The holidays can be an extra stressful time of year. The never ending demands of holiday parties, programs, shopping, and guests can leave you feeling frazzled and fatigued. Your visions of peace and joy may run out the door when irritability and overwhelm show up to spoil your holiday fun. Give the Grinch the boot with these 5 tips for a stress-free holiday and reclaim the joy of your holiday season.
1) Have a Clear Intention of What You Want For Your Holiday Season.
Have a clear intention of how you want to feel and what you want to experience during the holidays. Your clear intention for the holiday season will help you prioritize where you spend your time, money, and energy so that you are getting what you want out of the season, rather than spending your time, money, and energy fulfilling the whims and wishes of other people.
Start each day focusing on your intention. My intention for the holidays is to feel calm and peaceful. So each morning as I spend the two-minutes brushing my teeth, I focus on having a calm and peaceful holiday and what that means to me. Starting my day with a clear sense of what I want sets the tone for the rest of my day. Start you day with a clear intention and you’ll be surprised to see what a difference this simple act will create for your holiday season.
2) Just Say “No”.
It’s very easy to feel pressure and obligation to do everything asked of you, and to attend all events and parties you are invited to. While it’s wonderful to be so popular, it’s also exhausting! The truth is there is always someone else that can manage the obligation if you don’t do it, and if not, then it probably wasn’t that important in the first place.
Saying “no” is an important boundary that many women struggle with because they feel they should be able to do anything asked of them, and they should be all things to all people. They feel guilty or inadequate if they say “no”. But saying “no” and knowing your personal limits and priorities is actually a very powerful stance to take for both yourself and the receiver. Besides, a stressed out cranky “do it all” person is no fun to be around, especially during the holidays.
If you want to win a wonder woman award then go for it – do everything. But if you really want to enjoy your holiday, enjoy the events you attend, and enjoy the people you spend time with then say “yes” to the people and events that bring you joy, and “no” to everyone and everything else. The more you practice saying “no” the easier it will become and the happier you will feel.
3) Schedule in “Me Time”.
Every day give yourself some undivided time just for you. This is sacred rejuvenating time to fill your well and connect with your soul, so protect it like you would your children. Even something as simple as 5-minutes a day of “me time” will make a tremendous difference in reducing your stress and increasing your joy.
Your “me time” can be short and simple, such as taking a walk, painting your nails, reading a book, taking a bath, or just sitting in meditative silence for a few minutes. The important thing is to stop, pause, and fill your well before re-engaging in the rest of your day. You’ll quickly see an increase in peace and energy by adding rejuvenating “me time” into your schedule. This will be one of your greatest tools for creating a stress-free holiday.
4) Taste The Season.
Holidays are filled with scrumptious smells and treats that delight all of your senses. Unfortunately these sweet delights are also high in sugar and carbohydrates that explode like nuclear bombs on your hormones and neurotransmitters. Holiday treats can trigger epic emotional rollercoaster mood swings, weight gain, and energy drains.
The holidays can be additionally stressful if you’re trying to avoid or not eat these seasonal sweets. Denying yourself the pleasure of your favorite goodies may cause you to feel cranky and might even trigger a caloric binge.
Instead of indulging in or denying all of the goodies the season has to offer, choose to savor a “taste” of your favorite holiday treats. So choose carefully what gives you the most delight and then give yourself a bite, a sip, or a savory taste and smell. Then let the sweetness linger in your memory, not on your hips, as you create a sweet stress-free holiday.
5) Savor Each Moment.
The holidays are so busy it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle; the never-ending shopping lines, freezing cold weather, and obligations galore. The excess of it all can drive anyone crazy. So keep yourself calm by focusing on the moment. What peace, joy, or delight can you find in the now. As you stand in a long shopping line think about how happy the receiver will be when they get your gift. Notice the children laughing, playing, and singing Christmas songs. Feel your gratitude from family and friends that love you.
Peace and joy can be found anywhere. But sometimes it takes focusing your attention beyond the noise to find it.
