much love to you…