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3 Tips to Reduce Stress During Graduation/Wedding/AndOtherEvents Season

The month of May here in the Northeast kicks off the season of ‘lots of events’. From graduations to weddings to backyard BBQ’s, it seems every weekend beginning in May is booked solid with invitations to different gatherings.  And while it all sounds lovely, it can be quite stressful as well.

Here are 3 tips to help you get through this busy season without pulling your hair out, or worse, coming down with a spring cold that keeps you from enjoying the start of the season.

Choose wisely.  Just because you receive an invitation doesn’t mean that you have to attend.  Start by eliminating the word ‘should’ from your decision making process, as in, I don’t really want to attend this event but I feel like I should.  Make the choice to attend only those events that you truly want to be a part of.  Think of it from the host’s point of view, if you were hosing an event would you want people there that didn’t really want to be there but came anyway because they felt that they had to?  No? I didn’t think so!

Give yourself permission to simplify.  Don’t have time to purchase a gift? Give cash or a gift card.  Don’t have time to whip up your famous casserole for that backyard BBQ? Bring something store bought.  Remember that gatherings are really about reconnecting with friends and family, not about the food or the gifts.

Go in with a plan.  If you are attending an event that includes seeing some people that you really don’t want to interact with (in laws, that cousin who hasn’t spoken to you in 10 years), decide ahead of time how you will deal with it.  Before I go into a family event with a relative that won’t speak to me, I set an intention that I will be polite and respectful regardless of what I encounter.  And I always have an exit strategy – if things start to go south I already have an excuse for making a graceful early departure.

Don’t let stress suck the joy out of a season that brings people together!  Just by making these small tweaks you can sail through May and enjoy the busyness instead of letting it stress you out.

 

If stress is taking over your life, reach out to me fora free 30 minute consultation

Creating From a Place of Anger

orange-band-aid-1468905A while ago I was invited to participate in a book writing club.  One of the group members had an unusual idea for a book.  She was writing a book which consisted of letters to those people in her life who had wronged her.  I read one of the letters.  It was drenched in nastiness, dripping with hatred.

I did not judge this woman.  I didn’t try to counsel her to rethink this, although the catholic-Italian in me felt that I should have.  Instead, I just accepted that this was part of her journey in life, wished her well, and inwardly wished her peace.  I didn’t absorb any of this bitterness, and was both surprised and proud of myself for not doing so.

You see, I could really, really empathize with her.  I know that bitterness.  The one that comes from that place of feeling wronged, of not being able to get in the last word.  To want to make someone feel badly for what they did to you. Oh I have BEEN there, been in that place of anger and hatred.

But if I have learned one lesson in life that I value above all others, it’s this:  creating from that place of anger, bitterness, hatred doesn’t make you feel better.  It keeps you stuck in that place.  And if what you’ve created, while in that place of anger, bitterness, hatred, will be seen, heard, felt by others, it won’t make them feel good either. It will just perpetuate the cycle of anger and hatred.

But, when you create from a place of joy, happiness,or love, your creation, no matter how small, will have a positive effect for whoever sees, hears or feels it.

This is what I have noticed in my own life.  When I create from a place of anger, I just don’t feel right.  Like when I would create a disciplinary action for my son while I was still angry about what he’d done, I would create a really over-the-top consequence- no electronics for a month!  Threatening to take everything away for a month because he didn’t honor one request is ridiculous, and doesn’t serve the goal of guiding him to make better choices.

But when I create from a place of love, I create the change that I want to see in the world.  I create acceptance, respect and kindness instead of shame, judgment, and anger.

I help to create a world that I want to live in.