You deserve a stress-free holiday. Get more tips for a stress-free holiday in my book “Holiday Peace and Joy: Your Guide For a Happy Holiday” available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and your favorite online bookstore.
Peace and Happy Holidays to You!
Carolyn Flynn, LPC holds a Master’s degree in Counseling with additional studies in Nutrition and Holistic Health. She provides a unique blend of mind-body solutions to create health, happiness, and loving relationships. She is a strategist, problem-solver, and intuitive guide. She believes every woman deserves to feel beautiful, serene, and happy. She is committed to helping women create lives they love. She is the author of SMART Talk, Heal Your Grief, and Holiday Peace and Joy.
By Carolyn Almendarez
One of the most vulnerable dangers for gaining unwanted excess weight is relationship conflict.
Relationship conflict is any form of friction, discord, struggle, incompatibility, dissonance, disagreement, argument, or debate between two people.
Anyone who’s had a fight or argument with their spouse or significant other knows first hand the spiral of highly charged negative thoughts, feelings and actions that often follow in response to the environmental stressor or person you are engaging with.
The negative thoughts and emotions from relationship conflict can trigger emotional eating, stress-eating, and sleep deprivation. They can also hog up a lot of emotional and psychological energy impairing your ability to think clearly and work productively.
A single conflict can trigger an avalanche of unhealthy reactions in your thoughts and behaviors, and trigger a cascade of stress-reactions within your body, all of which will contribute to impaired sleep, poor eating habits, increased weight, and decreased work performance and productivity.
In your emotional pain you might turn to Ben and Jerry, Orville Redenbacher, or the Red Baron to soothe your emotional wounds. While these men might give you some temporary comfort, they will also leave you with a lot of unwanted baggage that’s hard to get rid of.
Emotional eating can compound the negative effects of relationship conflict with additional feelings of guilt and negativity about yourself and your body for indulging in high-fat, sugary or processed foods.
In addition, women tend to think in terms of relationships, so it is especially unsettling and distracting to our minds and thought processes when there is conflict in our primary relationships.
But what happens physiologically when you experience relationship conflict?
When you have conflict with your spouse, significant other, or other important relationship your body triggers the internal emergency stress-response system, physically preparing you to fight or flee the danger-provoking situation. But most relationship conflicts are emotional and verbal, not physical. So what does this mean?
When the body detects any kind of perceived threat or stress it triggers a cascade of emergency hormonal and neurotransmitter signals sending your blood and energy to your outer limbs and increasing the production and storage of fat so that you have plenty of energy to fight or flee the stress-producing situation.
The whole stress-response process is designed to give the body the maximum amount of fuel and energy to fight or flee. This was a great survival technique when we were up against saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths. But our modern society of constant emotional and psychological stress requires a clear thinking mind to resolve the stressors, not extra fat for fuel.
So the more stress you are under the more fat your body is producing and retaining in an effort to protect you from the perceived threats and dangers. Relationship conflict always triggers the stress-response system and the production of extra fat. Professional women are especially vulnerable to stress-related weight gain from professional and personal relationship conflicts.
Balancing work and relationships can be an emotional challenge for the success driven professional woman. Conflict, arguments, not feeling heard, and lack of support from your spouse or significant other can really put a strain on your love life, your business success, and your weight.
In the SMART Relationship Communication program I walk you though the steps to resolve relationship conflict, get your feelings heard, and build trust and intimacy in your relationship. All of these processes provide ways to de-stress and give your body the all-clear message to release unwanted excess weight.
No one is immune to the affects of relationship conflict and stress, but with training and practice you can minimize the negative impact they can have on your life, relationships, waistline, and business. The SMART Relationship Communication program teaches you the skills and tools to vanquish the negative effects of relationship conflict.
The SMART Relationship Communication Program will not only help you to prevent excessive weight gain, but it can help you improve your sleep, improve your eating patterns, and most importantly improve your relationships.
Go to http://CarolynAlmendarez.com/smart to learn more and start improving your waistline and relationships today!
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