Nine Ways to Beat Loneliness During the Holiday Season

nsrw5

Is loneliness a challenge in your life? Follow these nine ways to beat loneliness in any situation, and especially during the holidays.

It’s okay to feel lonely. Sometimes it just happens. However, you have the power to decide whether you want to wallow in it or meet it head on. When you take decisive action to overcome your loneliness, you can have a smile back on your face in no time.

Here are some helpful strategies to beat loneliness:

  1. Avoid sitting around fretting. When you think about it, getting upset isn’t going to help you, so why do it? If you’re not actively looking for something to fill your time, you’ll find that loneliness catches up with you eventually. Even if you don’t have the company of others, you can seek out ways to use your time in fun and productive ways.
  1. Engage in a new hobby. If you’ve turned to your current hobbies and are still feeling lonely or bored, try to find something new and exciting. Explore a new hobby that you’ve always been meaning to try but haven’t had the time.
  1. Take a class. Taking a class is a good way to come into contact with others who have the same interests as you. So you get double benefits – you learn something new about a subject that interests you and meet new people you have something in common with as well.
  1. Volunteer to help others. When you’re feeling lonely, helping others can be a win-win situation. With volunteer activities, you do something great for the world and get some healthy human interaction in the process.
  1. Get a dog. Dogs are natural friend-finders. If you have a dog, take your dog out for frequent walks in your neighborhood, local dog park, or dog beach. If you don’t have a dog, consider getting one. Dogs help you break the ice with other dog-lovers. There are many online groups of dog owners. Find one of these communities and get involved.

 

  1. Cultivate spirituality. You’ll likely find likeminded people at your place of prayer or worship. You may even start up a new relationship with a potential lifelong friend.
  1. Talk to strangers. Engage in some light chatter with strangers in public situations. For example, you can strike up a lively conversation while waiting in the grocery store line. Every person in that line is most likely as bored as you are. Pass the time together and you might even start a new friendship.
  1. Call a friend. Look up a friend or family member that you haven’t talked to in awhile and catch up with each other while reminiscing about old times. By the end of your conversation, a happy and nostalgic mood might have replaced the lonely one you were in before.
  1. Start a social group. You can start a social group around a topic that you enjoy. If you’re a stay at home mom, maybe you’ll want to connect with other moms. If you’re really into gardening, maybe you’ll want to meet up and swap tips with some people. Explore different ways to socialize online or put up flyers at local hangout spots.

You’ll find that with the right attitude and some action, you don’t have to sit at home with your loneliness any longer. Use these techniques to meet new friends and enjoy exciting new experiences, starting today!

Please Share Your Thoughts

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you dealt with loneliness in your life? In what instance?
2. What helped you cope?

My Top Seven Holistic Stress Relief Techniques for the Holiday Season

Nativity_tree2011Whether or not you are going through a difficult life change at the moment, the holidays can be stressful. With family events, presents to buy, and parties to host, it can seem like there is too much to do in just one month’s time. This leaves many women feeling stressed out, either about their finances, about how long it takes to plan the family Christmas dinner, or just about hosting and spending time with family members who you might very well love, but can also be a negative influence in your life.

A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs. Joan Welsh

Some women may turn to pharmaceutical solutions to help combat the stress of the holiday season, but there are many holistic treatments that can be used instead to reduce the stress of the holidays. Here are seven of the best non-pharmaceutical, holistic stress relief techniques.

