My friend, Jennifer Scott, has the following advice to share with you in order to help you survive the holidays! Take a look!...
Let’s face it — the holidays are the most wonderful and stressful time of year. Catching up with loved ones can be a blessing — or an anxiety-inducing nightmare. For some of us, having a game plan to keep the holidays stress-free and sober is extra important in a society that both glorifies alcohol and uses it as a coping mechanism. Here are five tips to keeping sane (and sober!) this holiday season.
Control your expectations
One theory about why it’s such a stressful time boils down to expectations. The holidays need to be “perfect,” or no one will enjoy them. This just isn’t possible, and accepting that things will go awry beforehand can greatly lower your holiday worries.
Minimize your engagements
A big part of the problem is being spread too thin. You have to see your parents, your grandparents, two aunts, an uncle and that’s just the beginning. With shopping, cooking and traveling, it’s easy to be overloaded. This year, consider skipping the visit with your aunts and uncles and write them heartfelt cards instead. Or choose one and visit the other next year. By minimizing how many people you’ll see, you can cut down your stress.
Schedule some personal time
This can be so hard to do when everyone knows this time of year is about “family.” But even taking one afternoon off to be by yourself and have a long soak in a tub, or a few hours of quiet reading or TV can ease your anxiety and help you enjoy time with your loved ones. If you take a few hours to truly unwind, not only will you be able to enjoy yourself more with those you love, but they’ll enjoy being around you too if you’re not so stressed — think of how you’ve been affected when a family member was overly stressed or in a bad mood! Do everyone a favor and let yourself relax when you need it.
Plan out your “excuses”
The holidays and alcohol often seem synonymous — but to people in addiction recovery, or even those of us who simply don’t drink, there needs to be a separation. This can be difficult if aunt Sally is a notorious busybody, or uncle Joe really hates taking “no” for an answer. By figuring out your excuse early on, you won’t feel that on-the-spot pressure to come up with a lie, or deal with explaining more than you like to people you only see once a year. Know exactly what you’ll say, and maybe even rehearse it in the mirror until you feel sure about yourself and your words.
BYOB —Bring Your Own Buddy
If you aren’t traveling far, but still feel anxious about family gatherings, consider bringing a friend with you — one who knows about your anxiety, one you trust and can rely upon in a stressful pinch. Having a friend there, someone you know you can talk to about anything, can help steer conversation away from topics you don’t want to discuss. Even if they simply provide a hand to squeeze under the table, having a friend with you can make a world of difference.
With these tips in mind, you can handle whatever hurdle is blocking you from enjoying the holidays in peace. Family is important, but it’s also what you make of it — so make it a pleasant, happy one, even if that means only seeing your friends this holiday season. This time of the year is one of the most wonderful and most stressful; take care of yourself so you can usher in the new year with joy.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I’m strong because I am a Storm Chaser.
I choose to love and appreciate myself and others for their awesomeness.
I choose not to give up.
I have days when I am weak and I may not even be able to put my running shoes on, but I refuse to stay weak and do nothing forever.
Life is meant to be lived.
Life is meant to be “uncomfortable.”
My fire to conquer my personal storms and help others love themselves gives me the strength to keep going.
I am strong because I have people who love and support me.
I’m strong because I am a fighter, and being super stubborn doesn’t hurt either. HA!
I am strong because I have a destiny that needs to be fulfilled.
I am strong because others need me, and I know my worth and what I deserve.
From the second we open our eyes to start our day, we have a choice.
A choice to get caught up in the stresses and negativity of life,
Or to be positive and make someone smile.
I don’t always make the right choice personally.
But today, I chose to smile and inspire.
And sing. And dance. And laugh. And play.
Because I am a Storm Chaser and this is what I was born for.
What do you choose to do today?...
Too many times we get caught up in the stresses of life. Too many times I let stress; anxiety, depression, and worry consume me. For whatever reason, I have a terrible need for locus of control. I take the world’s problems, and put them on my shoulders. I want to save everyone. However, I tend to forget myself. I am not alone.
We tend to be overly negative and pessimistic. We can’t live without over-criticizing everything out of habit. Many Storm Chaser has these “faults.” However, Storm Chasers are NEVER faults themselves. We simply need to practice looking at life from a different angle….
