Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

December 20th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 3 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” or Part 2 on “tips to cope with difficult relatives,” you may use the above series link to read them.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays by Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc., offers these tips to reduce conflicts with your relatives. These are only excerpts. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

1. Whatever the reason is that you are with your holiday crew, you are not obligated to call up feelings you don’t have.

2. Be civil no matter what. The last thing you want is for your negative reaction to overshadow the initial offense.

3. Figure out a couple of ways that you might rein in your reaction ahead of time. [Remember past irritations or confrontations by your relatives and come up with a plan of action or response to keep yourself calm, change the subject, and divert the attention.]

4. Consider journaling [rather than venting your feelings to your friends.]

5. Downtime is the smell of opportunity to difficult relatives. Your holidays will run more smoothly if there are plenty of activities to fill gaps. [games, walks, etc.]

6. Plan an entry and exit time, as well as a date for yourself, if you are going to someone else’s house. Do the same if a group is coming to yours. For example, “Bob and I would like you to come for Thanksgiving. If you could arrive between 11:00 and noon on Thursday that would give us time to get everything ready for you. We’ve also planned a big breakfast for Friday before everyone leaves.

7. Think about inviting more people to your holiday. When there are fifty people in attendance, it is much more difficult for a diva to be a diva.

8. Focus on the kids. Babies and little kids don’t fully understand weird family dynamics. Most of the time, discussions about babies are usually fairly benign.

9. Focus on the less fortunate. If, for example, at Thanksgiving everyone brings a gift for Toys for Tots or some other charity group, part of your discussion will naturally revolve around that.

Use the link to read the full article by this author:

Dealing with Difficult Relatives for the Holidays, Kate Zabriskie, Business Training Works, Inc.

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2

December 17th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

[This is Part 2 of a 3 part post.  If you missed Part 1 on tips to deal with “3 types of difficult people,” you may use the above series link to read it.  The tips in this series are excerpts from 3 different authors. Please use the reference links to read their full articles.]

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people. Accept the fact that you cannot control other peoples’ actions, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t come to any event with unrealistic expectations.

2) Stay close to the “normal” family member. There is often one family member who you can actually hold an intelligent conversation with…someone you feel pretty good being around. My advice: Hang around with this family member…..often. Finds ways to spend time with that person whether it’s taking a post-meal walk around the neighborhood, or playing a game (or two or three) of checkers. If you have absolutely NO “normal” family members, then invite a “normal” person to attend an occasion with you.

3) Give yourself an important job. “Remove” yourself from the situation by giving yourself an important job. For example,decide that this year you will be the official family photographer. If you’re not much of a photographer, then give yourself another important job like tending to the turkey, making fancy swans with the table napkins, running to the store for last minute food items, Do whatever it is you have to do to keep busy, while still continuing to interact with family.

Lastly, you simply have to accept the fact that you don’t have the ability to change people, they must change themselves. The one person you can change is yourself. You can change how you react to things, how you view things and how you ultimately deal with things.

In Part 3, we’ll post more tips for dealing with difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays, E.K. Tirado

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1

December 13th, 2013

Table of contents for Minimize Holiday Stress

  1. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 1
  2. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 2
  3. Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives Part 3

Take advantage of these GREAT tips to reduce common stresses in holiday family gatherings!

[(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Since the holiday season is so busy, I’m dividing these excerpts of tips for reducing stress at family gatherings from 3 different authors into 3 brief posts.  “Stay tuned” for Parts 2 and 3!]

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See i there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

In Part 2, we’ll post tips for coping with those unusually difficult relatives!

Use this link to read the full article:

Dealing with 3 Types of Difficult People at Holiday Time, Connie Ragen Green

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8 Quick Tips to Reclaim Your Christmas Spirit

December 10th, 2013

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge? It’s time to take in a few tips and reclaim your Christmas Spirit!

