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Self Care During the Holidays: 10 Tips

Self care during the holidays is essential if you want to stay sane. Getting seriously stressed out, experiencing emotional breakdowns, having conflicts with family members and getting sick may not be the technical definition of insanity, but if these things happen due to lack of self care during the holidays, then you might FEEL as if you were going insane.

10 Tips for Self Care During the Holidays

 

1. Get enough sleep.  When you’re sleep deprived you’re irritable and prone to overwhelm, so negative emotions are much more easily triggered. You’re low on energy and not able to deal effectively with life’s normal challenges.Your immune system becomes challenged leaving you open to getting sick. Fatigue will cause you to reach for high sugar, high carb foods, making you feel even worse.

2. Avoid overdosing on sugar. Although sugar may give you a short term boost, the following drop in blood sugar can result in depression, anxiety , fatigue, irritability and mood swings. Other possible side effects from sugar overload: yeast infections, backaches, indigestion, bloating, eczema and frequent colds. Click here to read more.

3. Be mindful when you drink alcohol. Self care during the holidays does not include getting a DUI, throwing up in your boss’s bathroom, getting into a verbal or physical conflict, saying things you later regret, or waking up with a pounding hangover.  The amount of alcohol that causes intoxication is enough to suppress your immune system, leaving you open to colds, viruses or worse.

4. Drink lots of water. All the benefits of drinking water are too plentiful to list here. Remember that if you don’t drink water you will die. Seriously. Drink enough water and you’ll have less headaches, joint pain, constipation, crankiness and weight gain.

5. Wash your hands. It’s cold outside. Everyone is in the house. Some folks are carrying around flu and cold viruses but aren’t sick yet. Think about all the handshaking,  fingers in mouths, sneezing and coughing that goes on at a typical holiday party. Before you eat, always wash your hands.

5. Eat whole foods. Whole foods are foods that resemble how they grow in nature, which means unprocessed or minimally processed. These types of foods are nutrient rich and contribute to a healthy body. They keep your immune system strong and help keep you disease free.

6. Move your body. The benefits of consistent movement of your body are long and lasting. Improved mood, increased energy, better sleep, more fun, better sex, calmer mind, less stress, the list goes on and on. It could be walking a few minutes a day or going to the gym. Just do something.

7. Take breaks and days off.  Taking some days off to shop, wrap, renew or rest is essential to self care during the holidays. One way to deal with stress is to have regular periods of down time. Regular breaks during working hours can give you better memory, improved concentration, and increased creativity.

8. Nurture yourself. What fills you up? What makes you feel like life is worth living? What activities  can you do that could give you peak experiences? Self care during the holidays means giving to yourself all the good, juicy, healthy, happy stuff that you can.

9. Lower your expectations. A lot of unhappiness and frustration comes from having expectations about the holidays and not having them met to your satisfaction. Understand that people and circumstance change and that self care during the holidays might mean having to accept what shows up. The quickest way to insanity is to invest a lot of emotion into wanting what is, to be what it is not.

10. Find your own meaning. Ultimately, you are responsible for your holiday experience.You can be swept along by things and situations that hold no meaning for you, or you can you find something significant about this time of year that resonates with your deepest feelings and values. Remember that nothing has any meaning other than what you give it.

If you need help with your self care during the holiday season, you can contact me by clicking here. 

You are worth  self care during the holidays, aren’t you?

Ted

p.s. Did I leave anything out about self care during the holidays? If you think I did, please let me know in the comment section.

How to Stay Sane During the Holidays

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We all know that it can be hard to stay sane during the the holidays! They can be quite stressful.

There’s money anxiety: “How am I going to be able to afford buying gifts?

There’s family: “I just hope we don’t get into a big argument!”

There’s travelling: “Flying isn’t so much fun anymore.”

There’s food: “I hope I don’t gain a ton of weight!”

And of course, there’s parties: “He go SO drunk last year!!”

Anyone of these by themselves or in any combination can make us crazy. So how do we stay sane during the holidays?

The key to remaining sane during the holidays.

Stay awake! That’s the key. By that, I mean stay conscious and aware of what’s going on within you and without you. Understand that in your journey through the holiday season there will be situations that trigger emotions, reactions and responses. Stay connected to how you are feeling, observe the story you are telling, and be aware of what you are thinking. With this kind of awareness,  you can make powerful choices that serve you and help you stay sane during the holiday season.

