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Life Connections: Mastering The Holiday Madness!

holiday concept with green button on computer keyboard

Life Connections:
Mastering The Holiday Madness!

It’s October already! The holiday season is beginning and school is in full swing. Vacations are being planned and end of the year projects are pushing to be finished. It is the start of holiday madness. The holiday season is a happy time but let’s face it; it can also be stressful. So how can you prepare yourself for the onslaught of emotion? Here are 4 easy ways to strengthen your resolve and calm your mind so you can enjoy the holidays and begin the New Year feeling fresh and renewed.

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Beautiful child smelling rose against spring flowery background

The BEST relaxation method around is FREE and you already have it in your possession. It’s your breath or rather, your ability to take a breath. When you feel UP-TO-HERE with anxiety and the world is closing in give yourself a time out. Take a moment, sit down and get comfortable. Close your eyes and picture a soothing place. It can be anywhere: the beach, a mountain top, the forest, Disneyland – just let it be any place that brings you peace, happiness and comfort. When you are settled take a deep breath in through your nose. Try to draw the breath all the way down to your belly. Hold the breath for a beat and then exhale through your mouth. Repeat the process: inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Drawing in the breath slowly and exhaling slowly. Your body will begin to relax. This process can be done for five minutes or 30 minutes (more or less). The fact that you are taking a moment for yourself to be calm is really the key to the process. If you have a Smartphone there are apps that assist in relaxation breathing. Or you can search the Internet for more breathing/meditation tips.

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mindfulness  - awareness concept - isolated text in letterpress wood type

Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of Western science. He created Mindfulness Meditation which claims to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn is offered at medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations.

A good way to use Mindfulness is to use the breathing techniques mentioned above and add some Mindful Meditation techniques. Instead of picturing a relaxing space when you are practicing your relaxation breathing you, instead, listen to your body. Mindfulness helps you become acutely aware of yourself. As you breathe you are start to take an inventory of your body: how your legs feel on the chair, how your feet feel on the ground, the stress in your shoulders and neck. Most people are not aware of their bodies unless the body is giving them a warning signal like pain or tension. Using Mindfulness you can begin to know your body and listen to it before it YELLS at you. More information on Mindfulness can be found at The Center for Mindfulness and at The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

Read more: The Doctor Is In: 5 Tests You Need To Stay Healthy In Your 30′s



All the of stress reduction techniques I have mentioned employ a slowing down routine. Ours is a hectic world full deadlines, messages, and never ending “to-do” lists. Each day you are faced with stressors that are simply a fact of life in the year 2013. One thing that can make life enjoyable is to not get caught up in the I-HAVE-SO-MUCH-GOING-ON mentality. Rather, take one day at a time. Use your “to-do” as a reminder. Only give yourself a few tasks each day to finish. Every time you check off an item as completed you will feel a sense of accomplishment. The overall experience of finalizing your list each day will ADD to your productivity even though you may be doing less. Try it for a week. You will be amazed at the change

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Easy Ways To Simplify Your Life



My final piece of advice is to see all the good you have in your life. There is so much negativity in the world; bullying, Internet rants and nightly news broadcasts full of crime and despair. A good way to make sure that you are not being affected negatively is to say several positive mantras throughout the day. As soon as you wake up in the morning say your manta three times. When you get home in the evening say it again three times. Finally, before going to bed do the same. This is a way of positively programming your mind. After three weeks of this you should feel a change. Mantas can be anything and can be more than one statement. It’s good the keep them short and easy. I like to use sticky notes as a reminder. I place them on mirrors, at my desk and even in my car. Filling your life with positive messages is a great way to live and much healthier for you and your family.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 “Notes To Self” To Remember Every Day


As always I welcome your feedback. You can find me on Twitter at @LifeCoachMarcyL or email me at Please let me know how the above tips work for you and if you have any suggestions. Be well and ENJOY life!

Coach Marcy

Marcy Rosenzweig Leavitt

Marcy Rosenzweig Leavitt, Psy.D, CHT, CLC (Coach Marcy) is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Hypnotherapist. She earned her Master in Counseling Psychology and Doctor of Clinical Psychology degrees from Ryokan College and her Certification in Professional Life Coaching from CIPCE in affiliation with Coastal Counseling and Coaching, Inc. While completing her predoctoral residency she worked with local community associations including Starview Child and Adolescent Services, Portals House, and Goodwill Industries of Southern California. Over the past seven years Coach Marcy has worked in a variety of settings and with various populations including veterans, women, physically/sexually abused children, gifted and talented children/teens, and at risk families. She is currently studying for her Health and Wellness Coach certification with WellCoaches via The Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital Harvard University.
Coach Marcy specializes in working with children and adolescents, those diagnosed with social and attention disorders, stress reduction, goal setting, motivation, and school advocacy.” She helps clients connect their mind, body, and life. She can be contacted at
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