Meditation on breath

Sign up to listen to our meditation on breath.

After you listen, be sure to check your email for the direct link to play it any time!  Check out the full CD here.

* Please allow up to 60 minutes for your email to arrive and check your spam folders.  You may need to add MyMindfulWayofLife.com to your filter.

This MailChimp shortcode is now deprecated. Please insert the new shortcode to display this form.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Where Did the Magic Go?

It was such a beautiful time, and now you just want to pull the covers over your head, or worse yet, bite someone’s head off!  How do you tell if you are just tired or having post-holiday blues?  It’s normal to turn toward a more introspective place as company leaves, holiday parties die down, and visions of sugarplums are replaced by the daily commute and the realities of everyday life.  Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

How to Avoid Holiday Stress: Tips From A Busy Doctor – Mom

Holiday Stress

-by Debbie Reagan, A Better Times Magazine

The stresses we feel during holiday times are universal, regardless of the religious holidays or celebrations we embrace. Most of the busyness of the holidays falls on mothers, many of whom work full time and/or shoulder a great deal of the family caretaking responsibility. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Incorporating Biofeedback in Everyday Life

You have already used biofeedback without knowing it.  Every time you step on a scale in your bathroom or doctor’s office, you receive feedback about your weight.  Then you have an idea in your mind about whether or not you are on track.  In response, you may increase or decrease your exercise level and food intake.  This modification of your behavior and a follow-up assessment of your weight Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

A BUSY DOCTOR (AND MOM OF TWO) TELLS HOW MOMS CAN AVOID HOLIDAY STRESS

Debbie Reagan, Freelance writer, Better Times Magazine,

The stresses we feel during holiday times are universal, regardless of the religious holidays or celebrations we embrace. Most of the busyness of the holidays falls on mothers, many of whom work full-time and/or shoulder a great deal of the family caretaking responsibility. I recently sat down with Dr. Urszula I. Klich, a Clinical Psychologist at Shepherd Pain Institute in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss how women, in particular, can avoid holiday burnout. Even before she became a mom herself she designed a program for busy moms. Now with a 13-year-old and a 2 year there is never a dull moment in this busy doctor’s life!

Dr. Klich shared with me that while it can be easy to get caught up in our lack of time, especially during the holidays, it is amazing how creative we can become when we set intentional focus on the important things that make the holidays meaningful.

Moms, who most often shoulder the burden of how the holidays play out, need to balance the pressure of meeting the expectations of her family, friends and religious community (and the expectations she places upon herself) during the busy holiday season.  I learned from Dr. Klich that oftentimes we have develop idealized images of what the holidays should be like based on past experiences and pictures presented by the media. She noted that shopping, cooking, family, and travel obligations, often leave us more stressed than joyous. Dwindling support resources due to both of the parents working, the increase of single parent and blended families, and our tendency for extended families to be spread out geographically multiplies the burdens we feel during the holidays.

“Moms’ cooking is best” is a saying that Dr. Klich finds women adapting as truth during the holidays.  She finds women have often adapted many unrealistic expectations as some type of truth that they absolutely must follow. She finds this can result in a tremendous amount of pressure, often involving self-talk related to what we think things “should” be like. She often sees women on automatic pilot attempting to play out these expectations to the point of their own exhaustion and aggravation.  Many who become prey to this situation secretly (or not so secretly) proclaim “I can’t wait until the holidays are over!”  Sadly, in those times the personal importance and spiritual meaning of the holidays is missed.

I asked her how we might manage all of these expectations and responsibilities early in the process before we begin feeling so overwhelmed and out-of-control. Her response was timely and insightful:

The problems around the holidays most often stem from three big issues: Time, Money and Habits. And all of them are impacted by our expectations. I suggest that we start paying attention to our self-talk and what we tell ourselves “should’ or “needs to be” done in certain ways.

Time: The common complaint of not having enough time in the day becomes more frequent around the holidays.

  • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.  Write out fewer holiday cards; instead send email greetings or create one newsletter and send to everyone.  Pick up deserts at a favorite bakery rather than pushing yourself late at night.  Sure the personal touch is nice but it loses its significance when you end up feeling too tired, stressed, and irritated to enjoy the rewards.
  • Schedule time to do nothing.  Unplug your phone, delegate responsibilities.  Take a bath, read.  Don’t have the time?  You will actually become more efficient if you refresh yourself.

