Woman 2 Woman Magazine

Matters Of The Heart

LESS STRESS AND MORE SMILES

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Well, it’s that time of year yet again!

You just got through Thanksgiving. No time to take a breath, we are onward bound for Christmas! It’s the busiest time of the year with the pressure of high speed performance at work, making miracles happen for the kids, cooking like an Iron Chef, and slimming down so you fit into that slinky red dress your man helped pick out for HIS Christmas party!

How could any woman not lose her mind, her cool, not to mention her confidence at this time of year?

First off, let me reassure you that you are not alone. Millions of women find themselves crying more than laughing during the holiday season. There’s actually a name for this type of reaction to the holidays now. It’s called SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. About 20% of us show some degree of symptoms of this “disorder” and I suspect even Mrs. Cleaver, not to mention Mrs. Claus had her moments at one time or another. And the other 80% of us, never got surveyed, but can relate!

OK, so the researchers have put a name on it, given a list of symptoms and causes spreading from insomnia or weight gain to having shorter days and needing more Vitamin D, but what do we do about it? Do we take a vitamin that will make it all a lot easier to handle? Or do we throw in the towel and go to Bermuda for a month to avoid all the bustle? I bet a handful of my readers might be saying “sign me up!” I hear ya! But the rest of us can’t do that and want this time to be special. We just need a few hints of how to melt away the stresses, cope with the hustle, and still be able to smile at our family when we rein in the New Year.

So here’s a list of do-ables that could make your Holiday Happier and make Managing a bit more Merry:

1) Let’s all remember that those Holiday TV movies are just that……movies!

They are not reality! They are someone else’s version of a dream like wish fulfilled magical life. So keep your expectations modest. Are lights on the roof the only reason last year was fun? Or will the hot chocolate not taste as good just because you didn’t have time to get the holiday mugs from the box in the attic?

Take a drive to see the other lights in the neighborhood, and add as many marshmallows to you mug with a giggle! You will still see the joyful twinkle and your taste buds will be delighted!

By showing our children this type of behavior they learn to not expect miracles, and be much happier with what comes their way. They learn to make happy memories with experiences rather than relying on “things to be in order”, in order to enjoy the time. It’s a learned skill and you are giving them a gift just by showing this wonderful example.

Gift #1…. “Joy in the Moment” – now check it off the list!

2) Don’t be super human! This means leaning on others. Let a friend take the kids or use that coupon for take out dinner. Those roasted chickens in the deli are a life saver!

Send one beautiful email instead of 100 cards! Use the conveniences at your disposal. This makes more time for family and that’s what it’s all about!

Everyone needs a hand or an ear sometimes. Call a friend, or a life coach and talk your way out of your troubles! You may want to book an extra phone “check in”. Shed a few worries, share a few laughs about the cat tearing up the tree. It’s wonderful to have two minds working on one solution. It will remind you that you are not alone.

3) Take care of you! This has double benefits. By taking care of your body, you quiet your nerves with activity. Still thinking too much? Then give yourself a mantra to repeat. “I will let go of my worries, and let the universe provide a positive holiday for me!” “As I exercise, the universe is bringing together everything my family needs for a wonderful holiday.”

You may choose yoga, zumba, swimming or walking, any activity, but it’s time for you. Believe in the power of your positive thoughts. (They are like little elves!)

Benefit #1: Calm mind, more energy.

Benefit #2: You fit into that red dress!

4) Shop on-line, save time!

5) Keep it Short and Sweet: You have 5 parties and 3 are on the same night! Do only what you “want” to do and not what others want for you. If you can’t make each party, decline politely and promise the hostess a lunch in the new year. If you do want to go to each, set the alarm on your phone, and keep it short and sweet!

6) Make a list and stick to it! Have an extra $45 in the budget for the last minute stocking stuffers and include a few candles in the closet, wrapped and ready for those surprise visits from generous friends! Find your local discount stores, they are great!

7) BREATH! No, I mean it! It can be that simple.

Take deep cleansing breathes in, then exhale all that tension. It works and it’s so important to your well being.

Try it right now. I challenge you.

Just five deep breaths with your eyes closed. Right there at your desk. While dinner is simmering, slide to the floor. Go sit in the bathroom if you need a quiet space. Walk out to the deck. Where ever you are, make it happen! I insist!

Breath in and breath out and see how you feel after just five deep breaths.

Just a little lighter? Less tight? A little happier? A little less stressed?

Feel a little more like smiling?

Good!

Clear your mind with a short mantra, like “Love fills my days” “I excel in Life’s journey” and you have got yourself a mini-meditation!

Happy Holidays.

Tina Craig

Certified Life Coach

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