  1. Nutrition – What you eat has a huge effect on your body. If you are eating foods that cause your body stress (as they are hard to process, do not contain the nutrition that your body needs, or are just downright bad for you), your body will be less able to handle all of the other stress that is coming into your life. On the other hand, if you eat natural, holistic foods (plenty of organic vegetables, protein, and fruit), your body will be less stressed and better able to handle other sources of anxiety.
  1. Walking – While just about any kind of exercise is great for your body, walking is especially good for stress relief. Why? Because it gets your heart rate up without putting undue strain on your body. Running, boxing, and other high impact exercises can put too much extra strain on your system, but walking allows you to get the exercise you need, take advantage of exercise’s stress relieving benefits, without encountering any of the negatives. When you fell yourself getting stressed, it is a good idea to throw on your coat and take a walk around the neighborhood, giving your body some time to process what’s going on.
  1. Money Management – The holidays can bring any financial troubles to the forefront. You want to get the best presents for you loved ones and you want to throw the best parties, but both of those endeavors require money. If you are short on money, this can cause anxiety. Making sure you have a handle on your money management is a great way to control exactly how much you spend. Most people save for the holiday season throughout the entire year, but as unexpected expenses crop up, it can be difficult to keep that money set aside. As much as possible, make sure you know where your money is going, at ALL time during the year, and even more so during the holiday season.
  1. Time Management – Nothing can be more stressful than feeling that you do not have enough time to complete all of the tasks that you need to do. What this means is that you have too many to-do’s on your list. You need to cut back or risk facing holiday burnout.
  1. Homemade Gifts – If you love making crafts, there can be something particularly relaxing about creating homemade gifts, instead of just going out and pulling something off of the shelves. Plus, it can cost far less to make your loved ones something special, rather than to purchase something. They will appreciate not only the beautiful gift, but the time and effort you put into making it.
  1. Aromatherapy – Aromatherapy can be seriously helpful when it comes to managing holiday stress. It’s not just about having a pleasant-smelling candle burning while you complete your chores, it’s about finding a scent that really calms the body. As soon as you smell that scent, you will feel more relaxed, even if nothing else in your situation has substantively changed. Some of the most common relaxing oils include peppermint, lavender, sandalwood, and chamomile.
  1. Holiday Stress Support – Don’t let the stress of the holidays overtake and overwhelm you! If you need support, you can find it, either in person or online. There are online support clubs for those who find this time especially difficult, whether it be because of a job loss, a death of a loved one, debt, etc. This support clubs can help you gain perspective so that  you enter the new year feeling positive, optimistic, and balanced.

Now it’s YOUR turn.  Please tell us:

1.  What is your major source of holiday stress right now?

2. Which one(s) of the holistic stress relief strategies above would work best for you?

10 Ways to Deal With Stress & Major Life Changes During the Holidays

holiday-bluesThe holidays are already a stressful time. Let’s face it, they are probably the most stressful time of the year. No matter how much you love your family, they can also be some of the most stress-inducing people in your life, especially when you are going through a major life challenge like a career change, a divorce, or coping with a disease.

But holiday stress doesn’t just come from your family, or your circumstances, you can levy it on yourself with unrealistic expectations or it can bubble up as a result of past bad experiences during what should be the most relaxing, happy, and stress-free time of year. Instead of letting stress rule your life during the holiday season, we have 10 ways to deal with stress and major life changes e effects of a major life challenge during the holidays.

