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Goodbye 2017!

The end of the year is a wonderful time for reflection. As we say goodbye to 2017, we can review what was good in 2017 and what wasn’t so good. When we reflect on our year, it’s important to remember that we did the best we could with the knowledge and information we had. If we’d known better, we would have done better. It’s so easy to get caught up in a cycle of self-criticism and self-judgement when we look back on our year. The purpose of reflection is to help figure out how to move life forward.

It can be easy to look at the past year and see the things you didn’t achieve. Or notice the things that didn’t go as planned. It’s also important to see the things that you did achieve and how well you handled the unexpected. 2017 has been a mix of blessings and lessons that all lay the foundation for 2018.
When we review our year, we can use that insight for personal development, so we can create our best year ever! Out with the old and in with the new, may you be happy the whole year through! Happy New Year! See you in 2018!

For help relaxing from stress contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 26 December 2017

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Emotional First Aid

With the busyness of Christmas, this is a good time to talk about Emotional First Aid. I first heard of Emotional First Aid in a TED talk by Guy Winch. Emotional First Aid is having the skills to take care of our mental and emotional health as easily as we put a plaster on a cut. Christmas can present a lot of financial, health and relationship challenges, and it’s good to have an emotional first aid kit to turn to.

Pay attention to emotional pain — recognise it when it happens and work to treat it before it feels all-encompassing. Redirect your gut reaction when you fail. Instead of focusing on the failure, examine how you could have improved the process to create success. Monitor and protect your self-esteem. When you feel like putting yourself down, take a moment to be compassionate to yourself. When negative thoughts are taking over, disrupt them with positive distraction. Find meaning in loss. Consider how you might gain or help others gain a new appreciation for life, or imagine the changes you could make that will help you live a life more aligned with your values and purpose. Don’t let excessive guilt linger by offering an apology or finding a way to make amends. Learn what treatments for emotional wounds work for you to build emotional resilience.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

For help relaxing from stress contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 19 December 2017

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That Christmas Time of Year – Part 2

Whether you love Christmas or loathe it, Christmas has the potential to be a stressful time of year. Here are some more tips to help you through the Christmas period.

Delegate Christmas tasks and ask for help. Communicate openly and remember it’s ok to say “no”. Don’t carry the entire burden

If you experience persistent low mood or anxiety, consider professional help. There is a wealth of experience and expertise available to deal with mental health difficulties.

Avoid comparing yourself with other people as this can have a negative effect on how we feel. Social media and consumer advertising can make this worse, and lead to a treadmill of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, especially at Christmas. Limiting exposure to social media and television advertising over the Christmas period can help this.

Have realistic expectations about family gatherings. We put special significance on Christmas as a ‘time for family’, perhaps because many modern families live far apart. Being realistic about what you can expect from this time together will help avoid disappointment and arguments, which might then make it easier to heal family rifts.

Allow yourself to take ‘time out’ if you find your stress levels rising. This can be hard to do if you have domestic responsibilities – looking after children or feeling obligated to entertain visitors – so it can help to pre-plan and ask for help from family and friends.

For help relaxing from stress contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 12 December 2017

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That Christmas Time of Year – Part 1

So here we are again in the lead in time to Christmas. Whether you love Christmas or loathe it, Christmas has the potential to be a stressful time of year. So here are some tips to help you through the Christmas period.

Decide which Christmas activities and traditions are most significant to you. Only participate in those activities that have significance for you and decline the activities which cause stress or are insignificant for you.

Christmas time tends to be a time when people spend more money than they can afford. Make a Christmas budget and stick with it.

Take care of yourself. Eat right, get enough sleep and exercise. Control your alcohol consumption and limit your indulgence in high fat or sugary foods.

Recognise signs of stress and use relaxation techniques when you begin to get irritated or upset such taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk or taking a break.

Have realistic expectations of family and friends. Just because it is Christmas, does not mean the attitudes or behaviours of relatives and friends will change. Accept this and plan how you will respond to help keep the Christmas spirit.

Make time for yourself. This time does not need to cost anything and can include going for a walk or reading a book. Schedule time for yourself during the busy Christmas period.

For help relaxing from stress contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit http://www.relaxfromstress.ie.

Published in the Connaught Telegraph newspaper on 5 December 2017

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