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Encouraging women to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

 


Holidays

A time for re-creation
 

Is this iconic Norman Rockwell illustration your ideal Holiday image?
Hi! We promised you stories  and pictures of our New Mexico trip. We've decided to send those next month as our Christmas gift.

This month's newsletter is about coping with the holidays.  I presented this material to a local group, and it was so well received that we thought we just had to send it on to you! 

Many people who attended the talk bought copies of Eavesdropping and I told them to be sure to read the chapter:  "It's Not All Snow and Mistletoe" where there are some really good ideas on coping with the holidays.
 
Happy Holidays from Kendra, Terry and all the Pages

 

 


Is this image closer to
Holiday reality?


A Recipe for Your Wonderful Holiday Pie

Otherwise known as:  How to cope with the Holidays


 

For most of us, the reality of our holidays does not match (or even come close to) the Normal Rockwell pictures or the portrayals on T.V.  Maybe at one time our holidays were like those – but now, sadly,  important people are missing or things have just changed –  and not for the best.

Let’s use the metaphor of making a holiday pie to describe the various aspects of coping with the holidays, in general.
Expectations:
  • Is your pie ruined because of too many expectations?
  •  Maybe your pie “tastes sour” because of your expectations.
    • The reality doesn’t match your fantasy.
    • It doesn’t look like the pie in the photo that looked oh so perfect to you!
  • What are your expectations for your pie?
  • What are the ingredients of your ideal holiday pie?
  • What ingredients spoil the picture for you?
Consider Substituting Wishes for Expectations

What’s to be done when you realize that you cannot have the ingredients that would make your ideal pie?   My favorite cookbooks list substitutions – and when I discover  that  I don’t have my ideal ingredients handy -  rather than abandon my pie, I use acceptable substitutes. 

Substitutions
A great substitution for expectations is ---------------- wishes.  Try sprinkling your pie with wishes instead of expectations and check the result.

Suppose I had the expectation that my Thanksgiving event would be filled with a happy family – all the members would be glad to be together and talking about interesting topics of the day.   If that isn't realistic, I can look at my ideal “ pie” and ask:

“What are the ingredients that make it so savory for me?” 
  • interesting conversations
  • friendly people
  • sociable setting
Perhaps I can make a new pie that will have all the ingredients I want!  I could, for example, invite people in my neighborhood, or at the gym where I exercise, or at church to join me at my home and each bring a dish.    Instead of going back to (for example) “Aunt Gloria’s” again where I know the cousins are often in conflict and the tension is obvious even to the children.  I can even imagine the reactions to the dish I bring.  It will be too salty.  Or my dressing recipe will just not be up to their expectations (there is that word again)!

Picture your ideal pie and list the ingredients.  Remember that you may have to use substitutions.  Aunt Gloria is not going to be sweet and savory just because she is handy.
Conflicting Ingredients

Perhaps it’s not your expectations that are causing the problems with your ideal pie.  Maybe it has to do with expectations of others (some of your ingredients are working against each other). 
What can you do differently when you are caught between conflicting demands of important others
  • Can you, for example, take a break from those “wonderful” grandchildren who are making you tense after a few hours? 
  • Can you give yourself permission to take a walk around the block?
  • Can you meet the family someplace new for the event (at a park where the children can run and play and make noise out of earshot). 
We can change recipes, equipment, and locations for our holiday pies if we realize the old recipes no longer work.    The choice is yours – and so is the task.  How can you create a new recipe for a holiday pie that is delicious, balanced, nurturing, nourishing and less stressful?
 

De- Stressing Exercise


Go to a quiet place – away from other people, the television, your cell phone, etc.
 
Sit in a comfortable chair (or chaise lounge). 
Feet uncrossed, neck and shoulders relaxed, hands resting (palms up) on your lap or on the arms of the chair.
Close your eyes.
 
Inhale:    as you would normally – for a count of 4
Hold:      your breath for a count of 4 – your own speed
Exhale:   as you would normally – for a count of 8
 
Repeat the Inhale, Hold, Exhale cycle above for 10 cycles and “tick” these cycles off on your fingers
 
Other de-stressing tips: 
  • walking 
  • staying hydrated
  • drinking orange juice
  • breathe

From Edie's Corner...


Love this last edition.  
 
I am going to buy journals and give one to each of the folks at our Thanksgiving dinner. They will be labeled - Gratitude Journal.  I will encourage each of them to take the time once a day - preferably in the evening - to write down 5 things they are grateful for. This is a practice I have continued for several years.  I am on my 3rd volume. I love ending my day with thoughts of the good things and people that have come my way during the day.I hope that passing the practice forward will be rewarding to my friends and family.
 
- Edie
 

We hope these ingredients make for a happy holiday season! 

Continue the conversation- send us your holiday tips and recipes!

info@kendrabrownphd.com
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