Every year my son’s adapted school puts on the annual holiday concert. There are many things that are beautiful about it, from the many holiday songs, religious and secular, to the combination of singing and sometimes dancing, to the beautiful sets that take time and lots of creativity to produce. Each year, I make sure to have lots of Kleenex with me for the performance that the primary team (young elementary school kids), have been practicing weeks for. This year, the magic was no different. It was you could say, the start of my own holiday spirit. Hearing the kids belting out old classic Christmas carols was nothing short but phenomenal, especially since most of these children with special needs have trouble communicating period. But as his Mom, what stood out the most for me, of course, was Michael singing. This year he sang his little heart out over the microphone. The whole gym could hear him loud and clear singing “You’d Better Watch Out” and “Frosty the Snowman”. Teachers and friends came up afterward to comment and say what a great voice he had. I thought to myself, “look how confident he is up on stage. He has really come into his own. And I need to continue to encourage that.” I really believe he was born to be a performer, and channeled in the right direction, will do great things with this gift. But, I also realized that by believing in him, I have to continue believing in myself and my abilities and strengths, and mirror that to my son. We all have gifts and talents to bring to the world. And we only feel truly alive when we do that. Sagging energy levels can take that away though, especially at this time of year with viruses, other holiday stresses, and the dark short days. What are your re-energizing tips to stay in balance for you and your family? Below are my 5 (and sometimes a 6th is added in, i.e. early afternoon power nap when I can manage it. 🙂
5 Tips to Re-Energize Myself:
1) Yoga and Meditation-20 to 30 minutes in the am. My favorite site is http://www.tarabrach.com that a fellow friend, yoga teacher and special needs Mom told me about, but there are tons on You Tube. Check em out!
2) Zumba or a brisk walk outside (preferably morning for me, but sometimes right before the bus brings him home at 3:30 works too!)
3) Writing and journaling either through poetry or just writing down what you’re grateful for in that moment. Take five minutes a day and you’ll see the difference in your mood by the end of the week!
4) Curling up with a good magazine-I love Oprah’s O, Today’s Parent, a literary magazine, or a great nonfiction or fiction book, and a coffee or wine (or sometimes tea) and taking a half hour off.
5) Listening to relaxation or jazz music or singing while I do the mundane household chores. It sparks my creativity and usually I end up writing a slew of poems or working on another writing piece.
Whatever it is that charges you up, it’s important you take care of yourself in this way. A strong Mom is a strong child and family. I And you want to send that message of love, hope and strength to your child and extended family. It’s only by living a whole live that you’re truly living, after all.
Until next time…