For example, say you feel sad during the holidays. That’s a good thing to be aware of: “I have a tendency to feel sad during the holidays.” Accept that about you, but don’t make it mean anything other than you’re a human with emotions. Making up a story about it would be ” I’m such a terrible person for feeling sad during the holidays.” Don’t do that!

Perhaps you can take some quiet time to explore these feelings and bring awareness to them, maybe by journaling or sharing your feelings with someone you trust. Why do you feel sad? Perhaps you lost someone at the holidays. Maybe you feel lonely at the holidays. Allow yourself to feel and give yourself permission to express those feelings. Stay present and understand that it’s ok to feel sad.Then make a conscious choice. You may choose to have a good cry. Or, you may decide that you are going to spend as much time as you can with people you like and love.

Insanity during the holidays comes from not wanting to deal with what is. Remaining sane during the holidays means looking at what is squarely in the eye and making a choice as to how to deal with it. For example: “I hate that the holidays are so commercialized!” But the fact is that they are commercialized and that you are the hater! Choose to do your holidays in a way that is meaningful and significant for you.

Another example is insane stress during the holidays. You must first have an awareness that this isn’t working for you anymore. Then acknowledge your ability to choose your holiday experience.  It could be as simple as getting more sleep, taking supplements or not letting your exercise program fall by the way side. It could be a choice not to over commit your time or energy. Or it could be the decision to do all your shopping online or not shop at all.

Take some time now to be aware of:

  • What staying sane during the holidays would look like for you
  • Who you really want to be with during the holidays
  • What  you really want to do during the holidays

In addition, get clear about:

  • Where you are not sane during the holidays every year
  • Expectations that are thwarted every year
  • People that are not healthy for you to be around during the holidays

Then decide what you’re going to do to have the holiday experience you want and DO IT.

To stay sane during the holidays always remember that it’s YOUR holiday movie. You get to direct it and say who’s in it and how the story goes or not even make a holiday movie. It’s up to you to make it something you enjoy sitting through.

Ted

p.s. Need some help staying sane during the holidays? Click here to contact me for a free phone consultation.

It’s Better to Be Grateful than Dead

Grateful

Why do we have only one day a year dedicated to giving thanks? If it was up to me, we would have Thanksgiving day once a week, (minus the huge feast). Think about it: if you lived 80 years, having Thanksgiving day once a year would give you 80 days when you were reminded to be grateful. If you had it every week, you’d have 4,160 days reminding you to make to be grateful. Think that would make a difference in your life? I do.

What’s so great about being grateful? Well, try going a whole week without saying thank you or being appreciative for anything. Complain loud and incessantly that whole week. Walk around with a feeling of entitlement, that the world owes you, and see how you feel. Compare and despair while bemoan what you don’t have. (What? You’re doing already that? You better call me immediately at 626-826-0612 or click here and I’ll give you 25 bucks off your next session.)

Gratitude is not just an attitude, it’s an energy that you generate. If you’re looking for it, you might feel it driving down the freeway in the shadow of beautiful mountains painted in red by the setting sun, or standing outside at night freezing your buns off awash in the glory of a full moon. It make take some practice generating that grateful attitude until you’re feeling  moments of bliss on a regular basis, but believe me, it’s worth it.

Being grateful is not just something you say or think, it’s a feeling that sustains you through the tough times, or gives you the icing when you’ve got your cake and you’re eating it too.

Everything looks better, feels better, works better when you’re grateful. Feeling grateful feels good. Feeling good is good for you, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We know that prolonged negative feelings can adversely impact health. And really, feeling thankful as a way of life is not that hard to do.

Taking it grateful instead of for granted.

I recently had a health scare with one of my children. More like a health terror, because that’s what it felt like. It put me in a place where all I wanted to do was hold both of them tightly and never let go. All of a sudden, their noisiness was not so noisy, their messiness not so messy. What a small price to pay to be able to kiss them while they sleep. I don’t every want to take them for granted; I hope I can always feel blessed that they are in my life.

Sometimes you really get that Life is fragile and unpredictable. One second too soon or a minute too late and there’s a funeral, or some other tragedy, loss or catastrophe. Anything can be taken from you at any time. I appreciate my grandmothers and grandfathers so much more now that they are gone than I ever did when they were alive. Didn’t really appreciate my siblings and parents until I was far, far away from them.

