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Your lifestyle should include a sanctuary space that offers rest and refreshment…

Hello! Good Wednesday as we enter this first week of February 2024. How are you doing so far? Many that cross through my circle have beat a retreat to warmer climates; either for a quick getaway to snag some sunshine or for a full 3 month stay before coming back to the reality of winter in the northern U.S. Next year may just call for such a retreat. There are a number of reasons it just wasn’t in the cards for us. We (or I) decided to offer up this semester to do a little babysitting/homeschooling for our grandchildren. It may be the only opportunity as it sounds like three of them will be attending a classroom next fall. In addition, we are working very hard to finish some updating to our home. It needs it and it’s what we do, so we are both committed to the work. However, it feels like there is a bit of seasonal blues registering in our mood as of late. Lack of sunlight and the cold temperatures can cause a drop in the joy of a new day. It’s just so dreary and our house, albeit we love it so much, doesn’t get a lot of natural light in the living room, so lamps are generally on during the day. We love to go out for coffee, but one of the drawbacks to feeling low is that comfort food , meaning sweets like donuts and coffee cake, is very tempting. We have been working on a plant based diet and that has helped, in that we both feel better physically. We walk often first thing in the morning so that offsets the onset of a drop in mood. It’s a choice and we know how quick we can find ourselves in a funk.

I digress…the topic of this post is that your own lifestyle should include a sanctuary space so that you can also beat a retreat for some much needed relaxation. We just recently finished my office/sanctuary space and I am here to tell you that it has made a world of difference in how I practice my own self-care. As stated above, seasonal depression is a very real thing. If I am honest, it runs through my family. My sister, in fact, escaped to a very popular warm and beautiful destination for such a time as this. She has a much deeper level of seasonal depression than myself. I can offset how I feel with exercise, reading in my little office, listening to podcasts or music and sipping tea. I still have it to some degree, as stated above, but this sanctuary space has made such a positive impact. My personality is generally upbeat and positive; always has been. So, managing my symptoms is a quick fix, for the most part. Florida does sound wonderful to look forward to next year, however.

Below are a few photos of before and after of my sanctuary office/space. It is calling for a few more pieces of artwork; I am still pulling that together. I’ll post a fresh photo when I do get to adding more pieces of art.

Well, that is all for today. May you find joy in your day and be able to keep a positive outlook, wherever you find yourself this winter season. Jeanine


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