It’s almost time! We're in the last week before Christmas, with the last mad rush of shopping and baking and parties upon us.
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to escape the hectic nature of the season. Besides the hustle and bustle of holiday activity, world events keep many of us feeling stressed, bewildered, and hopeless. It's safe to say the energy this year is different than in years past.
How do we cope? Especially in the face of events over which we have no control?
This has been a personal struggle of mine for years. The holidays have often been less fun as they could be for me because of the stress they bring with them. I usually want to simply curl up under the covers and hide all month. However, my struggles a few years ago with adrenal fatigue and the debilitating symptoms that accompanied it forced me to seek more balance in all areas of my life: diet, physical activity, sleep, time management, and especially mindset. It's a daily challenge to find balance in all these areas (and admittedly, I still struggle), but I NEVER want to feel that bad again.
As I said, I’m not perfect, but over the years I’ve cultivated some practices that have helped me keep my energy more balanced and my stress low. I share these tips below in hopes they’ll help you too, not only to get through the holidays, but to actually ENJOY them.
Do you have any tips or practices that help you through your holidays or other stressful times? Reply to this email or head over to my Facebook group and join the conversation!
Love and light,
It’s that time of year again. The holidays. It's one of my favorite times of year, yet it also can bring with it a great deal of stress.
I love the decorations and music, time off with my children, and visiting family. I love the sights and sounds that accompany Christmas, and especially the traditions. We pick out a live tree, the kids trim the house in a nauseating array of snowmen, glass figurines, poinsettias, and lights. We bake sugar cookies and the kids take great pride in creatively decorating each individual one with homemade icing and sprinkles.
At the same time, I have so much internal pressure to accomplish my to-do list that I tend to overbook myself, both physically and energetically. I stress about finding the most perfect, thoughtful present for each person. I spread myself too thin with arbitrary activities and deadlines. I try to fit everything into a short span of time, while neglecting my self-care for fear of neglecting something else that’s just as important. In no time, I feel overwhelmed, irritable, and exhausted. I start canceling plans, shuffling commitments around, and feeling like a human game of Tetris.
Do you do that too? Or do you have holiday stress conquered? Let’s share our best tips and tools for staying grounded and peaceful this holiday season!
This week, our focus is on how to make ourselves a priority in spite of all we have to accomplish. Below are eight tips to remind you to take care of your whole self: body, mind, and spirit!
Love & light,
There seems to be no escape from stressful people these days. In our busy and interactive world, we’re connected all the time, which often puts us in connection with people who just seem to make us CRAZY. Spend any time on social media or watching the news during election season, and you’re likely to feel stressed out as a result of all the varying and sometimes volatile opinions. At work, there’s always that one person who rubs you the wrong way, and yet you can’t escape if you want to keep your job (but what about your sanity?). Even in families, there are people who we struggle to deal with in a productive way. And let’s face it, it’s always their fault!
Most people don’t actually set out to ruin anyone else’s day. They’re just going about their business, doing their own thing, and acting naturally for them. However, we all have invisible triggers. Often we don’t even know they exist until some person comes along and activates it. We get cut off in traffic. Our co-worker interrupts us – again. Our spouse forgets to pay the electricity bill. And boom – we’re triggered.
Like with any stress, our body goes into fight or flight mode. And what do we usually do? We blow up, hold it in, or resort to snarky retorts. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really process out the stress because it doesn’t deal with the trigger at hand. Plus, we’re secretly (or not-so-secretly) still blaming the person who we feel started it in the first place.
So what’s the answer??
Well, we all know it’s not easy to make people to change. No witty meme has ever changed someone’s political beliefs. Snarky comments rarely make spouses or children more motivated to get something done. And we’ll probably never again see that person who clearly drives like a life-endangering maniac.
The difficult truth is that the only real control we have in situations with most stressful people is to change how WE handle the situation. As much as we feel like the stressful people are that way because of some deficit in their character, our only recourse is to evaluate our own triggers and then to set clear personal boundaries.
Boundaries are an area where many of us struggle. Many of us are kind, giving, conflict-avoiders and being crystal clear about what we will and will not accept from other people can be difficult (myself included). If we even set boundaries, choosing how to react in a healthy way when someone violates them is often difficult because it’s a skill that takes practice to learn.