I came across some good, brief tips to de-stress your holiday from an article by blog author Sara Ananya Shah. These are only summaries. Please use the link below to read her full article.  (This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

1. Shop at home – Shop online as much as possible. The selection is better and many retailers offer free shipping for the holidays.

2. Shop with friends – If you must go out shopping, take a friend along and then relax together afterward with a cup of coffee or cocoa.

3. Have friends and relatives – If you have a dinner with relatives that you dread, invite a friend along, or a specific friendlier relative.

4. Break down chores – For example, don’t do Christmas dinner all at once. [Freeze ahead or] Do as much as possible the day before. If you write out Christmas cards, do a few each night at bedtime.

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5. Make due dates – Plan to get your goals done by December 22nd so you can have some time to relax.

6. Exercise – A 20 minute walk will immediately lift your mood and reduce stress hormones.

7. Don’t overeat – You’ll feel happier and healthier.

8. Get “ME” time – Take at least 15 minutes a day to listen to relaxing music, walk, or something else that will make you happy.

Click here to read the full article by Sara Ananya Shah, Holiday Stress Relief: Tips to Reclaim Your Christmas Spirit. Ms. Shah is author of the parenting blog, Loving Your Child.

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Stress Less this Holiday Season

December 7th, 2013

(From the archives to help you have a stress-free, enjoyable holiday season!)

Lessen stress during the holidays with these helpful choices.

Many people are overwhelmed by all the extra time and work that are invested into family traditions and added special events this time of year. An article by Elaine Ambrose provided a collection of good advice to show that a few wise decisions will lessen your stress.

Delegate Choose which chores or errands you need to do and which ones family members can handle. If necessary, make a simple calendar and mark which days tasks need to be done, such as vacuuming, pet care, or folding laundry, and which family member chose it.

Make Meals Easier – Occasionally during this month get something from the freezer section for the main dish and add healthy items to it. Also, when you do cook, double the recipe and freeze the other meal to use over the next couple weeks.

Budget Your Money – Overspending is a main holiday stressor. Decide on your budget for family traditions and activities and stick to it. Some families draw names and decide a set a dollar amount for the gifts. This also makes it easier time-wise as each person only has to shop for 1 gift and already knows the exact price they should spend. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Choose Your Thoughts, Choose Your Well-Being

September 27th, 2013

Regardless of the stresses you are facing, you have the power to choose your thoughts and, as a result, choose your well-being.

It may seem an illogical and impossible statement, but it is truth none-the-less.  Regardless of your circumstances, you choose your thoughts, and subsequently, your state of mind and personal well-being.  People throughout history have proven it true, usually in circumstances far worse than what most of us will ever experience.

One of my favorite examples is Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, whom I have mentioned before.  He is an Austrian Jew who was sent to a concentration camp with his family during World War II.

We who lived in concentration camps can remember men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Anxiety – Quick Self Test

June 7th, 2013

You can do a quick self-test for your level of anxiety, fear, or stress.

Performing this test will help you determine how much anxiety, fear, and stress are affecting your life, as well as some of the possible root causes. The official name of the test is the Rhomberg neurologic test and it will immediately show if you suffer from low level anxiety syndrome.

Stand with your feet put together. Then stand on your tips toes. Now close your eyes. If you cannot keep your balance once you close your eyes, you have low level anxiety syndrome. People who pass the test and can keep their balance while their eyes are closed will have an anxiety level of 10 during an immediate fearful situation, but the next day be back to level 1. Those with low level anxiety syndrome stay at an anxiety level or 4 or 5 all the time.

You may recognize these other common physical symptoms associated with low level anxiety syndrome.

People with low level anxiety often have numerous allergies. They are also sensitive to scents such as perfumes or newsprint. Caffeine may keep them up all night. In addition, they are usually very sensitive to even small doses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The source of low level anxiety syndrome is holding on to undesirable emotions.

