We might love to sing along with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but it doesn’t always feel wonderful. Maybe there’s a part of us that feels swallowed up by the stress caused by all the extras in our schedules.
During the holiday season, it’s definitely important to make a special effort to monitor our health and wellbeing, including squeezing in some of that precious downtime. However, in this episode, when went beyond the things you might usually think of to fight stress and found six unique tips that we hope will surprise you with their simplicity and effectiveness. Some are specific to the holidays, but most are perfect for Christmas time or ANY time.
You may also like: “Beating the Holiday Blues”
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Sandy Kovach [00:00:01]:
This is imagine yourself podcast where we help you imagine your next chapter of life with grace, gratitude, courage, and faith.
Lanée Blaise [00:00:09]:
Welcome to Imagine yourself where life is beautiful all the time. And when it's not, I mean, we're here for you also, I'm Lanee here with Sandy, and I'm kinda making light of it because many times there's regular life, there's holiday life, there's all kinds of things going on, and we love to address ways to make our lives better, to imagine our selves and our lives the way we truly want them to be. And sometimes, stress comes in tries to take that away from us. And so today, Sandy and I wanted to gift everyone a few little tips on how to fight back against that stress and deal with it and recover. One of those even might be incorporating something so that we can all deal with the holidays. too because sometimes that can be a big stressor. It's meant to be. The intentions are great, but sometimes it's a little tough. So I wonder If Sandy, you might be willing to bless us all with a little stressbusting tip that can be even just for regular days of the year
Sandy Kovach [00:01:17]:
.Yeah. So we'll definitely use some holiday ones, but regular days, this is any time, and it's something I call purge your brain, and I'm trying to get better at it. It's removing all that stuff that stresses you out things that you need to do that pop into your head. I'm not talking about stuff that you maybe write down that you have to do on your to do list during your work day at the beginning of the day, etcetera. I mean, those things that pop into your head when you're driving or you're walking or your cooking dinner or whatever. And you think you're gonna remember them, but you don't. And that's burned me so many times. So you can write it down You can do the voice mail on your phone. I have it on my Apple Watch, and it saves to my phone. So, oh, I have to text my friend. Oh, I have to make a doctor's appointment. Oh, I have to pick up so and so at the airport. Hey. Don't forget to pick up milk. Just little things like that, but when you can Get them out of your head and put them onto a list. You don't have the anxiousness about forgetting things. Plus the fact, you don't forget to do them. Or if you do, you can always refer back to the list. Right? So it's a win win. Gonna call it purge your brain, you ever tried that?
Lanée Blaise [00:02:33]:
I have absolutely tried it, but mine wasn't always just for things that I needed to remember to do that were kind of making me anxious, but sometimes they were fears and frustrations in general. Sometimes things I couldn't control And I would just write it down and put it over there, like, okay. I can worry about this later. because what one was, back when I lived in a different home before this one. We had neighbors that had these 3 aggressive pit bulldogs. And we were gonna be moving, and we knew we were moving anyway, but we or at least I worried that whoever moved into the house, like, do we tell them about these dogs? Do we not tell them? And I just kinda had to write it on a sheet of paper. Like, Hey, Lanee, Worry about those dogs later. You know? And as it turns out, it worked out the people who bought the house had driven by the house at various times when I didn't realize it. And they had seen those dogs, and they knew what they were up against, and they still wanted to buy our home. So Some things you can't control, but it's still racing in my mind. And I love that terminology even. Purge your brain.
Sandy Kovach [00:03:41]:
Yeah. And I like yours too, purging it of the anxiousness and things that you're worried about because that can be a big source of stress too.
Lanée Blaise [00:03:54]:
And sometimes it's a source of insomnia. You can't sleep because you And that's why I kinda ended up having to say, I'm gonna put this on the sheet of paper. I promise I'll worry about it later. But I promise not right now. I love that. I love the title. I love the concept. And I wanna continue doing it, but I wanna do it, like you said, for other areas too. I have got one that the world tells you, don't ever give up, don't ever quit, And sometimes, I think we have to realize in order to alleviate stress and have a sense of peace in our life, we have to realize that there are times in this world where you are meant to walk away say no, end it, quit. I know they say quitters never win, but sometimes winning back your sanity, your peace of mind, your serenity is worth it. And sometimes you look back and say, I'm glad that I quit. So, basically, what I'm doing in this tip is just giving confirmation and reassurance that there are times in this life where you're meant to lay down the sword. And technically, maybe more people are starting to embrace this identity on Instagram the other day, a woman who did put a post about really saying sometimes there's a time to walk away, but she also said even when you're walking away, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll never come back to it. You know? Like, sometimes you're quitting temporarily. Sometimes you need to quit for good, but sometimes you just you're taking a realized break and you're walking away and you're decompressing and you're not worrying about if you are gonna come back to it or if you're never gonna come back to again, you give yourself that distance and that piece.