  1. Join the Holiday S.O.S Club. You’ll get free encouragement, tips, and talks right to your inbox, including even more ways to fight stress and lessen the effect of life challenges during the holiday season. The holidays—regardless of which one(s) you celebrate–all come with the same basic needs and stress-inducing demands…on top of what you are already dealing with on a day to day basis facing your major life challenge! This holiday S.O.S. club can help.
  2. Change your outlook. While dealing with a life challenge, it may seem like the last thing you want to do is be merry and bright, especially when everyone around you is caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season. In reality, however, you can find something to be positive and happy about, despite the challenge you may be facing.  If you change your outlook and embrace the reality of what life has thrown at you, instead of simply dreading the worst that can happen, you’re far more likely to find joy and peace during the holiday season, despite the life challenge you are facing.
  3. Try something new. If you already know that your mother-in-law is going to complain (even on the sly), about your apple pie recipe, there’s a pretty easy way to ensure she has nothing to complain about—don’t make that apple pie. Instead, try something entirely new. Don’t do what you’ve always done. Your life is likely in flux right now, so don’t try to cram it into the same old box.
  4. Try a stress reduction course. Those life challenges, whether they be job loss, death of a loved one, divorce, or disease, can make what is already a stressful time of year, even MORE overwhelming, but —only if you let them. A stress reduction course shows you how to stay on top of the stress caused be these challenges, so you can still have fun this season.
  5. Learn that it is okay to cut back. Trying to do everything yourself can be a major strain on your already over-strained mental, physical and emotionally capacities, which will further exacerbate your stress response. You, like most women, probably spend a lot of time trying to make everything perfect for everyone else and forget that you matter, too. Know that it is okay to cut back or to delegate holiday tasks (like wrapping presents, decorating the house, making cookies) to others or to cut them out altogether.
  6. Stop obsessing about how it was. With life challenges come major life changes. That means a lot of people will be looking back and wishing that life was just the same. Don’t compare your current situation to your past situation and especially don’t compare your life to someone else’s, especially during the holidays when everyone seems happier.
  7. Follow these five tips for reduced holiday stress. Having a life challenge is enough stress without also piling on the stress of the holidays. These tips will help you let go of the stress that is specifically caused by the holidays.
  8. Don’t be afraid to keep your life to yourself. One of the major stresses of the holidays and having a life challenge is being constantly asked about it. Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends that you don’t want to talk about it if you really don’t want to talk about it. Divert the conversation back to other topics that may be more pleasant for you.  At the same time, make sure to find someone that you can confide in,  someone with whom you share the burdens of the challenges that you are facing.  Talking about the major stressors you are facing is an important step in acknowledging and coping with whatever life throws at you!
  9. Don’t get involved in family squabbles. Just keep reminding yourself that (even if you don’t celebrate Christmas) this season is supposed to be about peace on earth. Your family is going to gossip and squabble—maybe about how to carve the roast beef, but also maybe about the divorce or your illness. You don’t have to get involved.
  10. Invest in a mini-coaching session. Having access to a life challenge coach or a stress management coach, even for a few hours, is a great way to help you gain some perspective and find a way to power through this stressful time of year, without missing out on all the good things that the holidays are supposed to be about. A coach can show you how to still be happy and at peace, even in the middle of your personal storm.

 If you, ( or someone you know),  are currently facing a life challenge, we would love to hear from you and learn about how you cope.  Iron sharpens iron, so feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the comment section below.

5 Tips For Reducing Stress During The Holiday Season

Holiday stress6

Do you ever have one of those experiences where something that you really, really enjoy can also be stressful at the same time because of how much you want everything to go right? Well, holidays can often be one of those times and that’s why it’s something that I wanted to address today!

 Although the holiday season can be one of the most welcome times of the year, it can be very stressful for a lot of people. Reducing stress during the holiday season can especially be hectic for busy women who have to prepare large meals, deal with difficult relatives and shop at crowded stores. If the feeling of responsibly for the holiday season is something that always stresses you out, the subject is dealt with in great depth in the HOLIDAY STRESS MANAGEMENT BOOK.

 But here are 5 quick tips for holiday stress relief and a little taste of what you can expect from the book!

 1. Plan Ahead

One of the best ways to relieve some stress during the holidays is to plan ahead. For example, if you have to cook a big Christmas dinner for family members, create a grocery list of the items you need and buy all the items in one shopping trip. Taking the time to plan ahead will definitely save you a lot of hassle during this busy season.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercising on a regular basis during the holiday season won’t just keep your body in great shape; it will also improve your mood and help alleviate some of that stress you’re feeling. Try to find time to exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. For example, you can go on a walk around your neighborhood in the morning.

Holiday Stress Management (Self-Help Stress Solutions)Check Price

3. Eat As Healthy As You Can

It can be especially difficult during the holidays to eat a healthy diet because there are sugary treats everywhere. However, you should resist the urge to indulge all the time if you want to keep your stress levels down. Fill your diet with a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. These foods will give you energy and keep you focused during the holiday season.

4. Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help

If you are stressed out because you have a lot on your plate, don’t be afraid to ask for help. For example, if you are preparing a big dinner for your family, ask relatives to bring side dishes so that you don’t have to do as much cooking. 