But what if there was a tool that would prevent some of those stressful people from ever approaching you in the first place? There is, and it involves working with your own energetic boundaries.
Really, setting boundaries is all about personal energy anyway. Here’s an example. Years ago when I was single, I liked to go out with other single girlfriends. Sometimes, I was open to meeting potential dates and other nights I was just wanted to get out and enjoy a night with friends. I started to notice that when I projected an energy of being open, men approached me. And when I wasn’t feeling it, they didn’t approach (well most of the time….there’s always that one guy who ignore all the signs). This was long before I started doing energy work but I recognized that I could turn my energy on and off like a neon sign. I actually started to visualize a sign above my head when I went out that energetically projected my intentions for the evening.
Setting boundaries to ward off stressful people is like holding a neon sign above your head that says “I’m not open to stress.” When we have a daily practice to energetically protect ourselves from the energies of other people, we create an invisible bubble around us that helps to prevent much of the interpersonal stress that gets our triggers going.
And who doesn’t want less stress?
In my upcoming program, “Simple Self Healing,” we’ll explore boundaries in more depth. We’ll practice how to create and use your energetic bubble on a daily basis to form strong boundaries and ward off unwanted energies. We’ll discuss how you can cut cords with people who are too embedded in your energy to be repelled just by a bubble. And we’ll review a variety of additional techniques to help you shield yourself and strengthen your boundaries.
Are you ready to deal with those stressful people in your life more effectively? Then join me on
Love and light,
Like pain, stress is endemic in our society. In many cases, the pain may even be caused or exacerbated by stress. You see, when we have stressful experiences, we have physical, mental, emotional, and often even spiritual reactions. Our body goes into fight or flight and releases chemicals in order to get prepared for action. Our mind either races with thoughts and worries, or becomes laser-focused on the task at hand. Like with our thoughts, we either experience a wide range of emotional responses, or one or two very powerful feelings, like peace, anger, or sadness. Our spiritual response may include a loss or increase in faith, a sense of cloudiness or confusion, tiredness or lack of energy.
None of these stress responses are inherently bad. In fact, they’re all very normal and represent how our system is made to function when we experience stressful events. The problem comes in when we don’t process through these experiences, when they stay in our bodies because we don’t give ourselves any time to rest or to grieve or to actually experience and identify what’s really going on. When we simply power through, we rob ourselves of the gift of healing, of being able to ready our bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits for the next stressful event. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to build up a set of tools and internal process that will help us to navigate stress when it inevitably comes again.
Over time, our lack of helpful stress responses results in our inability to handle much, if any, stress at all. We’re constantly fatigued, wired, on the edge, waiting for the next shoe to drop (and subsequently praying that it doesn’t), drinking too much, not sleeping nearly enough, suffering with undiagnosable body aches and pains, and more. We’ve spiraled into a life hindered by the effects of poorly managed stress , and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s much more difficult to get out of the spiral than it is to get into it. Prevention is key.
The good news is that there is ONE single activity that can both help you prevent the stress spiral AND help get you out of it if you’re already there. You hear about it all the time: MEDITATION.
I feel the shivers and the heads shaking. I can actually hear the excuses reasons now why you can’t possibly meditate…
“I can’t sit still that long…”
“It’s too hard. I can’t switch my mind off….”
“I don’t have time…”
“I’ll just fall asleep, what’s the benefit of that?”
“It scares me…”
I know these reasons very well because I’ve used them all (and more) over the last 5 years to avoid meditation. And even now, I still struggle to keep a regular meditation practice. However, I can attest to the fact that meditation has been instrumental in helping pull me out of adrenal fatigue and catapult my healing and intuitive abilities to the next level.
Why does something so good for us seem so difficult? Well, often change is scary. We’re stressed for reasons that we don’t like and that make us miserable, and yet we aren’t ready to give those reasons up yet. Or we can’t see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and getting started feels overwhelming.
Honestly, the reason doesn’t matter. What matters is feeling better. Wouldn’t you agree? Below are 3 meditation tips to help you relieve your stress and feel better immediately!
If you're interested in relieving stress in your life, check out my upcoming classes and programs for opportunities to learn how to bring meditation and energy healing into your everyday life!
Love and light,
For more inspiration, visit my original blog.