Here are 12 keys to help you look at life from a different angle:
Today I had lunch with a man that spoke of great wisdom and someone I would proudly call a new friend. “Why do I care?” you ask. Well, because I found myself learning a lesson that I think we all need to remember. After getting caught up some as to what was happening in our lives these days, he kept telling me, “You don’t need to be perfect.” My response was always, “Yes, I know. I just do my best for that day.” As we continued our talk and I confessed my current sense of drowning in a life without balance, he continued to state…”You don’t need to be perfect.” My response continued to be the same, but I began to wonder…was I not making any sense when I was speaking? It definitely wouldn't be the first time! As usual, the constant auto-replay of this ADHD brain brought me to pure realization. I was lying. I was lying to myself every day, and had been for months now. I wasn’t just trying to give my best for that day. I was pushing to be perfect without even realizing it. At everything. To the point that I feel so stretched and I am failing at it all! And yet a stranger that knew nothing of me suddenly knew me better than I had known myself for months. A person can only be perfect at being imperfect. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s time to stop beating ourselves up. Make time to reward ourselves for our awesomeness. It’s time to find balance once more. We don’t have to do it all. We want to, but that doesn’t mean we should kill ourselves trying to. As my new friend reminded me, "You still have plenty of time." So take a breath. Relax your overly tensed and stressed body. And be what you are meant to be! Perfectly Imperfect.
So what the heck is so important about being a Storm Chaser that is not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone? A lot actually. There are several studies that prove things such as:
1. Stepping outside of your comfort zone builds confidence.
2. It helps make you more flexible to handle whatever comes your way.
3. Stepping outside of your comfort zone helps push you to perform at your peak by constantly challenging yourself.
4. By taking risks, it helps us grow emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
5. Trying new things can help increase your creative side.
6. Believe it or not, embracing new challenges can also help us age better.
Yes, there are many studies that will tell you similar things, and you will most likely be fascinated with inkling to possibly try. But what’s the point in reading studies if you’re not willing to experience it for yourself?
Since Chasing Stormi has started, not only have I faced my own challenges that make me uncomfortable, but I have also grown emotionally, mentally, and physically. I do find myself to be more flexible and open to new things. I have also discovered that I am better at a lot of things I would have never have tried before. Most importantly I am learning a crazy amount of things that I never knew even existed!
I have met a photographer that was supposed to just be a one-time deal with Laughter Loves Photography, and instead gained a friend for life. By doing Yoga with Cats I learned there was so much more to the world of blogging than I could have ever thought was possible! And now I join Tabitha Philen with her Inspired Bloggers University and have gained lifetime skills to not only help me be a better blogger for you, but also to help keep me organized in my day to day life! Unfortunately, with so much school and work I am slow to get going in the game, but did you know that you can build more traffic from Pintrest than Facebook? Who knew?! I can't WAIT to see what else there is to discover in her classes! By taking yoga with Sue I ended up in Belize for a week with a whole new second family of 15! Each adventure not only helps me grow as a person, but it also helps to grow my close circle of friends that support me 100% whether I’m bragging about getting an A in my college class, or struggling to keep my head above water.
Do the studies really hold merit? YES! Is it worth getting a little uncomfortable from time to time? YES! Will life always be as exciting as it is in the baby stage of Chasing Stormi? YES! Because no matter what I will continue to be overwhelmed with new knowledge, finding so many amazing new friends, and seeing the change for the better in myself. So tell me…Are you ready to get comfortable yet?!
Have you ever felt like a tiny person in an enormous and engulfing world? It seems like that’s all I feel as I stagger through this new career that I fell into and wonder if my perfectionism will survive. Whether if it’s Chasing Stormi LLC, or the marketing business in general, I am constantly in awe of how much information there is to know! Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I don’t know what to do with myself other than have a panic attack. In fact, I believe that this is my biggest uncomfortable zone I have with at least three more years of trying to find my feet left to go.
Not only has school been a whirlwind of education, but there was a lot more to being in the business of attempting to encourage and inspire as you travel down your own path. I truly believe that I have learned more in the last eight months than my head can possibly hold! So what do you do with so much knowledge in an unknown path? You learn to get comfortable with being tiny….
Those panic attacks will always be there. They will sneak up on you without any warning and you will have to fight to gain breath and calm once more. But we are Storm Chasers! We chase the storm, not get swallowed by it. If Stewart Little and the Borrowers taught us nothing else it’s that being tiny is nothing at all! It makes us more creative when it comes to getting around and dealing with the engulfing world that we are living in, and who says that’s a bad thing?! Just because you feel tiny doesn’t mean that your heart, ideas, or personality could POSSIBLY be tiny at all! So be tiny. Get Lost. Get uncomfortable.
2016 brought on new life lessons, more grand adventures, new friends, a second family, and more confidence and love for who I am. Although there were struggles, this has proven to be my best year yet! I can only imagine what 2017 holds.
What I Learned in 2016
1. Tribes aren’t always worth joining.
2. When you put yourself out there, you can end up finding a second family that has the potential to bring a happy ending to all you’ve been through.