If you didn’t pass the test and realize that you live in a constant state of low level anxiety, evaluate which of the following undesirable emotions are the source of your anxiety. People who are perfectionists often suffer from low level anxiety. Unresolved bitterness Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Where Are Your Energies Invested?

March 16th, 2013

It is a good thing, every year, to evaluate what things from the past you are still pouring energy into that never became as fruitful or beneficial as you planned.

We all have areas in our lives where, in the past, we began investing great time and energy.  We stuck with that particular thing through the years out of habit or routine.  The investment of energy became just a part of life.  You can gain greater satisfaction by freeing your life of areas that are a drain on your energy and unprofitable to your overall wellness.  The time or energy invested is truly no longer worth the value you are getting from it.

What types of things can now be unprofitable investments for your life energies?

Sometimes there are daily or weekly habits that were a part of goals from the past that are no longer worth your energies.  Why?  You change in your desires and maturity as you age.  Certain things that were goals are no longer Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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What Are You “Not?”

October 20th, 2012

Sometimes who you are is more clearly defined by what you are “not” than your present existance or what people would describe you as being.

During a traumatic time in Paul’s life (author of 2 Corinthians), the most important aspects of his life were what he was not, rather than what he was.  Let’s take a look!  Paul said he was:

  • hard pressed on every side but not crushed (defeated)
  • perplexed and unable to find a way out but not in despair (hopeless)
  • persecuted but not abandoned
  • struck down and hurt but not destroyed (1)

At a time when things were extremely difficult in all areas (every side),  he was clueless as how to solve anyof his difficulties, he was being grossly mistreated by people and even physically harmed, Paul still rises above all this, displaying Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Are You Focused on Your Fears?

September 19th, 2012

Even in the midst of fearful circumstances, focusing on the fear itself or the cause of it can hinder a positive outcome.

I’m going to approach the subject of fear in different way here than I normally would. We’re going to look at a circumstance described in history and outline points that you can apply to the fearful circumstance you are presently facing or may face in the future. The reference is out of Mt.14:26-32, and whether or not you are a believer in the historical accuracy of this account, its principles are still applicable.

Here is the description in the Amplified translation. [I prefer the Amplified for study because it gives more detail as to the meaning of the original Greek words; most translations limit the text to a “word for word” translation when many languages — such as Greek, Hebrew, Arabic — have much broader concepts included in their individual words.]

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified and said, “It is a ghost!” And they screamed out with fright. But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I AM! Stop being afraid! And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me from death! Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt? And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

Let’s apply this situation point for point to our own fearful situations, learning from both the positive and negative responses in the story.

1. Notice Jesus’ response to the men’s fear — He “instantly spoke” when they cried out in terror, vv.26,27. Jesus, Father God’s revelation of Himself and His character to us, shows an immediate, interactive response to Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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What is Draining Your Energy that Needs to be Let Go?

September 8th, 2012

Gain greater satisfaction by freeing your life of areas that drain your energy and are unprofitable to your overall wellness.

We all have areas in our lives where, in the past, we began investing great time and energy. We stuck with that particular thing through the years out of habit or routine. The investment of energy became just a part of life. It is a good thing, every year, to evaluate what things from the past you are still pouring energy into that never became fruitful or beneficial as you planned. The time or energy invested is truly no longer worth the value you are getting from it.

What things in your life now are unprofitable investments for your life’s energies?

–Sometimes there are daily or weekly habits that were a part of goals from the past that are no longer worth your energies. Why? You change in your desires and maturity as you age. Certain things that were goals are no longer of importance to you. Is there anything like that in your life? Free up that time and energy for new goals that fit with the person you are now.

–There are often projects in which we have been investing time, energy, and finances which are no longer Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Stress Relief by Implementing Margins

June 15th, 2012

You can alleviate unnecssary stress and exhaustion in your life as well as increase your energy level by implementing a “margin” into your daily schedule and finances. So, what is a margin? 

