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It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

Between cooking, cleaning, and entertaining guests, Christmas can hardly feel like the most wonderful time of year. It’s a mad dash from Black Friday to New Year’s Day to see who comes out clean on the other side. Stress is a natural part of the process, but how you manage it can mean the difference between missing the mark or coming out on top. Signs that you might be having a stress overload include headaches, high blood pressure, becoming easily agitated, and insomnia.

Here are 5 common scenarios people find themselves in over the holidays and how to successfully manage your stress this holiday season:

Putting up decorations

Christmas enthusiasts plan their decorations months in advance to ensure they are perfect. However, that does not mean everything will go up without a hitch. Always make sure you have multiple hands on deck to assist when needed. Having a helper will avoid injuries and get the job done faster. It is also smart to keep duplicates of Christmas decorations on hand. In the event something breaks, or a bulb goes out, you will have the exact match to continue your project.

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How to Stress Less: Avoid stress for years to come by properly storing your decorations. Something as simple as storing your lights on a winder can make unraveling them much easier year after year. Start decorating earlier so that you do not feel overwhelmed closer to Christmas time, just don’t cross that line and decorate before Thanksgiving!

Managing the crowds

Whether you are navigating an airport or a retail store, crowds are an unavoidable nuisance during the holiday season. When flying this time of year, try to identify when non-peak times will be so that you will not be bombarded while you are trying to get to your gate. This will help you stress less and save money for other holiday needs. If you plan on driving, map out all the major cities along your route and try to get through them at low traffic times.

How to Stress Less: When it comes to shopping, getting a majority of your items online gives you the ability to browse without having to fight through crowds and stand in long lines. Most retail stores offer the same discounts both in-store and online. There are also some coupon codes that are only available to online shoppers and can help you save a few bucks during checkout. If you do have to visit the retailer, go as soon as they open, or right before close, to bypass large crowds. Prep for your holiday dinner in the weeks leading up to the holiday to avoid gridlocks at the grocery store.

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Getting supper on the table

Feeding all of your friends and family may seem like a daunting task, but the right appliances can simplify cooking your holiday meal. You can make sure your meat is cooked to perfection with the Range cooking thermometer for your iPhone or iPad. Simply plug the Range into your headphone port and insert it into your meat or baked good. It sends instant updates on your food’s cooking progress so you never have worry about over- or under-cooking again.

How to Stress Less: Crock-Pot has recently come out with a “Smart” Slow Cooker powered by WeMo. It allows you to connect all the functions on your crockpot remotely through the WeMo app. This means that you can start, stop, and change the temperature on your slow cooker from virtually anywhere. For this function to work properly, it is important to have an internet provider that offers internet speeds over 15Mbps or you may risk your slow cooker disconnecting from the internet and not responding to your app when you need it. By switching to smart appliances, you will be able to be out and about running important holiday errands, wow your guests with amazing dishes, and have dinner on the table with no problems.

Finding the perfect presents

Not sure what present to get everyone this year or worried you might go over budget? Shopping for family and friends during the holidays, though paved with good intentions, can be a stress in and of itself. You might be clueless of what to give a new love interest in your life or frantic about how to give your parents something different from the gifts you gave them last year and the year before. Well stress no more because companies like Target and Amazon make holiday shopping a breeze.

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How to Stress Less: Both sites offer daily discounts for a wide variety of gift items. Download Target’s Cartwheel app to your smart device and save up to 50% on presents for friends and family. Amazon also has great deals starting on Black Friday and continuing throughout the rest of the year. You are able to filter by age, gender, department, and price to narrow your search, and with Amazon Prime you can continue to order all the way up till Christmas Eve to get your presents on time.

Entertaining 101

If you are hosting the holiday festivities at your house, it can be an extremely stressful couple of days leading up to everyone arriving. In order to prepare, it is important for you to take time to relax before all of the madness so that you feel refreshed. Make a to-do list and stick to it so you can spend less time trying to remember everything. It is important to begin preparing as early as possible so that you leave time for any errors.

How to Stress Less: Early preparation may consist of shopping, booking hotels and flights, decorating, and taking Christmas card photos. For the day of, you can create a Christmas playlist and light holiday-scented candles to make your house feel warm and inviting.

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Remember; it’s OK to stress out during the holidays. Just make sure you don’t let the holiday madness get to you!

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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Julie Knight

Content Writer

It’s OK To Stress This Holiday Season

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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