5. Give Yourself a Break

Even if you are super busy, it is still important to give yourself a break during the holiday season. Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to spend time doing what you enjoy. Take a hot bubble bath, take your dog for a walk, read a book or go out to lunch with a friend. If you take time out of your day to do things you enjoy, you will be less stressed during the holidays. If you follow these helpful tips, you can relieve some of that stress you feel so that you can enjoy the holidays. 

I hope you enjoyed taking the time to think about some of these ideas about holiday stress. While many people know that holidays can be stressful, not enough people take the time to realize that holidays really don’t have to be stressful at all when you’re armed with the right advice.

Don’t forget to check out the HOLIDAY STRESS RELIEF BOOK if you want everything you need for a stress-resilient and fun-filled holiday period!

The Kindle book covers many different types of holidays – not just the end-of year holiday season. There are lots of holidays and events throughout the year that can be fun if you take the time to learn how to manage the stress that surrounds them!

 HOLIDAY STRESS MANAGMENT BOOK

To your holiday stress relief success!

7 Holiday Stress Relief Tips To Use During Family Gatherings

holiday-stress-relief3Whenever extended families get together during holidays there may be a need for holiday stress relief tips.

Most families have conflicts every now and then.

The key is not to allow personal conflicts to ruin the entire family gathering.

Regardless of the situation there is a lot YOU can do to help keep conflicts to a minimum during family reunions, holidays, or special events.

Family Holiday Stress Relief Tips To Minimize Conflict & Confrontation

1. Be a peace-maker.

Often times family conflicts can drag on unnecessarily. If you are involved in an ongoing conflict that can’t be resolved before the family get together, make it a point to put the whole thing on hold. It may require great effort, but do your best to set those negative feelings aside for the time being.

You stand to benefit the most, since making peace opens the way for you to enjoy yourself at the event.

2. Look back at the good times.

You probably face a challenge with one specific person. If you look back over the years of knowing the person, you may be able to recall memories of good times you shared together. Try to focus on those good times instead of the recent tensions between you.

That may be easier said then done, but in the end you will feel much better and can enjoy the event much more.

3. Focus on the food.

holiday-stress-reliefFamily get togethers are usually great opportunities to enjoy delicious food. Food can be a nice distraction from family conflicts, but that does not mean that you should go overboard.

Whenever I attend a family get together I can always look forward to my mom’s home made apple pie. Not to mention the spread of snacks, main courses, and other dessert items. I usually grab my favorites and dig in, paying little attention to any ongoing family conflicts that may exist.

So focusing on the food is one family holiday stress relief tip that works for me!

4. Quietly resolve the conflict.

In some situations you simply may not be able to put a conflict aside. The best approach in that scenario is to deal head-on but with a COOL head. Your main objective should be to solve the challenge and contribute to a happy and enjoyable family event.

Losing your cool could mean that you would go down in history for starting a scene during that reunion or get-together.

That’s not the kind of family memories you want to create, is it?

5. Stay clear of third-party arguments.

Perhaps you are at peace with everyone, but tensions and ongoing conflicts are a problem for other friends and family at the event. Don’t contribute to the taxing situation by getting involved or taking sides. Do your best to stay out of the conflict. Adding more fire to the mix never helps.

If you insist on getting involved, perhaps you can point out some of the practical holiday stress relief tips in this article. Then take your leave and allow the people involved with the conflict to work out the situation themselves.

6. Get a little breathing space.

stress-relief-informationI have been at family gatherings where things got too heated for my tastes, so I temporarily removed myself from the situation. You can do the same if you need too. Perhaps you can take the dog outside for a walk.

I usually busy myself with the little ones. Walking away from a challenging confrontation may be just what you need to clear your head and calm down. Decide now, how you would use any of these 7 family holiday stress relief tips to work out your problem in a way that doesn’t involve fighting.

7. Don’t take part in turbulent topics.

Some topics of conversation can easily lead to strong emotions or difference of opinions. You may already know what those topics are for your family. So make sure not to bring them up and if someone else brings up a “forbidden topic” try to change the subject before the discussion escalates into something worse.

Family get-togethers are a wonderful time of peace and blessings. Don’t let tension and conflict rob you of those blessings. Use the family holiday stress relief tips above and focus on the good things about your family. If you do that you’ll survive all the togetherness!

