Tag - stress

5 Strategies for Positive Family Gatherings

Thanksgiving weekend in Canada marks the beginning of family celebrations and the added stress of work and school commitments as well as extra-curricular activities can tend to bring on feelings of overwhelm, stress and fatigue.  It is so important to take care of yourself during this busy season and here are some strategies to help.
  1. Focus on the positive and BE positive around the experiences that you enjoy.  Sometimes stress can bring to mind unpleasant memories from past family gatherings - counteract this with 3 positive memories as well as 3 gratitudes of the present moment.  The practice of consistently maintaining positive thoughts assist in creating a positive reality.
  2. Allow yourself to let go of the past.  It is not unusual to be triggered by certain family members, ex-spouses or partners. (Especially when children and custody agreements are part of your life)  When this happens remember that today is a new day.  Things have the potential of going very well, especially when you expect things to go well. By letting go of past wrongs, you are saying that they cannot hurt you anymore.  You are standing in your own self empowerment.
  3. Expect positivity however have realistic expectations.  If it is your turn to host the family meal, then let it be what works for you.  From the menu on - do what fits in your budget, and tickles your taste buds. If big dinners are your thing with your best china then enjoy every aspect of it and do not be disappointed if things do not go as planned.  Family meals are for good laughs, welcoming atmosphere and company, however they can go sideways  if the importance is on perfection. 
  4. Ask for help when you need it (and even if you don’t).  Many times we juggle so many tasks that we think that we can squeeze more in.  Take your time and breathe.  Decide what is important and a priority.  The rest is not necessary - or in the very least it can be something to delegate.   Include family members in the planning, everyone participates and everyone then becomes responsible in the creation of something memorable.
  5. Self Care is essential as well as stick to a routine as much as possible - it is too easy to let busy come in and rule the household.  You are always the priority.   As much as possible stick to your eating, sleeping and exercising routine.  Make time for yourself so that you can stay peaceful and grounded.  
These are just a few strategies to put in place.  Do you have strategies that work for you? Please share below.

5 tips for making it through the holiday season

The holiday season can bring up many stresses as well as conflicted emotions.  Follow these tips to help keep you present and less stressed this holiday. For some people this is the favourite time of the year, for others, it is a time of stress and pressure with extra busy-ness.  While it can be a time of great celebration and merry making there can also be some deep grieving, or the unearthing of childhood wounds and patterns triggered by family gatherings.   Here are some suggestions to help navigate the next few weeks: 1.  Do things in moderation. Plan what parties and functions that you really want to go to.  You do not need to show up at them all.  It is very easy to drink and eat too much at special events - so everything in moderation.   If you know you are going for office drinks after work, order a healthy appetizer as well.  As much as possible choose foods that are nourishing.  If it is a late night gathering, eat your normal supper before going so that you can moderately eat the hors d’oeuvres.  Also you do not need to be the last one to leave the party.  Your body and spirit will thank you.  2.  Keep to a regular routine. While this may seem odd to suggest when there are so many commitments and functions out there (work or family), it is very important to remember that routine is very grounding.  If your routine includes a spiritual practice every morning, do not skip it.  It will help set the tone for your day.  If you have a regular workout time, honour it.  It is very important to look after your self care.  If you have a regular volunteer day, keep your schedule with it.  Stick to your normal diet as much as you can.  Go to sleep and wake at the same time as much as possible.  Bodies like rhythm, honour your body. 3.  Stay connected with the people who lift you up. You do not need to be alone nor do you need to be around people who are toxic to you.  Make sure that you take the time to connect with the people who value you.  These are earth angels. They will ground you.  Remember to ask for support if you need it. 4.  Eliminate the “should of”  “need to”phrases. Also on the list to eliminate:  I have to. This leads to unnecessary guilt.   Remove those phrases from your vocabulary.  You are a person with free will and choice.  Do not place unrealistic expectations on yourself. A lot of our extra stresses are actually self imposed. If you feel obligated about doing certain things, ask yourself why? Then empower yourself to make a different choice and to take a different action.  Try not to over analyze things, perhaps it is something as simple as having a date with yourself to do something that you really want to do, or something completely different. 5.  Be with people if you tend to find yourself alone. (and don’t want to be) If you find that you are usually alone for the holiday, try to volunteer somewhere.  There are many people who are alone - some because they want to be, but some because they are truly feeling alone  and unable to change their situation.  Volunteer in a facility for the elderly, or check out your local community centre or library for holiday programs.  Sometimes you need to be outside of yourself in order to feel better about yourself.  But more importantly, the opportunity to make a new friend or bring a smile to a neighbour is rewarding in itself and will do much to lift your spirits and self worth. You may discover a gift within yourself that you never knew that you had. Generally speaking take the time to be good to yourself.  Do what feels good .  Take the time for self care. Set your boundaries, you are allowed to say no when asked to do more than you can.  Remember to ask for and accept help when you need it.  Stay in the present moment.  It is easier to see the beauty and gift of the experience if you are looking after yourself first.   Try these suggestions and let me know how they work for you! If you have other ideas to share on what helps you please comment below.

What is Self Healing

What is self healing? It is generally considered that self healing is a phrase applied to the process of recovery that is motivated, initiated and directed by the self. The value of self healing lies in the ability of the individual to access health giving forces within the body as well as to make choices that lead to wellness and wholeness. It takes inner responsibility and motivation as well as information and knowledge. It takes a willingness to learn and grow. It takes a belief that one has the capacity to be well. The process of self healing can be accelerated with techniques of introspection such as meditation, journaling and art as well as active application of vibrational healing and sound. Through active application of sound, the following effects have been noticed:
  1. Stress reduction
  2. Reduction in muscle tension, which usually compliments stress reduction.
  3. Improved sleep, which allows the body to regenerate.
  4. Improvements in emotional conditions such as depression, anger or anxiety - leading to feelings of     being more centred, grounded and balanced.
  5. Improvement in mental clarity
Generally speaking, sound has a way of harmonizing the body to wholeness through the qualities of resonance and vibration. As with all techniques, trust is a key factor. Trust that the body knows how to heal itself and is constantly working on balancing itself. (sneezing, yawning are just a few examples) Trust that the body is communicating with you and telling you what it needs. (More rest? more movement? more water? more/less food?) Honour the body’s wisdom when it is communicating with you. Embrace gratitude as a way of life. Everyday thanking the body for it’s vitality. Focus on what it can do instead of lamenting what it can no longer do. Thank your body for growing stronger and stronger each day. Learn how to incorporate healing sounds for your body and participate in our wellness programs.