Saturday, November 08, 2008

How to Have a Peaceful, Meaningful Christmas

My article, "Post Holiday Blues" is featured in an ebook you may want to read. It's called HOLIDAY BLUES GUIDE, by Barbara Kilikevicius, written "for all who seek solace during the Christmas season."

Post Holiday Blues
By, Susan Dunn, MA

“You gotta pay the price,” one of my clients is always telling me. She’s referring to what is a law of physics, and also the way things work – what goes up must come down.

The higher your Christmas, the more exciting, chaotic and tumultuous, the more likely you’ll be tumbling down just as far. Why? According to sychoneuroimmunologist (big word meaning the effect of brain and emotions on health, i.e., immunology), Paul Pearsall, Ph.D., our smart bodies want to establish equilibrium. Picture a graph on a midline. The midline is calm, routine. We can get very happy
and go up; or very unhappy and go down. Therefore, if our emotions go way up, there will come a time when our inner wisdom brings us down low, so we settle back into that middle space.

Does this mean if you have a terrible grief or depression, you can expect to be that happy at some time in the future? I’ve seen it happen. It’s a tenet of Emotional Intelligence that if you don’t fully experience one emotion, you stuff down ALL emotions. In other words, if you face grief and go through it, not around it, you will carve out a space to be filled with happiness. If you don’t, you shut down, and
become numb, in which case you don’t feel the bad, but you also don’t feel the good, and greatly limit your experience of life.

So, if you’re having a “down” period now what do you do? First of all, accept it. You can last it out. To speed it on its way:

1. Get active. Exercise an extra hour. It creates physical energy, it clears the mind, and flushes out toxic emotions. Do it especially if you don’t feel like it.

2. If you’re an introvert you may prefer meditation, yoga or Tai Chi.

3. Clean your house from top to bottom, doing the physical work yourself. Do it like a ritual, that is, with meaning. This is to get rid of the yuch, and make room for the sunshine. This is a tradition in many cultures at the New Year for a reason – because of what we’re all going through right now! Throw stuff out, sweep toward the doors, vacuum then take the bag out and dump it in the garbage, wash the furniture with something like Murphy’s soap.

4. Accept quiet times and go with the flow. Curl up by the fire and read good books. Coddle yourself with extra long baths with special lotions. Get your nails done. Get massages. Fix yourself a warm breakfast. It’s kind of a hibernating time anyway.

5. Jump-start your thinking brain. Start a new course. If you’re an extrovert, go to community ed classes. If you’re an introvert, enjoy yourself on the Internet with distance learning courses and take teleclasses.

6. Start a new intellectual project at work and at home. Start a new physical project at home - build a greenhouse, paint the spare bedroom.

7. Start anything new – new health club, new piano lessons, coaching, fencing lessons, new hairstyle, new friendship, new career.

8. If you live in an area where this is high allergy-time (such as Texas), make adjustments to your diet, because it’s cumulative - pollen PLUS diet PLUS dust and mold inside your house. Clean your air ducts.

9. Laugh. One simple exercise is to put a pencil in your teeth crosswise. This makes the muscles of your face into a smile, and this helps our bodies. It gives us the same great relief a good laugh does.

10. Don’t fight it. There is no need to appear “Miss Congeniality” when you aren’t feeling that way. It’s okay to be in a quiet place. Also, because this is the peak of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), get more sunshine. Exercise outside. Take a Caribbean cruise. When the sun crosses the bed in the spare bedroom, go lie down and soak up the rays.

Change is the only thing that stays constant, so know that your mood will eventually find its place. If you are seriously depressed, check with your personal health care professional.

Susan Dunn, M.A. (, individual coaching, coach
certification program, ebooks and seminars for mindful living and success.

Please contact me for coaching during this time! It's one of my specialties. . Coaching by email, phone and in person. Payment accepted by personal check, credit card, or PayPal.

Barbara writes in the introduction:
, emotional
My original intent was to add a small subchapter in my book A Mindful Christmas ~ How to Create a Meaningful, Peaceful Holiday. After hearing from many experts I decided to put together this free guide for anyone that needs some relief now. If you suffer from the holiday blues or know someone that does then this guide is for you. Please feel free to print this out or send anyone our way via the website to
download a free copy of this ebook themselves.

May it be a peaceful and meaningful season for you and yours. Let me help you if I can.



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