Saturday, December 8, 2012

14 Secrets for Creating a Stress Free Day (a stress free holiday and a stress free life)

14 Secrets Collage by Lani
1. Claim this day for yourself; it's your life, your day.  Claim it, and don't give it over to anyone else!  (One of the worst things we do for a holiday is to make someone else responsible for our having a happy day.  Even if you have Ebenezer Scrooge in your family this is your day, your happiness is yours!)

2. Be generous with LOVE!   If you are in the holiday gift giving cycle and you want to find new, less materialistic gifts for those you love, Christine Arylo, author of Madly in Love with Me, suggests asking these questions, "what love do I want to give you this year?" and "what form can the love take to help this person feel that love?"  What gift would bring delight and a feeling of being loved to sad, old Ebenezer or who ever is on your list?

3. Create a delightful, fragrant experience.   You can use naturally scented soy candles (love the Aveda candles) or create your own room fresheners.  Mix 30 drops of your favorite essential oil into a half cup of distilled water, place this in a spray bottle, and spritz.  Think balsam fir, spruce, cedar, or myrrh and frankincense, or cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove, or orange, lemon, and grapefruit.  Mmmmm.

Be Original collage by Lani with help from FlyPaper
4. Create new traditions for yourself and your family and make them yours.  Think about your strengths (see previous post), what traditions would speak most to your strengths and the strengths of your loved ones?  Want some ideas?  The folks at Folk have some great ideas!  (They have some nifty DIY gift ideas as well, come to think of it!)

5.  This little secret is from Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.  If you are feeling resistance and stress about anything at all, like the holidays just around the corner,  notice your reluctance and  see where it speaks to you from your body.  Is it a tightness in your shoulders, neck, chest, or mind?  Leo says you have a few choices, you can stop doing what ever it is, call off the holiday, or you can push yourself to go through with things even if you are feeling like you don't want to (usually results in bad moods, no?) or you can chose to let go of the feeling of tightness.  Woo!  Easy, right?  Leo has 5 simple steps right here, go immediately and check them out.  You won't be sorry.

6.  We all know about altered books and mixed media art, taking something that is one thing and using art materials to turn it into something else, right?  Why don't we do that with stuff that makes us feel stressed?  What could you do to alter the things that give you stress? 

Let's Occupy Our Hearts collage by Laniwith help from FlyPaper
7.  Go for a massage or take a long hot bath.

8.  Do a little yoga and/or meditation.

9.  The Universities of Dalhousie and Tufts have both employed therapy dogs to help with end of term stress.  What an awesome idea.  Play with your pet, and if you don't have a pet, visit a friend's pet for a pet therapy break!
"Pleasure in the Pathless Woods" collage by Lani with help from FlyPaper
10.  Go for a "treasure hunt" walk.  Look for evidence of love (got that from my love guru Christine Arylo), kindness, and beauty.  Take notes, take pictures, and share them.

11.  Spend some time in nature.  Dress well, stay warm, be comfortable.  See what you learn, take notes and share.

12.  Make a hot drink and pull out the art supplies.  Do a little journaling.  Awesome stress reducer, plus you will have something lovely to look at.

13.  Curl up with a good book and your favorite music by the fire, if you have a fire place, if not then imagine. Your imagination is a wonderful stress reducing tool!

14.  Make a list of what you would do to create a stress free day and share your list with others (or right here).  Ask them what they would do, start a conversation or a movement!  Take back your life!
(There's more on my blog so do come by and visit!)

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