Dr. Don Colbert defines a margin as “a buffer between feelings of being overwhelmed and feeling at peace (1).”  According to Dr. Richard Swenson in The Overload Syndrome, “a margin is the difference between vitality and exhaustion (1).”  Either way you define a margin, the definition is something anyone would desire in his or her daily life.

What are the typical scenarios of living life without a buffer? 

Schedule-wise, an example is giving yourself only enough time to get ready to leave the house for an appointment so that any phone calls or other unexpected items which require your attention suddenly put you under the stress of possibly being late.  Or, another schedule example without a margin is only leaving with just enough time to arrive for an appointment providing you have a high percentage of green lights and no traffic jams.  

Financially, many people create continual stress and anxiety by Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Minimize Holiday Stress with Relatives

December 22nd, 2011

Want to reduce stresses with relatives in your holiday family gatherings?  Here’s a collection of tips from 3 different authors to tell you how.

(This is one of the classic holiday “help” articles– a good reminder for each of us each Christmas/New Year’s season.)

These tips by Connie Ragen Green are excerpts from her holiday stress article, Dealing With The Three Types of Difficult People. Use the link in the footnotes to read her full article.

  • The person who won’t stop talking -The best thing you can do for this person is to just listen. See if there are others who will share this listening with you. Try asking them about something that you are also interested in.
  • The person who has to be right -The best way to handle this person is to praise them. They will beam like a young child when you compliment them.
  • The person who has to be the center of attention – Ask their opinion on something. They will enjoy the chance to tell you what they think and may even have some great ideas.

These tips to minimize your stress while spending holidays with the relatives are excerpts from E.K. Tirado’s article, Three Ways to Cope with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays. Use the link in the footnotes to read the full article.

1) Change what you can, and do not fret about what you can’t change. Too many times the cause of our stress derives from our need to change people Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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Grateful Focus in Economic Drought

November 28th, 2011

After a year of severe economic crises in various countries, I came across a true, challenging story to the wisdom of a grateful focus even in economic drought.  The story is of a farmer’s response to physical drought, but the wisdom still applies to the stresses created by our world economies. 

When R.H.Schuller was growing up, drought ravaged their family farm. They prayed for rain that never came. His Dad, who normally harvested 100 wagon loads of corn, reaped only half a wagon full. Schuller says, “I’ll never forget it. His calloused hands holding ours as he looked up and prayed, ‘Thank you Lord, I’ve lost nothing. I’ve regained all the seed I planted in spring.’ While other farmers were saying, ‘We lost 90 or 100 loads,’ my father told me, ‘Never count the might-have-beens or you will be defeated. Never look at what you have lost, only look at what you have left.’ ” 1

Many of you have lost much financially this year.  I challenge you to remove your focus from what you’ve lost –so you will not be defeated– and focus on every incredible good that you still have in life, be it health, a home, family, friends, past victories, dreams for the future. Be undefeated!  Keep a grateful focus on what you still have!

1 word4U2day

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Bad Day Recovery Plan

November 13th, 2011

There is no need to stay stuck in the misery of a bad day.

I cam across a very practical, helpful article by psychologist and life coach Melissa McCreery with tips to move on from the guilt, anger, hurt, or frustrations of a bad day and get back to the peace and productivity of a positive mindset.

Ms. McCreery says that the secret to thriving is learning how to move forward in spite of bad days.

Here are some excerpts of from Melissa’s article, “How to Recover from a Bad Day:”

1. Give yourself permission to have a bad day. Stop beating yourself up so that you can move on. Let go of blame and guilt, realizing that a bad day does not mean you failed.

2. Ask, “What will I need to let go of to do move on?” You must be willing to stop beating yourself up, feeling miserable (or hurt or angry), drowning your sorrows, or feeling victimized.

3. Decide what do you want to move on TO?   How do you want things to be? How do you want to feel? What do you want your Immerse Yourself in the Full Healing Contemplation Here »

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