Archive for the ‘stress’ Category

In the darkness of our lives flower some of our most important values.  I know when I lost 6 close relatives and 2 friends over a period of 3 years, my inner values morphed into a whole new and wonderful rudder to steer my life.  Trivialities became trivialities, humor softened the blow of loss and helped cement closeness with those left behind.  My new and unquenchable thirst to be present and feel the breeze on my cheeks and the soil under my feet propelled me forward, to never look back.

Do you know what your inner values are?  If you do, can people around you know what they are by your actions?  When we make decisions based on our values, our step becomes lighter, our voice softer, our ears bigger and our heart is more open.  Take some time and write your  values.  Do it now, live life fully and be true to yourself.

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I came to the library today to work in the quiet.  Well, it is under construction and guess what, it’s not quiet.  After moving twice, without much success, I started getting stressed.  Then I decided to act, not react and I asked the librarian for a quiet place to work and viola, here I am in my own private room!

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1. TURN OFF THE TV AND ALL NEWS UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS.  The news and subsequent advertising will inundate you  with messages of who you should be and what you should be doing and buying over the holiday.

Take back your life and decide for yourself who you are, how you will spend your money  and how you will spend your time.

Think about eliminating the word “should” during this time of the year and substituting it with ideas of “this might be helpful” or “this seems like a good solution” or “this is a possibility”  it will take of some of the pressure.

2. DELAY HOLIDAY VOLUNTEERING UNTIL ANOTHER TIME OF THE YEAR Someone who once worked in a nursing home told me the staff hated the Christmas season.  They would be inundated with so many volunteers, it was difficult for them to work then as soon as the holidays were over, people stopped volunteering,  leaving the residents feeling abandon and alone.

People who benefit from volunteer services need volunteers year round, not just during the holiday season.  Make a commitment to do some volunteer work on a specific day later on in the year when people most need it, not when the world says you should volunteer just because it is a holiday.

3. TAKE THE BEST FROM  YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE AND LEAVE THE REST Christmas time is not the only time to delve into your religious or spiritual beliefs.  Make the commitment to give your particular spiritual path the same amount of engagement every day of the year, no less or more at Christmas, the same amount daily, year round.  You will be much happier.

4. SPEND CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE WOODS One of my happiest adult Christmas Days  was  hiking in the woods with friends.  No presents, no huge meal to cook, no pretense just good company, friendship and the outdoors.  It was amazingly peaceful.

5. KEEP SHOPPING TO MINIMUM AND USE CASH ONLY It is so tempting to go out and buy buy buy.  The retail industry sets us up to believe this is the only time of the year we can get things on sale or at a discount  (of course if you turn of the media, you won’t fall into this trap).  Keep a designated amount of cash on hand that you plan to spend on holiday shopping and only spend that amount.  How much stuff do we really need anyway?


Make a conscious effort to listen to and appreciate others between now and Christmas.

Have you ever felt down and then a friend visited with you, listened, appreciated you and then made you laugh?  Then you know what I mean.

We get so caught up in what we should be doing and buying we sometimes forget the basics of the best present of all, friendship.

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“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), Indian Political and Spiritual Leader

Write down your core values.  Be very specific.  Review your behavior every night.  Did you live  by your core values?  If you do this daily, you will become SO much more relaxed.  Remember to infuse lots of good humor and compassion for your self and others.

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