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Better Choices - De-Stress Your Holidays
December 20, 2009

What's In This Issue:

  • Relax More and Enjoy The Holidays
  • News from Natural Living For Women

  • Chill Out For Just A Few Moments

    Hi and Happy Holidays

    Do you enjoy this time of year or have you been caught up in doing so many things that you feel like you are just working your way through a very long to do list?

    The true meaning of this wonderful time of year can be lost if you don't take a little time to slow down and really be present and in the moment. I have a few things that I do that work for me perhaps they will work for you too. Now... I know you are busy so I'll get right to it.

    All of these involves you taking some time for yourself. Put yourself on the list. You won't be sorry.

    1. Make Time to Unwind.

    One evening after everyone has gone to bed, dim the lights, play some music if you like and get all comfy by a fire, in front of the Christmas tree or your favorite picture and just be.

    Breathe evenly. Look at what's around around you as if you were seeing everything for the first time. Smell the scents, notice the colors, hear the sounds or the silence and feel the comfort of your surroundings. For these few moments try to put all else aside and let all be right in your world. All there is is right now.

    Try this for 10 -15 minutes or whatever feels comfortable and see if you don't feel a pleasant sense of calm. It's a nice way to feel before heading off to bed.

    This works any time you need to regroup. Focus on anything of interest. I sometimes watch one of my four legged kids as I am petting them, noticing their markings, breathing, the shine of their fur, all the little things I sometimes don't see day to day. Brings me back when things get crazy.

    2. Figure Out What's Important.

    If you spend more time doing the things that have meaning to you instead of trying to accept every invitation or help with every function I think you will find you are feeling less stressed.

    A quick story. My son and I volunteer every year for the Salvation Army Angel Tree. My intention when we started was to help others and help my son understand about giving.

    It started out simple enough but I found myself committing more and more time each year, their whole process goes on for months. I couldn't say no and that meant my son usually ended up there too. He's a good kid and he wanted to help but to be honest I was so caught up in helping that I didn't see that I was ruining the whole experience for him. Instead of being about helping it became something I was making him do. He was tired, we were fighting, I was stressed trying to volunteer and keep up with the rest of my life and I realized it was all wrong.

    The following year I stepped back. I set up a reasonable volunteer schedule for myself and allowed him to volunteer as he wanted. It has now become a time for us to spend some time together as a family while doing something to help other families and it just feels right this time.

    Figure out those things that are making you feel stressed and make some changes. Decide what is important. Ease up on some things, ask for some help or drop some things from your list completely. You will be happy you did.

    3. Take Some Time to Stretch.

    Our bodies want to move. I become acutely aware of this after sitting or standing for a long time and then get up and my body feels stiff and achy, mostly between the shoulder blades. One of my favorites things to do is a part of a yoga move called Sun Salutation. The full Sun Salutation is much more beneficial but this one works well for me anytime anywhere no matter how I am dressed.

    I stand with hands palms together at waist level fingers pointed down. (This can also be done while sitting.) I inhale as I bend from the waist lower my hands, keeping them together as far down as possible, open my hands and make a big circle as I stand up moving my arms to the side and up above my head and bring my palms together again. Lean back slightly and hold for a few seconds. Keeping my hands together I exhale as I lower my hands back to starting position and hold as I take a few deep breaths. I usually repeat this 8 times.

    Pay attention to your breathing. Make the stretch gentle. Don't over do. For me it's more about releasing the tension and focusing on the breath which is great for calming.

    Try one of these ideas or some of the others on Natural Stress Relief and see if you can't bring a sense of calm to your holidays.

    New To Natural Living For Women

    I am constantly adding new info to the site. Check out these new pages on Natural Living For Women:

  • The busiest part of the site this month has been the Natural Living Blog. New product and store reviews along with green and ethical shopping suggestions have been featured. Check out the Natural Living Blog

  • Thanks to all the readers and contributors to Natural Living for Women. I hope in some way this site has been helpful to you.

    Please feel free to contact me at any time with comments or ideas you would like to see in the future.

    Happy Holidays. See you next year.

    Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I won't know unless you tell me. I'd love to hear what you think. Just reply to this e-zine and let me know. If you like this e-zine and think a friend will too, do me a favor and pass it on.

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