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Choose Joy This Christmas!

Busy, busy, busy!  That is my life this time of year and I’m sure your life is super busy too! It is so easy to get stressed out this time of year when there are so many things to do. Shopping, decorating, wrapping presents ….. the list seems endless at times.  This is supposed to be the most joyous time of year.  Unfortunately, many of us get bogged down by our “to do” list and forget about the joy.

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If you are feeling this way, take a moment or two to breathe.  Go and grab a hot mug of tea or your favorite drink, and take a load off for a bit.  I promise, the most important things will all get done.  As for all the other things….let them go.

Here are a few things I do to keep the stress down and fill my life with joy!

Don’t Forget Gratitude       Instead of fretting over that endless to do list, be thankful for the things you do  have.  Remember those less fortunate who would love to be shopping, wrapping  gifts,  and decorating a home.  Above all, be thankful that you have a home.

Make a list, check it twice!     List ten things you need to accomplish.  The first item should be the most important thing on your long to do list.  That specific need that must be accomplished today. The least important item will be last.  As your making you list, think about what really needs to be done, and what could be put off for a day or two.  Then get busy and tackle those first items on the list.  If you can’t finish everything, it’s okay.  Get a good nights sleep and start again tomorrow.  This way your most important priorities will get taken care of.  If something doesn’t get finished, well … maybe it wasn’t that important after all.

Take care of yourself.      Speaking of a good nights sleep,  don’t forget to get plenty of rest and to make healthy dining choices!  You need to get enough rest and plenty of healthy nutritious food to feel your best.  Try packing carrots and hummus for a quick nutritious snack. If you are dining on the run, try a salad with your meal rather that french fries.  Your body will be ever so grateful!

Drink plenty of water.       If you enjoy an occasional adult beverage, this is not the time to overdo!  You cannot afford a headache in the morning!  Pace yourself and remember to drink water in between each drink.   Coffee can also be an evil culprit.  I love my morning coffee, but I can no longer can drink caffeine after noon or I will have trouble sleeping at night. Try water with a little lemon.  It will be so refreshing!

Choose Joy!   Your friends and family would prefer to have the gift of your presence rather than one more present!  Be there for them with your mind and your spirit.  Reach out to others and share your heart.  You will find that when you truly put others first, your joy will return.

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Joy is not in things,

it is … in us.♥

I hope you all will slow down a bit and find some joy

this holiday season!  xxoo  Gerri


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Remember Gratitude this Christmas

Well, we are closing in on the month of November and fast approaching the Christmas season.  I hope that you have found something inspiring in my series on Gratitude that has assisted you in relieving stress and combating anxiety in your own life.

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Speaking of stress,  remember to include gratitude as you enter the busiest season of the year.  It’s easy to allow yourself to get caught up in the shopping and gift giving, trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.  I can feel the stress creeping up on me even as I write this!

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So, with that in mind, I am offering you a few tips to help reduce your stress and enjoy the Christmas season more than ever!

  1.  Let Go of Perfection.                                                                                                                            Make this holiday season about what is right for you and your family.  Stress can be created by the desire to create the “Perfect Christmas.”  However,  Christmas is not about perfection.  In fact, far from it.  There is no need to spend hours baking cookies for a cookie exchange if you detest baking!  Make Christmas about what  is important to you and your loved ones.  That may mean having an simple evening of popping popcorn, getting out the pillows and blankets, lighting a fire and watching old holiday movies with someone special to you.  ( Do you feel your stress level starting to come down already!)  However, if you love to bake, by all means go for it!  The point is to choose the right activity for you.
  2. Set Priorities.                                                                                                                                 Choose the special Christmas activities that are most important to you.  Traditions are great, but not every activity has to become a tradition.  Just because you made a gingerbread house with the kids last year, doesn’t mean it has to be done every year. It might be more fun and exciting to experience a new activity rather than repeating the same one over and over.  Maybe this year take the kids ice skating or have a caroling party. ( Do people still do that! ) The important thing is to what you will enjoy the most.
  3. Remember to Include Nature.                                                                                                   Step outside and breathe the fresh air.  Take a walk.  Take the dog for a walk.   Exercise.  Even a short amount of time spent in nature can help reduce stress and fight anxiety.  If it’s cold where you live, even a brief walk can be invigorating and boost your mood.
  4. Take a Break!                                                                                                                                     What do you like to do that relaxes you the most?  Listening to music.  Soaking in a hot tub. Getting a massage or a mani/pedi.  Having dinner with close friends or staying home and ordering take out.  Don’t forget to schedule time for whatever it is that relaxes you and that you enjoy most.
  5. Remember Gratitude!                                                                                                                       Yes, this is a busy and hectic time of year.  There is so much to be done!  But if you will pause for just a moment to be grateful for your blessings.  Maybe the greatest gift you could give this season is to remember to save thank you, to squeeze someones hand or to give them a hug.

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“It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”  This holiday season share your gratitude with those you love, and maybe even the stranger who is serving you coffee.  Gratitude – pass it on!  xx00 Gerri