Maybe you need to go through some tough times to really appreciate the  blessings that have been bestowed upon you. My advice is: don’t wait for that to happen.

Every time I see a person sitting at a bus stop in the freezing cold or blazing heat, I’m thankful I have a car. With air conditioning and a heater. I know what it’s like to be cold, hungry, lonely and broke, so now that I’m warm, well fed and surrounded by my family, I’m feeling most of the time like life is grand.

There may be some dead that are grateful aside from Jerry Garcia and the band, but maybe the highest form of gratitude you can have is feeling lucky to be alive.

To be alive means you can be grateful. You get to have that chance. For your sake, take it. You’ve been given the fertile ground to plant and harvest the seeds of gratitude before that ground becomes your bed. Be thankful. For   every    single   little   thing.

(If you’re having trouble feeling the love as the holiday season approaches and you need some help, contact me by clicking here for a free 30 minute phone session.)

Ted A. Moreno
 
Photo by Skye Moorhead
www.skyemoorhead.com
 

Sometimes You Just Need to Let Go

Me Risking Life and Limb in Tucson AZ in 1984

Me Risking Life and Limb in Tucson AZ in 1984

During my  “cowboy” phase, while living in Arizona, I decided to try my hand at rodeo. I made up my mind to do bareback bronc riding.

This is where a rider gets on a horse (or bronc) whose only desire is to buck the bronc rider off.

With only one hand, the rider hangs on to a “rigging”, which is a handle, like on a suitcase, attached to a leather strap strapped around the horse.  To hang on, the rider wears a glove  that fits tightly into the rigging handle, secured with resin (sticky) powder. The goal is to stay on for eight seconds.

I practiced for a while on a wooden sawhorse with a rigging attached and two buddies at either end bouncing it up and down. Thinking I was ready, I went to the practice arena one night and paid ten bucks for my chance to ride a wild bronc.

My legs felt like jelly as I lowered myself onto the horse in the chute. I  jammed  my gloved hand into the rigging. Out in the arena, the pick- up man waited on his horse. The pick-up man’s job is to rescue the rider from the bronc after his eight seconds.

I nodded my head to signal that I was ready. The chute opened.  Eleven hundred pounds of horse rocketed into the arena with 130 lbs of  me  attached to it.

About 3 seconds too late, I realized that I had no business being on that horse. I was getting tossed like a rag doll in a clothes dryer.

The pick up man, seeing that I was a lost cause,  rode up next to us on the right. I started to climb onto his horse. I got half way there with one leg on when he yelled “Take your hand out of the rigging!”

In all the excitement, I had forgotten to take my left hand out of the handle of the rigging. My hand was stuck tight with resin, on the other horse, all nice and cozy, the way it was supposed to be.  Except now, it wasn’t supposed to be.

All I could do was climb back onto the bronc. After a few more bone-rattling bucks, I got my hand free and he gleefully sent me flying.

After I got all the dirt out of my mouth, and with some sense pounded into me, I decided to do horses a favor and end my rodeo career.

Sometimes you just need to let go. 

The past year is just about gone. Soon a new year will come. Things come and things go. That’s life, isn’t it?

But sometimes, caught up in the excitement (or routine) of life,  we forget that we are still holding on when we should have let go a long time ago. We can end up being dragged along by our involvement, shaken to and fro by our choices, or being owned by our physical and psychological “stuff.”

As hard as it might be, there are times when the best thing to do is let go and get off.  This is how you make yourself available for a new ride. This is how you allow new, (maybe better) stuff to come in.

Are you aware of something that needs to be released from your life, now?

  • Material things you don’t use or need
  • A job
  • A relationship
  • A desire  (like trying to ride horses that don’t want to be ridden)
  • Guilt or regret
  • A tradition
  • A belief
  • A habit

At this time of the year, trees shed their leaves as Nature prepares to create anew. Why can’t you?

Ted

I’m Grateful I’m Not A Turkey, 2011

turkey

Here’s my gratitude list for 2011, you can click here if you’re interested in reading my 2009 list.

I’m grateful:

  • that my feet aren’t any bigger than they are. (Give me a break, I’m just getting warmed up here…)
  • that my wife is a good cook.
  • that in spite of that I still look kind of skinny.
  • for my wife who loves me and has my back.
  • for my six year old who teaches me to walk the talk.
  • for my four year old who teaches me that every impatient thing I tell her she will eventually say back to me. Read more