3. If something or someone isn’t right for you, then set it free.
4. Although fear can try to paralyze you, when you’re surrounded by good people you can conquer most anything!
5. Don’t be afraid to face your challenge your own way, whether it’s bear crawling, butt scooting, or whatever.
6. Termites taste like mints.
7. Hanging out with the locals of another country can change your world. Jaguars and all!
8. Being single in the 21st Century is a journey in itself.
9. Working with Laughter Loves Photography gets better every session.
10. I’m not the only one that suffers from GLCS.
11. Tiny teachers introduce us to great things.
12. When four fabulous women get together, they can conquer tasks, like diffusing bombs, like no body’s business!
13. Although I don’t think I will be jumping out of a plane any time soon, but my good friend, Jeremy Struemph, taught me how to soar!
14. Call me what you will, but this girl knows what she wants and what she deserves. Anything less is unacceptable.
15. Being a super hero is even cooler than seeing one on the big screen.
16. Yoga is great fun when kitties join you.
17. A table for one may be just what you need to discover who you really are.
18. Occasionally you have to look at life from a different angle.
19. I am more skilled than I originally thought.
20. You don’t need to chase friendships any more than happiness. When you live true to yourself, these things find you.
21. Second chances can lead to great things and awesome people.
22. It’s okay to be proud of your accomplishments even if others never get it.
23. Old friends and new friends equal in awesomeness.
24. When you’re weak don’t hesitate to lean on loved ones. Also, don’t hesitate to have faith in yourself because in reality you’re doing just fine! Because that’s what Storm Chasing is all about!
It’s funny how many times we find ourselves starting over in a single lifetime. Most of the time not even from our own doing. I know I haven’t gotten to write in a while, and I can’t remember the last time I had the opportunity to go on an adventure. However, I did want you to know that I continue to step outside of my comfort zone to see where life takes me. Summer school pushed me to a new limit, and two months ago I inherited a job duty that was a pure guessing game that I couldn’t seem to guess quite right. So after two months of struggling, stating continuously that I needed better training, and didn’t know how to fix what I was doing wrong because I didn’t even know what it was I was doing wrong I grew incredibly ill.
What cancer had invaded my life to make me so sick yet again? I cut off some inches of my hair hoping to remove some of the weight that was keeping me cemented to the bottom of the ocean floor unable to breathe. Unfortunately, although it did help with my headaches it didn’t help me with my heavy heart. It was clear what was wrong. My work environment was becoming more hostile every day and no matter how hard I tried my best wasn’t ever good enough. Mama bear came to the rescue with her ongoing wise advice yet again. “One breath, one step, one day at a time, baby….You have already walked through the fire, this is just a little heat from the backdraft.” Another friend reminded me that I was too valuable to be taken advantage of or made victim of. There had already been enough of that to last a life time.
So I pushed aside my desire to not rock the boat and looked the boss man in the eyes stating for the hundredth time that I needed better training and was doing the best I could with the tools I was given. I have never been called unprofessional in my life, and this man uttered that word 27 times in less than 24 hours. I was also told I wasn’t taking accountability for my inability to do my job correctly. In my head I hear Lana from Archer say, “nnnnoooopppppeeee.” And just like that I had no job. At 36 I was on the hunt for a new job and trying to collect my self-confidence and worth once more.
Luckily there were plenty of people that were excited to have me as an employee. Things are tight, of course, due to being in between paychecks, but it’s worth digging for change in my couch cushion knowing that I am no longer overworked, underpaid, unappreciated, or a victim. However, something unexpected happened. Yes, I found a new job. Yes, I am already feeling better and making new friends. Yes, I was beaten down to the point of illness and inability to function. But what I wasn’t expecting was how quickly I bounced back. It did not take so long to find my worth. It took zero seconds to not regret standing up for myself. I have been stepping outside of my comfort zone and developed a brand that I couldn’t be more proud of that it was easy to find myself at peace quickly and getting back to loving myself like I deserve. So a project that was started to simply help get me through my divorce and change my ongoing unsuccessful path has become my new life line.
I’m winding down as I work towards finishing my AAS at JCCC. I also found that I have an ability to go even further than expected once I transfer to Park University. I will never stop writing and sharing my experiences with you. They might not be regularly as I would like, but I am not leaving you even as my life seems to be getting crazier and crazier until I finish school. I am here for you and will never be giving up on you. Don’t worry; we will be adventuring together sooner than later! So if you feel like stepping outside of your comfort zone is just a silly adventure to spend your extra time on, know that it does make a difference, especially the more you stick with it. You will bounce back faster. You will find your self-worth faster no matter who tries to take it from you. You will appreciate yourself and all the amazingness you have to offer. So isn’t that worth getting a little uncomfortable?....