KEEPING THE “HAPPY” IN THE HOLIDAYS By Guest Blogger Tina Hamilton

HAPPY

There is no doubt that the holiday season is crazy for everyone. From entertaining family to buying holiday gifts, there seems to be so many things to do and never enough time to do it. However, many women tend to feel like this any time of the year. Women are selfless in nature, always wanting to give more and do more for the people they can about. These desires are often the most intense around the holidays when women want to make everything perfect for their friends and family.

Many women forget that the holidays are about so much more than just giving the best gift and having a perfectly decorated home. The holiday season first gained its popularity because it was a time for friends and family to relax and enjoy each other’s company, being thankful for everything they have been blessed with that year. Every woman should take some time to stop worrying about pleasing everyone in her life with tangible things and think more about how she can show appreciation for them.

Here are some ways women can stay grounded during the holiday season:

Make a list

No, not talking about a holiday gift list. Women should make another list, a list of all the things that they were grateful for this year. This can be a great activity for women to do with their families to bond or on their own for some self-reflection. This list can be a great way to remind women of all the special things in their lives and help them appreciate everything they are blessed with.

Use some props

Many women can benefit from using some tools to help them remember why the holiday season is important. Tangible items can be very helpful as reminders for women of their goals and blessings. Women can use pictures around their home, an inspirational app on their phone or even a piece of  jewelry that has special meaning to help remind women of their goals and what it most important in their lives.

Take some weight off those shoulders

Women are often left feeling like that they have to do everything during the holiday season. Women feel they have to take care of everyone, but that is not always practical. Women should try to take some of that pressure off by delegating some other friends or family members to take on some of the holiday responsibilities. For example, instead of cooking an entire meal for a group of people along, women can ask each guest to bring an item to the dinner to take away some of the stress. This adds more personality to the dinner and makes for good table conversation for the holiday meal.

How to Stay Grounded During the Holiday Season

 

Focus on new goals instead of failures

Women can sometimes beat themselves up too much for not accomplishing everything they wanted too. They think that they should have been there for their family more over the past year, or they should have lost more weight before those holiday parties arrive. Instead of beating themselves up over and over for ‘failing’, women should focus on the goals they can set for the next year and what they have accomplished this year. This can help women feel more confident as they face old family and friends over the holidays and help them stay positive when entering into the New Year.

Never let guilt rule holiday decisions

Women forget sometimes that they always have control over their decisions, especially during the holidays. Women feel guilty to turn down a party invite or not give someone a gift, but they need to keep the big picture in mind. Women need to remember not to spread themselves too thin over the holidays and instead focus their attention on a few things. When giving gifts, women should not focus so much on the price of each gift, but instead on the meaning behind each gift. Giving an inexpensive gift that preserves a special memory is much more meaningful than an expensive gift that will be forgotten about by next year.

Stay happy this holiday! 

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Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. Look for her on Twitter

Tina Hamilton Headshot

 

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STRESS: Make It A Manageable Beast

relax

Question- What’s your stress level on a regular basis?  You are probably wondering, “Tiff, what does that have to do with beauty, style or inspiration?”…well, it has a lot to do with how healthy, vibrant, aware, sharp, peaceful and powerful you feel.  Constant stress is carried on your face and will dull your light and not to mention over time it can cause serious dis-ease in your body. So, let’s discuss this because I am personally checking in with myself and my own stress levels on a regular basis and I find everywhere I turn people are just out-of-their-mind STRESSED OUT!  This is no way to live ladies. LIFE IS SHORT!

I’m about to keep it very real here…

In the past I lived in a constant state of high anxiety because I had not healed through my issues and like many people I numbed myself with drugs and alcohol. A friend convinced me to see a doctor and of course, they put me on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety pills and ambien to sleep because I would be so amped up from the other pills.  WHEW! It’s a vicious cycle with this stuff and I couldn’t function long on all these RX’s.  For me, the only thing that worked to calm the nerves was to turn to God, begin red flagging my stressors and begin a serious spiritual practice of prayer & journaling. As I began to crack open my spirit and face my issues, I was more in tune with myself and the things, situations and PEOPLE that stressed me out. Learning to manage your stress will change your life and the lives of those around you!  It truly effects every area of our lives:

  • Sleep Difficulties
  • Loss of Appetite or Over-eating
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Sloppy performance on the job
  • Anti-social Behavior
  • Abusing Alcohol or Drugs
  • Nervous Habits
  • Short Temper
  • Poor Memory

Does that sound about right? Make it a priority to check in with yourself on a regular basis and deal with the stress so it doesn’t grow into an unmanageable beast.

Stress-img

Here’s 20 tips I have found to help:

