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5 Photos You Must Take This Christmas

5 Photos You Must Take This Christmas

By the time New Years Day rolls around, your digital camera’s memory card and phone should be chock full of images from the season.  You even took a picture of the green Jello you had for dinner on Christmas.  While that image is fun for the time being, who wants to look at a plate of slime the rest of their life?  Maybe if your little brother was to dunk his face in it; but that’s highly improbable.  Make sure you get the pictures of moments that you want to remember over and over again.

1. Family Photo – Yes, that means FAMILY photo- No excuses! Cameras are so neat these days. Most of them come with a “timer” feature, so the entire family can be in the shot without someone needing to push the button. This is important because it is so fun to watch how your family grows and increases in numbers.

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    2. Santa’s best gifts – Are you so excited for a gift that Santa is bringing one of your little ones? When I was nine years old ‘Santa’ gave me a baseball mitt. I was so elated with joy when I opened it that I actually started to cry! Do we have a picture of it? Nope- but I wish we did so that I could see the pure thrill in my face. Make sure you have the camera handy on Christmas morning.

      3. Tradition! – (Yes, I did sing that in my head Fiddler on the Roof style.) The question arises often, “What traditions did your family do when you were little?” Well… take a picture of it! Do you give your kids new pajamas every Christmas Eve, bake cookies for Santa, or sing carols at a retirement home? It’s fun to be reminded of the action items in our lives.

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        4. Deck the Halls with Decorations – I have two reasons for this one. First, my mom, who decorates for Christmas like it’s nobody’s business, states every year that she wished she had taken a picture of her decorations so that she could remember where she put things! Secondly, my husband has inherited several holiday decorations that he used to love growing up, and it would have been cool to see those items in their prime, and feel of their significance.

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          5. A Family that Plays Together Stays Together – The fun of opening presents has come and gone, but the day is not over. Capture the moments of your family actually getting along as they check out each other’s loot. Try to evoke the emotion through the lens that the day is not about the actual presents themselves, but the people that surround us.

            Making sure these photos take their place in your 2012 Christmas photo album is a sure fire way to remember the love that was felt, and the fun that was had. Isn’t that what the season is all about?

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            Featured photo credit:  Photos of children against Christmas lights via Shutterstock

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            5 Photos You Must Take This Christmas

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            Last Updated on December 9, 2019

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

            Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

            Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

            Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

            1. Get Rationally Optimistic

            Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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            This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

            In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

            The result: no more mental stress.

            2. Unplug

            Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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            How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

            It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

            Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

            3. Easy on the Caffeine

            Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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            Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

            4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

            That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

            How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

            • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
            • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
            • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

            While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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            5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

            This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

            The result: mental stress will be gone!

            So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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            Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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