Sandy Kovach [00:05:48]:
Ah, I like that one. And I especially like the part where you can say, hey, I might come back because even though maybe you won't. It depends. Right? But it won't feel as abrupt.
Lanée Blaise [00:06:00]:
I have a personal one for this too because I mean, this was mini moons ago. But when I was in college, I well, I I should go back. When I was in high school, I knew what college I wanted to go to. I wanted to go to the College of William Mary, And it was 2 hours from my home, and I would be able to come home for Thanksgiving. And I was really excited about it. I'd visit it, and it was great. got in, got there, and I wasn't enjoying it, at all. Like, I did 2 years. Like, you know, I definitely didn't I don't encourage people to quit, like, after the 1st semester 1st 2 weeks, but I actually went through 2 years and everything in my spirit, in my life, in my mind, everything was leading towards this is not the place. And so I truly did quit or walked away, and I didn't know what school I was gonna go to. I didn't know when I was gonna go back to school. My father was so worried. Like, You've gotta graduate you. And my mother said, let her take her time. It's all gonna work out. She is gonna find her place. And I took a full year off, which nowadays they call it like a gap year, but I took a year off, rediscovered some aspects of myself, And then I ended up going to university of Miami where I flourished, got the degree of my dreams, found the man of my dreams, and met the friends and my dreams. Everything was great, and I appreciated it so much more because I had quit on the other school. So personal example, it really can be a blessing.
Sandy Kovach [00:07:32]:
Yeah. And not to say that it's always the right thing to do to quit. I know that's not what you're saying. You're saying sometimes It is. Sometimes you need to take break or reassess. Yes. There are many circumstances that could be different and not one size all. So since you're talking about school, I have a tip that is related. Well, somewhat to school. I read about it a couple years ago, and think it was the University of Delaware. I'm not positive that was the college, but the point is it was during final exams week, and what they did in the library is set up a place where the students could do jigsaw puzzles. So it was like a singular focused task and you know how we're always multitasking and thinking of different things. And sometimes when we relax, we pick up our phones or tablets, and that's just more stimulation. But this was a good way to focus on one thing and to engage your brain and get those finals or whatever you're stressed out about out of your head. And I think that would work with other creative tasks too, like maybe knitting and crocheting. I know a lot of people do that to relax.
Lanée Blaise [00:08:41]:
I think it will make us smarter also. I think it should be required that everybody, every once in a while, do a singular task. Like you said, where you're focused on that one thing, that is brilliant. And I think it would make for a smarter nation of people Yes. That we're not just all flailing around, like you said, in front of our screens or trying to do fourteen things at once. And that is the definition of stress. You think that you're, like, winning, but it's sometimes that that's a great stress buster in my humble opinion. So I have practicing gratitude. Lots of people have you know, said this Oprah said it back in the nineties about having a gratitude journal. We have even said it in different podcasts. But I wanted to put a little spin on it as far as the stress busting aspect of it because many times, we talk about gratitude journals and things like that to make sure that we connect more with god and ourselves and others. But this one, I wanna just and I still definitely we definitely wanna thank god. We definitely wanna thank others. We definitely wanna thank God for all the beauty and nature and stuff like that, but I want to take a page out of Snoop Dogg's book And I want us to do for this stress busting, consider thanking yourself. So back in, I don't know, like 2018 or 2019 when Snoop Dog got his walk of fame star, He got up there for his speech, and he said, I wanna thank me. I wanna thank me for believing in me. I wanna thank me for doing all this hard work. I wanna thank me for well, he said for never quitting, but which that one will take that in moderation. But he said, you know, I wanna thank me for always being a giver and trying to do more right than wrong. And, again, in this society, I don't know if it's proper etiquette to thank oneself. but I think we need to embrace it. And I know everybody's a little different. There are some people who are super conceited and arrogant and think that they're the best thing since slice bread and airplanes, but for the majority of us, I think we don't take that time. And so we're stress. We think we suck. We think we failed. We think we've done everything wrong. Take a moment and just say, I wanna thank me for getting up today for brushing my teeth for going through and doing the things that I have do for myself, for my family, for this world, I wanna thank me. And, of course, thank god for making me, but I have this book that I got, and it's called 100 days of believing bigger by Marshawn Evans Daniels. And it's a devotional, but you are encouraged to write in it. And one of the things that she had in book, one of the pages was write down 21 things that you appreciate about yourself. Nice. I wonder, you know, how many people take time to sit and write
Lanée Blaise [00:11:57]:
21 beautiful things that they appreciate about themselves I hope and believe that in itself would be a little stress buster and self image booster and self care moment
Sandy Kovach [00:12:08]:
Lanée Blaise [00:13:01]:
My daughter is an amazing chef cook bakers. So Kayla does all of that, and I just eat them.