  1. Do not keep things bottled up! Talk to someone you trust to help you work through it.
  2. Spend time daily doing an activity you love. (I clear my head with a long powerwalk)
  3. Improve your diet! Eating vitamin rich foods and avoiding junk with preservatives will keep your nervous system functioning properly. Add a B complex supplement too!
  4. Simplify! This is so important but very difficult for “busy bodies”. Stop taking on too many activities at once. You know the popular saying, “my plate is so full”. Well, change that!
  5. Stop rushing! When you feel panicked or rushed, STOP- sit quietly, take a deep breath and regain your composure.
  6. Keep a zen-like peaceful environment at work and at home.
  7. Be present! Don’t put too much thought into the future or the past. Enjoy the NOW!
  8. Avoid unrealistic expectations on yourself and others! Whew- this will alleviate a ton of stress.
  9. Get enough sleep!
  10. Exercise  more! It produces “feel good” chemicals.
  11. Take note of your moods! Ladies, we have those pesky hormones to deal with so be aware of how you’re feeling emotionally and cut yourself a break when you need to.
  12. Explore relaxation methods: Yoga, walking, journaling, listening to soothing music, hiking, etc.
  13. Express yourself! If you feel sad, allow yourself a good cry. If you’re angry, express it constructively. (Breaking plates not allowed)
  14. Love people and use things! Not the other way around. Walking in love is a huge stress reducer. Drop the ego.
  15. Take a techno break! Unplug the phone, stay off the computer, don’t watch TV. Often these things bring major stress into our life and we don’t even realize it.
  16. Learn the power of saying “NO”.  This brings tons of stress on many woman. Being a ‘people pleaser’ will ultimately stress you out and build resentment!
  17. Do not use crutches! Food, cigarettes, drugs or alcohol will also ultimately add to your stress instead of the temporary relief of it.
  18. Avoid boredom! Period.
  19. Surround yourself with positive peeps!  Stress and negativity are contagious so hang out with positive, uplifting friends.
  20. Get in touch with the little kid inside you on a regular basis!  Try to have more fun and find things that give you a good belly laugh every once in a while.

Most important thing of all – GRACE!  It gives you the strength and power to get done what you need to even when you think you can’t. Tap into it.

Have a beautiful weekend sistas!

Love, Tiff

STRESS: You are in control.. don’t let it control you! {Sunday Affirmations}

walking on a tight rope

Happy Sunday!

As much as you may pray, meditate and seek methods to reduce your stress and stay balanced– life always has a way of knocking you on your toosh or making you feel like you’re teetering on a tightrope. Who feels me?   Last week I got so sick of hearing myself whining and saying, “I’m so stressed…I’m so exhausted.”  It was one of those moments when I had to pull myself over to the mirror and say to myself, “Tiff, get a grip.  You control your schedule.  You control how you ALLOW situations to effect you.  You can control your attitude about it all.  You have the power when you check all the texts and emails!”  I told a friend I needed to go read my own blogs. Hmmmph.  Isn’t it funny how we can easily give others advice?  I also feel like I should add that stress-levels for us gals is always heightened during PMS.  I’m not using it as an excuse….it’s just a biological fact.  Ok, now that we are clear on all that….

There are so many factors that cause stress and it is different for everyone.  Where you live, work pressures, financial difficulties, relationship pains, kids, world events and the list goes on and on.  Living in LA, a city where I’m shocked anyone passed their driving tests and were allowed a license, is enough to give you an ulcer every time you get in your car!  I was running a few errands the other day and this woman– who was in the wrong turning lane– had the audacity to flip me off while I was patiently allowing her to turn… even though she was in the wrong.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  My shoulders tensed and I gave her the evil eye and then decided to say a little prayer for her under my breath AFTER I visualized myself giving her back the same unladylike hand gesture she had given me.  I kept my hands on the steering wheel, of course.  Just normal daily interaction with people can stress you out.  People seem to enjoy transferring their stress to you, but we can control what we allow to stick to us.  Yes, easier said than done I know!  This is why I try to remember to pray for protection and to be covered with the full armor of God plus be enveloped in white light every time I walk out the door.  I don’t always remember and should put a note/affirmation by the door.  (Ok, I’ll go do that as soon as I’m finished writing this blog!)  I recommend you doing it too.

My point to this rant is YOU HAVE THE CONTROL.  I realize we all feel powerless at times, but “feeling” powerless is even something we can control.  Dig deeper.  You always have the power.  You always have the control.  Take charge.  Maybe you think you’ve lost the power and control, but you can regain it.  Make the choice.  You may never seem to achieve balance, but it’s about the constant effort to make the right choices for YOUR life and stop trying to keep up with your friends, neighbors and co-workers.  Make the choice to step down off the tightrope.  Everyone- especially women- loves to validate themselves with how “busy’ they are.  Honestly- I’m beginning to hate that word and I’m trying to remove it from my vocab.  Yes– life is busy and stressful, but life is also meant to be a beautiful experience.

THIS WEEK I WILL….

  1. Check in with myself.
  2. Be a warrior not a worrier.
  3. Put my phone on silent when I need to. Some peeps can wait!
  4. Stop + smell the roses.
  5. Not allow other people’s stress to stick to me.
  6. Regain control.
  7. Keep my plate manageable.
  8. Get more sleep.
  9. Be more assertive by saying no.
  10. Stop taking on too many projects.
  11. BREATHE!

life_10%_90%

Cheers to a week free of any rude encounters, evil eyes, perverted hand gestures, boundary breakers, one uppers or back talkers. HA!

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

FIND YOUR ZEN.

Love, Tiff

Sunday Eve Affirmations

Hi Beautiful Butterfly!

STOP.

Before reading on…..

Are you in a quiet space where you can focus on YOU and setting your mind for a fan-tabulous week ahead?   Turn the TV off.  Wait till the kids are in bed and give yourself a moment to get some clarity. Ok, now read on….

As you read each affirmation, really see and feel yourself experience the success of each one.  Then, just watch your week be full of magic, miracles and major happy moments!

I WILL….

  1. Take time each day to exhale and decompress.
  2. Be courageous no matter how “wimpy” I may feel.
  3. Eat foods rich in antioxidants because my body is a temple.
  4. Practice more patience.
  5. Help others without expecting anything in return.
  6. Rock a BOLD colorful top.
  7. See myself as healthy, whole, happy and HOT.
  8. Stretch for 10 minutes before getting in bed at night.
  9. Deep condition my hair.
  10. Send a “just because” hand written note to a dear friend.
  11. Live with gratitude and count my blessings.

A Reminder about Stress:

Please share these affirmations with a girlfriend who could use them!

Have a rockin’ week,

Tiff