Gearing up for the Holiday Season

When some people think about the upcoming holiday season (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas), their heart starts to beat a little faster and they break into a sweat.  I have heard that it is actually quite a stressful period of time for some people.

So, when I was at my CEO Group’s couples retreat this past weekend, I found the speaker’s topic to be quite timely.

When Dr. Jerry Kornfeld walked into the room, he looked kind of familiar.  After hearing his introduction, I realized where I had met him.  Back in the 1980s, he was a regular commentator on KABC-TV’s news, as “Ask Dr. Jerry.”  If you live in Southern California, you will probably recognize him as well.

Dr. Jerry’s talk to us was entitled “A Physician’s Game Plan for Wellness and Longevity,” but what resonated to me were his comments about the Mind/Body connection.

In other words, “Thoughts are things.”  This is not a new concept.  It was actually René Descartes, a 17th Century French Philosopher who said:

“I think, therefore I am.”

Especially, during the holidays, if we THINK this time will be stressful, or we allow ourselves to get uptight, our body only reacts in a stressful “fight or flight” manner because our thoughts make it react that way.

Dr. Jerry shared a relatively simple list of his Top 10 Steps for Coping.  Check this out:

  1. Find time to Meditate.  If you can’t meditate, then try taking deep breaths.   Deep breathing will release oxytocin, the calming, relaxing hormone, into your system.
  2. Develop a support network.
  3. Accept that you have limitations.
  4. Don’t feel like you have to do everything.
  5. Find humor in difficult situations. Laugh!
  6. Show kindness such as pick up litter and open doors for others.
  7. Become more spiritual.
  8. Get exercise. It’s the best tranquilizer!
  9. Avoid negative people so you avoid dealing with negative thoughts.
  10. Think positive thoughts.

You will recall I shared a TED talk on “How stress can be good for you” a couple of months ago. Maybe it’s time to take 18 minutes to watch it again.

Take a deep breath, ask your friends and family for help, and enjoy the holidays!