 Holiday Stress Management (Self-Help Stress Solutions)Check Price

5 Ways to Enjoy Holidays without Stress

The holidays have become almost synonymous with stress. Whether family is coming, you are planning to entertain friends, or just have to prepare your house for the season, stress abounds and what was supposed to be a vacation from the anxiety of life, becomes one of the most hectic times of the year.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, you probably know what I’m talking about. So how can you enjoy holidays without stress? But there are a few ways you can make your holiday less stressful.

1)      Plan ahead but stay flexible. Admittedly, most of us are already planners. We plan voraciously, trying to make every detail perfect long before our mother-in-law, sisters, or uncles appear on our doorstep. And that’s fine. Where the stress comes in is when nothing goes according to plan. There’s no reason to throw a fit if Aunt Margret shows up with a pumpkin pie (even though you expressly asked her to make apple) just as you are putting yours in the oven. It’s the ability to accept what comes that will make the holiday enjoyable, not the perfectly measure place settings.

2)      Stick with recipes you know. Some of us are adventurous cooks, and when the holidays start to roll around, we think it might be fun to try something new. And while that may be true, it may be too risky unless  we could predict and ensure a positive outcome. Instead of trying to make a deep-fried turkey out on the back porch, stick with your tried-and-true oven-roasted version, which you know will please and will come out perfectly every time.

3)      Make it a family affair. Some women try to take everything on themselves, but it can be more fun and less stressful to involve your husband or kids in the cooking and preparations. Kids love to decorate cookies and your husband is more than capable of slicing vegetables for stuffing. If you use this time to talk and laugh with your family, the whole event will be more fun.

4)      Instead of a meal, try an activity. Eating a giant meal may be fun for them, but it’s hectic and stressful for you. If you usually make Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukah meals for the entire family, try something new. Doing something as a family can be more fun (and less pressure on you as cook) than waiting around for a large meal. Try ice-skating, singing songs, playing board games,  or a walk around the neighborhood to see decorations.

5)      Make it about the family. The holidays often become directed towards the decorations, the presents, and the food. But no matter what holiday you celebrate, the focus should be the family. If you find yourself tearing your hair out about what you’re going to make, where everyone is going to stay, and if you can afford presents for all the nieces and nephews, remember that spending time with the family, bonding as a unit, is the real aim of the holidays.

 

How to Deal with Family Conflict During the Holidays

What is it about the holidays that brings conflict to a family? Who else wants to know how to deal with family conflict during the holidays?

Relationship experts say it is the close quarters and heightened stress that makes this time of year a veritable breeding ground for yelling and hurt feelings. It has become almost expected for families to fight during their holiday meals, and has become so mainstream that holiday family conflicts are the subject of countless movies. If you’re not interested in the drama that has become expected during what is supposed to be season of cheer, peace, and love, take a look at these five tips for dealing with family conflicts.

1)      Don’t overdo it. Though we typically attribute tantrums to our young children, too many activities, in too many places can lead to grumpiness and even outright anger even in the most mature among your brood. Instead of trying to do everything, pick a few fun activities and make sure there is plenty of time for your relatives to decompress and just spend time together. Instead of dragging everyone to the mall to shop for gifts, put the kinds and grandparents in front of a movie and take those who volunteer to get some shopping done.

2)      Be prepared. If you already know that two feuding family members are going to come into contact, have a contingency plan. Whether you don’t allow them to stay in your house or separate them during meals, make sure they don’t have an opportunity to get into it.

3)      You don’t have to get into the middle of it. Sometimes it’s enough to send the fighters out of the room and let them have it out, away from the kids, away from interrupting spouses, parents, and siblings. The influences of all the voices around them can escalate a small disagreement into a major problem in no time at all. Especially if the conflict has nothing to do with you, the best thing to do is send them away from the table until they can be cordial to one another.

4)      Be the peacemaker. If neither separation or sequester work, it may be time for you to step in. Especially if they are making the celebrations uncomfortable for everyone in the house, you can ask them to please act like adults, at least while the kids are watching.

