Taking Care of Yourself This Holiday Season

So often we take care of everything and everyone but ourselves during the holidays. I know, because I’m a poster child for trying to do too much. Right now, I’ve got a miserable cold, and I suspect it’s from getting too little sleep and working too many hours.

The question seems eternal: “How do we care for ourselves, especially during the holiday season?”

One way is to listen to our needs, to make time for us. For those of us who work at home–especially those of us who are writers–it can be especially tempting to work around the clock and on weekends. That seems like a great way to get ahead, but eventually we pay the price in loss of enthusiasm, or burnout.

Making time for yourself pays dividends because it keeps you healthy in mind, body, and spirit. I find that crafting for others not only results in gifts that I like to give, but it also allows me a sliver of meditation space, time for myself.

With that in mind, I’m offering a FREE gift with the purchase of my new book, Handmade, Holiday, Homicide. The gift includes instructions, patterns, and images for thirteen crafty projects. Some are appropriate to do with children; some aren’t. All are thrifty and don’t require special equipment.

Here’s the list:

* A trio of Christmas Carolers
* An Icosahedron Ornament
* Crocheted Necklace
* A Snowman Luminaria
* A Spa Basket

Scented bath crystals are relaxing and help you sleep at night.

* Fantasy Jars
* A Turtle Trinket Keeper
* Gingerbread Men
* A Quilted Glasses Case
* A Scrapbook Album in a Folder
* A Dollhouse in a 3-Ring Binder
* Mini Book Earrings
* A Book Garden

Included with the FREE gift are six yummy recipes!

But hurry…these are only available if you purchase your copy of Handmade, Holiday, Homicide on or before December 15, 2014 (the release date).

Grab your copy today:  http://www.amazon.com/Handmade-Holiday-Homicide-Lowenstein-Scrap-N-Craft-ebook/dp/B00PA26YL2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417791560&sr=8-1&keywords=Handmade+Holiday+Homicide

The Nurse Is In! An Introduction to Sally

By Sally Lippert

Who are you?
How many
identities do you have? Most of us women have multiple identities–and we aren’t talking “the many faces of Eve” or Sybil. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, wives and friends. But many of us also have a professional identity.
My primary
identity has always been as a nurse. 
Remember the Candy Stripers? I was one! I loved it so much that I decided to become a real, live nurse. 
I started working in critical care, and then after watching three family members pass peacefully at home, I decided to change to hospice care. It really is a 24/7 job because everyone comes to you for medical
advice. The diversity of end-of-life experiences is fascinating. It was by far the most rewarding portion of my career!
Despite all those years of caring for others, I neglected to think of my own health as a priority. And that’s a lesson I want to share with all of you. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first, or we won’t be around to care for others. When our whole identity is being a caregiver, it’s hard to imagine ourselves being on the receiving end.
Women and heart disease…
Women tend to ignore the symptoms of heart disease. I know I did! And that’s why heart
disease is the #1 cause of death for us. 
Why is heart disease killing so many of us women? 
1. Because we ignore the symptoms…as I did. We’re so busy taking care of other people that we put ourselves last.
2. Because our vessels are smaller, we
become complacent about indigestion, nagging back discomfort between the
shoulder blades, and pressure in the chest. These are all symptoms of heart problems.
3. And because our pain tolerance is higher, we let things go too long. We suffer more than we should. After all, most of us have gone through labor and delivery, and so we’ve experienced pain “up close and personal.” 
Men are more
dramatic with their symptoms like  the sensation of an “elephant on their chests” and profuse
Most doctors tend to ignore women who complain of vague
symptoms–and our symptoms usually are vague! It took me multiple physicians, tests and practically begging doctors
to recognize that I am not a hypochondriac. Unfortunately by the time I received
proper treatment, my declining heart function left me unable to return to my identity as a nurse.
A new identity…and benefits to you!
Now Joanna is
helping me find a new identity as I adjust to my physical limitations. This is
how I have become Joanna’s Virtual Assistant because she allows me to help her
as my health permits. Plus I get to read all the books I can, which never
happened before.
Every Tuesday, I
will blog about a health issue (can’t let all the nursing knowledge go to
waste, can I?) Let me know if there is a topic you would like to hear about and
I will write about it, along with answering your comments.
I am looking forward to
my new identity — and to getting to know all of you better!