Sandy Kovach [00:13:09]:
Nice. Now for me, I do the cookies but I have not much talent in that department. You know, I can cook and bake some things, but I'm no well, let's talk about snoop dogs friend, Martha Stewart. I'm no Martha Stewart in the kitchen. And so what I usually do and now my cookies get requested at holiday parties. is I buy the precut dough, and it's already cut up into stars and sandahats. And all I have to do is throw them in the oven and sometimes I put some sprinkles on them and whatever. But I read about something where I can put frosting on them, and it'll look decent. Usually, I avoid that because I would just make a big mess of the cookies. And then It defeats the purpose of having nice cookies for no effort. You can get squeezable condiment bottles, you know, buy them off Amazon or whatever. and put your different colored frosting in each of the bottles. And that's supposed to be a great sheet. And it's fun, and it's easy, and it's no stress, and it's
Lanée Blaise [00:14:08]:
stress reducing. I, you know, I just as long as you don't eat too many of them. Or like you said, make them give them away to some people too. It's just it brings joy. It it makes you feel like you're in the midst of the holiday without doing some of the holiday things that are going overboard and that actually drive you batty and make you frustrated and make you feel overwhelmed.
Sandy Kovach [00:14:29]:
Exactly. That's the point. I mean, for some people, the baking wouldn't be overwhelming. That's in their skill set, like Kayla. A lot of people find baking very relaxing and wouldn't dream of doing these shortcuts. But if you are in the camp of not being really great at it or maybe you just don't have a lot of time because This is a much quicker way to get things done. And the cookies still taste homemade. Plus, if you have kids, It's very simple for them to help you out. My little niece has been my baking partner, my son, when he was younger, you have to worry about them ruining the cookies. or ruining the kitchen either. You don't have flour all over the place. No stress. No stress. And I should mention too that If cookies don't stress you out or making cookies or cooking or whatever, take this advice for something during the holiday season or whatever that does stress you out and either pay somebody to do something or, like, with the cookie thing, take a shortcut. So, Lynne, you too have a holiday tip. Right?
Lanée Blaise [00:15:37]:
Yes. Mine actually kind of goes hand in hand with yours. Mine is only to please, during this holiday season and any other one, please consider taking a moment. And this is as a stress reducer and just as a love booster and really try to Reignite your inner child. Some of us had good childhood lives. Some of us did not Regardless of if you had a good one or a bad one. Take this time now, even though we are clearly adults, and try to kind of look around the world and the sometimes if you're in areas where there's snow, or at the trees, at the lights, at the candles with the wonderment of a child, which is part of what the season is really supposed to be about. Not the hustling and bustling to get to people's homes and drop off gifts and make homemade from scratch cookies but really take a few centering moments to look at the candles, the ornaments, the Turkey, the, or the, you know, the different foods and, like, savor it. Enjoy it. Experience it as if you were either a child or as if you were from some other planet and you came and you got to see what are these creature's doing here. Just consider that as a stress boosting. And like I said, as a centering and love boosting tip.
Sandy Kovach [00:17:16]:
Yeah. I love that. Focusing on the things that make Christmas, magical, obviously remembering the reason for the season is a big part of it, but also the traditions and even holiday movies. If you wanna watch home alone for the 800th time or Elf or a Christmas story. It's a wonderful life, whatever.
Lanée Blaise [00:17:36]:
I personally love those little ones with those little animatronic things that the hot miser and the cold miser and the oh, I love them. I love them all because it reminds me of my childhood. And back then, there were only, like, three stations on the television, and so they were gonna have those playing. So just kind of actually savoring those little cute Fun, reminiscent, nostalgic parts of the holidays.
Sandy Kovach [00:18:05]:
I love that. Instead of focusing
Sandy Kovach [00:18:07]:
so much on the stressful parts focusing on the fun parts with the warm memories. And, you know, that'll help too, I think, with a lot of folks who deal with the holiday blues, which by the way, we did an episode on that last year around this time. We'll make sure and put a link to that one. in the show notes, but hopefully you've enjoyed and have been helped by this episode featuring our stress busting tips.
Lanée Blaise [00:18:34]:
Yeah. But overall, we just wanna say happy holidays, blessings to you and your family and friends, and really take a few moments to just Breathe it in, take it down a few notches, and really reflect on some of those aspects purge in your brain, realizing it's okay to quit, realizing you can bring out your inner child. You can bake cookies. You can practice gratitude. You can do the puzzles with the 1 oh, you could do during holidays too, all these things just kinda smooth it out. We really invite you to imagine yourself less stress.
Sandy Kovach [00:19:15]:
Thanks for listening. We'd love your feedback and your tips. If you have them too,
Sandy Kovach [00:19:20]:
you can always find our contact information at imagine yourself podcast.com. We're down in the episode notes. We hope that you'll take the time to rate and review podcast. If you have a moment, really helps us shape it and helps other folks find it as well. until next time when we have something new to imagine, here's to a happy holiday season and a well, as much as we can make it as stress free life.