5)      Realize that the holidays are not the time to hash everything out. Holidays are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be a time of coming together and nostalgia. They should not be the time that the siblings fight about who got what portion of your grandmother’s estate, or who mother loved best, or who stole whose boyfriend in high school. Sometimes family members need to be reminded that your house, during the holiday season is not the place to dredge up old wounds. Especially if you are hosting them in your home, you can tell your family members that they can do this on their own time, on their own turf.

Holiday Stress Relief Tips: Stay Centered On What Matters Most

During the hectic holiday season every could use some holiday stress relief tips. When your head is pretty much all over the place, for sure getting stressed out is just around the corner.

I always like to think of this as my to do list. I mark the ones that are of high priority, if things turns out unexpectedly, then you would want to go back to what has the highest priority. In life, you set yourself straight to your goals. So if my family needs me, the rest gets overridden as this is the highest priority on my list. So, learn more about yourself and stay grounded to what matters to you most.

In the comments below, tell me about:
1. What are your highest priorities in life?
2. Do you have your own personal tricks that keeps you grounded to your priorities?

If you would love to learn more about how you can manage stress, join our Stress Management Club now. It’s FREE!

Holiday Stress Relief Tips: Avoid Superwoman Syndrome

As women, we are meticulous in nature. Moreover when we have family and kids, we get to so particular in a lot of things and we end up wanting to do everything on our own. We want to avoid mistakes in our tasks and sometimes, it’s hard to delegate tasks to someone else in the family and we don’t get the results that we want.

At some point, you need to learn how to delegate the tasks that you need to accomplish. It’s one of the essential
holiday stress relief tips we all need to take to heart.  We need to avoid the superwoman syndrome, juggling many tasks all at once.  That’s a quick way to guarantee burn out and chronic, debilitating stress.

In the comments below, tell me about:

1. Do you also have superwoman syndrome?
2. What are the tasks you’re having problems delegating?

 If you would love to learn more about how you can manage stress, join our Stress Management Club now. It’s FREE!

5 Ways to Survive the End Of The Year Shopping Season!

Outside of cooking that massive family meal, getting all of your end of the year shopping done can be the most stressful aspect of the holidays.

No matter how early you start, it seems like you always come down to the wire, standing in outrageous lines, with arms full of toys you know your own children, nieces, and nephews do not want.

If you take these five  end of the year shopping tips for the next holiday season, it won’t be this way. You can get in, get out, and get done so you have more time to spend with your family and friends.

 1)   Make a plan of attack. Write a comprehensive list of everyone you want to buy presents for and then make sure you know what you want to get them before you start out. If you’re not sure what to get your relatives, ask around, see if there’s anything they’ve been hinting about. Decide what you’re going to buy for each person before you go to the mall. It doesn’t have to be specific brand and model, but if you know your six-year-old niece has been asking for a Barbie, you can spend your time picking from the many doll varieties, instead of wandering the whole toy section for hours, trying to find something she’d like.

2)   Map it out. In conjunction with your itemized list, make a list of all the stores you need to hit and plan an advantageous route. It is discouraging to be almost done with your list and realize you have to drive all the way back into town just to hit Macy’s, especially when you were in Target, just a block away, earlier that day.

3)   Divide and conquer. Especially when you’re shopping for your relatives, bring along your family and when you arrive at the mall, give them all assignments. By making it a game—who ever finishes first, wins!—you can get your kids excited about picking out presents for their cousins and friends.

4)   Buy family gifts. Money is often a huge roadblock when it comes to finding quality presents for your relatives. Instead of trying to find something for every individual aunt, uncle, sister, brother, niece, and nephew, invest in one fun family gift. These can be board games, movies, kitchen gadgets—anything that can be used by the entire family.

5)   Shop late. Most people would tell you to shop early, and that’s fine; you’ll have your shopping all done, giving yourself plenty of time to wrap presents and figure out if you’ve missed anyone. But you can find shorter lines and lower prices closer to the holidays than you can if you start your shopping the week after Thanksgiving. If you’re looking to save money and you know you have a complete list, you can wait a little be longer and use your family to get it done faster and for less money.