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Our economy sputters, giving us false hope and then slumping once more. Many of us have lost our jobs or have a partner or family member who has lost theirs. For some of us, it's been a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to start something new, and reevaluate our lives. For many of us, it's been nothing but a struggle.
In any case, the economy counts on our using retail therapy to calm and pacify ourselves and although we want the economy to improve, now just doesn't feel like the time to go charging up the hill with our Visa or indulging the children in our lives with something "extra" after the holidays.
Finding meaningful ways to indulge yourself that don't involve retail are crucial to the health of your soul, mind, body and wallet at this time of the year. Realizing that what you crave may go deeper than that expensive nail salon or the buttery leather jacket at the little boutique on the corner can slow you down and fill you up in ways that silky blouse never can. Also, while exercise is always at the top of everyone's list for feeling and looking better, sometimes we need things in our lives that are simply indulgent and nurture us in a different way than exercise and healthy food.
Some suggestions from the home front, things I have been doing which I am finding alarmingly nurturing and satisfying are:
* Draw. Yes, yes, that's right. No, not "create a work of art" just, draw. With a pencil, with colorful pencils if you have them, with markers or even crayons. When was the last time you just took a blank, white piece of paper and a sharpened pencil and just drew? The lack of technology involved is astounding and I've noticed that when I sit down at my dining table to draw without judging myself, just to enjoy the relaxing nature of it, my boys actually sit down and draw with me, creating some really fun family moments and interesting drawings to boot.
* Read. Okay, I know you read all day, constantly. You read the news, you read your children's homework assignments and you read to your children.