How To Enjoy The Turkey Instead of Feeling Like One: Stress Less and Feel Calmer For The Holidays
Holidays are fast approaching. For us here in the US, Thanksgiving is one week away! And it's followed quickly
by the round of winter holidays in various traditions, whether that's Chanuka, Christmas, New Year's, or your own family traditions
for this time of year.
No matter what we celebrate, most of us can
count on having it bring up our 'stuff'. For some of us, our stuff goes way back and includes real trauma. For others, it's
more the obligations and expectations of parties, cooking and gifts added to an already overwhelming schedule.
I've got a 5 Point Holiday Plan to help you make this holiday season turn
1. Make a plan.
Remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. But change doesn't
happen by itself. In order to not do the same thing this year, you'll need to actually make yourself a plan. Write it down,
to make it more compelling for yourself.
Tapping Tip: Notice if you feel anxiety
or resistance, and tap for that. "Even though I feel like this will never work, I'm willing to be open to change."
2. Identify the triggers. They may be many, or few.
Write down at least three. Now pick one that has intensity, but isn't the worst trigger. You want to give yourself a chance
to create a new, successful outcome and sometimes the stakes are just too high on our worst triggers.
Tip: Don't take on the whole mess at once (or if you feel you must, seek out qualified help from a practitioner.)
Focus on the one trigger you've decided to change, and tap on the intensity that it holds. "Even though every year
I dread that we have the same stupid arguments, that's ok; that's just what I'm feeling right now."
3. Choose your new desired response. Make your response something simple
but effective, and make sure it focuses on changing your behavior, not someone else's. "When my siblings start arguing
about the same stupid stuff, I'm going to take a deep breath, resist joining in, and just notice my feelings" is a positive
and simple response that doesn't require you to change their behavior to achieve success.
Notice if you're pre-judging your planned new behavior. "Even though this sounds like it's too simple and it'll
probably never happen, that's ok; I'm just allowing myself to think of new options."
4. Imagine how you'd like to feel right after the event you normally dread. Then, think of a likely
scenario and rehearse your planned action. Tapping comes in very handy here. You can rehearse this with someone you like
and trust. You can also write it out in detail. Remember, make it simple and fully under your control. End your rehearsal
with reminding yourself of how you'd like to feel after the event/issue is past. For example, you might like to feel "proud",
"lighter", or "relaxed."
Tapping Tip: Tap away any intensity you feel
when you rehearse your new behavior. And be sure to tap as your imagine your intended feeling: "As soon as
that dinner is over and I'm back home, I feel lighter and more relaxed than usual."
5. Celebrate when you feel the slightest progress. If you even make a small change in the old patterns,
do your happy dance; reward yourself with something healthy; tell a trusted friend about how well you did; write yourself
a note of congratulations. Change is hard, and we make it even harder when we hold ourselves accountable for doing it perfectly.
Tapping Tip: Just notice and enjoy a sense of celebration, happiness, or calm in your body
and tap your points as you feel it.
Happy holidays! As always, let me know how I can help.
It's Ok To Play
I heard a therapist tell a wonderful story.
Many years ago she was seeing a therapist, and when
she arrived at the office, the adult waiting room was under renovation. Everyone was directed to the kid's waiting room.
Little tiny tables and chairs. Toys. Coloring books and crayons.
"Why not!", sat right down and began coloring.
Soon a big burly guy came in and asked,
"Is this where we wait?" Pat, without missing a beat, said "Yes, and if you want you can color with me."
And he did.
Eventually the therapist came to get them. But according to Pat, "I think if he'd just let
us keep coloring, we'd have been fine!"
Play is good for us. That the message in this TEDMED talk by Playworks CEO Jill Vialet. I love her statement: "Play matters because it gives us a brief respite from the
tyranny of apparent purpose." Yes!
Can you even remember what it feels like to play at
something for no "good reason", just for fun? Without keeping score and trying to be the best...without trying
to make something useful or meaningful.
Why not try it this week? Just find one little way to really
play. And if you feel silly, awkward or guilty, try this tapping phrase:
"Even though I feel
[your emotion here] I'm going to play anyway. So there!" At the end of the set up put your hands on your
hips and stick out your tongue. You might not even need to tap a whole round once you let
your defiant little kid get the last word!
If you feel you might need a little help getting started, check
to see if there's a Laughter Yoga class or group near you. It's a great way to play (no actual yoga poses are involved.)
I'd love to hear how your playtime goes.
If I can help you Go From Ow To Wow® by getting your play back, let me know.