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The One Thing That MUST Be on Your Holiday To Do List

The One Thing That MUST Be on Your Holiday To Do List
    Photo credit: WCN 24/7 (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    We often think that the holidays are for spending quality time with our family, carrying out traditions and enjoying time at home with the ones we love the most. Although the holidays are truly a special time for our families, so should it be for you and you alone.

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    For most of us, we make plans to buy gifts, bake, shop, cook the right food, and decorate, but forget to plan time where we are away by ourselves doing whatever it is that makes us happy. Usually during the holidays there is enough support around (family or spouse) to look after the children while we take some time to pamper ourselves, so this works out perfectly.

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    Why is this time so important for one to take?

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    It’s like the message the airlines relate to us every time we take a flight – “Please place your oxygen mask on yourself before you tend to your child.” They tell us this because our children can’t be taken care of if we are slumped over from a lack of oxygen. The same is true for us in everyday life, particularly around the holiday season, when we can more easily take time out for ourselves due to the extra support around us. We MUST use this time to do something for ourselves in order to recharge and feel ready and willing to be “mom” or “dad” again.

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    But why MUST we do this?

    Scientists in the Journal of Research in Personality stated that just five minutes of quiet solitude is all it takes to reset the body’s stress-regulating sympathetic nervous system. In fact, when study volunteers took a solo timeout, their heart rates dropped and blood pressure stabilized. Plus, they subconsciously drew deeper breaths. This triple effect left them feeling focused, rejuvenated and 58 percent more energized. So, if 5 minutes can do this, just think how great you would feel if you scheduled an hour or two away by yourself doing something you love!

    Here are some suggestions for you to try. Feel free to add your own!

    1. Get a manicure, pedicure, or both!
    2. Go for a walk in nature.
    3. Sit at a cafe and read a book while sipping a latte or tea.
    4. Get a massage.
    5. Take a bath then cozy up in bed with a great magazine and a cup of tea while family or hubby takes the kids out to play
    6. Go to a yoga or exercise class.
    7. Watch a movie by yourself while everyone is out of the house.
    8. Write in a journal or diary. Write about your goals, fears, and things you’re grateful for.
    9. Get a facial or give yourself one at home while everyone is away from the house
    10. Go to the library and search the shelves for every book you said you’d love to read. Sign them out or book them for later. Then sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet of a library while you get lost in a fabulous book.

    A whole lot of planning goes into this time of year. Why not put yourself on that list of things to do? Your mind, body, spouse and children will thank you for it.

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    Last Updated on January 3, 2020

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

    Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

    The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

    1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

    Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

     I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

    To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

    And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

     2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

    Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

    3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

    Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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    4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

    The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

    5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

    Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

    6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

    Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

    7. Positive people smile a lot!

    When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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    8. People who are positive are great communicators.

    They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

    9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

    One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

    10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

    Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

    How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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    I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

    Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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