Money:  If there is ever a time we are aware that we need it, it is now.  As if our own dreams were not enough we are constantly bombarded by images from the media of what we need.

  • Keep the financial pressures at bay by planning a budget.  Know your spending limit.  That means adjust your spending to the amount of money you can afford NOT the other way around! Don’t give into pressure to buy from a sense of obligation. Remember that you will have to pay later for the decisions you make now.
  • Head to the stores armed with lists.  Avoid last-minute splurges out of desperation.
  • Remember the purpose of giving and the message you want to send.  Inexpensive personal gifts are more meaningful and often more appreciated than ones with a hefty price tag.
  • Telling ourselves that we “need” something often helps to convince ourselves that we cannot live without it.  Ask yourself honestly, “is this really something I need, or do I just want it”?

Habits: Remember, busyness often creates poor choices that can lead to poor habits during the holiday season.

  • Food affects your physical health and mood.  Overeating is an acceptable and often encouraged tradition during the holidays. Plan ahead for how you will handle the pressure to eat too many foods that are not good for you as well as the pressure to overeat.  Consider bringing a lighter alternative food to a holiday party such as a veggie or fruit plate.  Others will likely appreciate the option too.  If you slip don’t give up completely.  Tomorrow is another day!
  • Limit alcohol, and caffeine. That means chocolate as well as coffee, tea, and soda.  Both of these will affect your sleep and mood.  Consider bringing a sparkling juice or special punch to the festivities.
  • Make it your daily habit to pray and meditate. Almost every spiritual discipline proclaims the value of meditation, prayer, contemplation and silence. The most obvious benefits are greater feelings of peace, calm and managing stress. Mindfulness relaxation is a type of meditation based on the concept of being “mindful,” or having increased awareness, of the present. It uses breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. Just 15 minutes of slow, deep breathing, when accompanied by prayer, can benefit you immensely.
  • As the holiday schedule becomes hectic it is easy to let a regular exercise routine slide.  Don’t allow this to happen.  Instead examine your obligations and priorities.  Keeping close to a regular routine will lessen the impact of holiday chaos and minimize post-holiday let down.

Thinking about all of these things may make you feel overwhelmed already, but relax.  Exploring your expectations early can help you prevent falling into the same old habits.  Then, you can enjoy yourself; even have a good time.  That will be more likely if you remember to manage your time and money, get exercise, proper nutrition, relax.  Above all don’t forget to take time to explore and celebrate your and your family’s personal and spiritual meaning of the holidays.

Better Times Magazine, December 2012

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Holiday Stress: Is it Part of the Package?

Feel like you’re still recovering from last years holiday season? The holidays, known for their shopping, cooking, family, and travel obligations, often leave people more stressed than joyous. People develop idealized images of what the holidays should be like based on past experiences and pictures presented by the media.

Holidays may bring up strong memories of past celebrations or people who are no longer with us. It is normal to feel some sadness and this can be intensified when it appears that everyone else is happy. Even the holiday joy, which seems to surround us with lights, music, and other seemingly happy people may make us sad.

What can we do?
• Plan a special ritual to remember times or people that were special to you. You might go to a place that reminds you of that time or person. Perhaps take a dedicated walk in the snow and allow yourself to feel what you need to feel.

• Avoid getting into the trap of feeling like you are the only one feeling lonely. Then think about volunteering or doing something special for others who may not be as fortunate; nursing homes, shelters, and hospitals are good places to start.

• Try to remember the religious and spiritual significance of the holidays. The church is a good place to find social support and you may get a chance to spread it yourself.

Time and Money.

Time: The common complaint of not having enough time in the day becomes more frequent around the holidays.

• Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. Write out fewer cards; email or send newsletters. Pick up deserts at a favorite bakery rather than pushing yourself late at night. Sure the personal touch is nice but it loses its significance when you end up feeling too tired, stressed, and irritated to enjoy the rewards.

• As the holiday schedule becomes hectic it is easy to let a regular exercise routine slide. Don’t allow this to happen. Instead examine your obligations and priorities. Keeping close to a regular routine will lessen the impact of holiday chaos and minimize post-holiday let down.

• Schedule time to do nothing. Unplug your phone, delegate responsibilities. Take a bath, read. Don’t have the time? You will actually become more efficient if you refresh yourself.

Money: If there is ever a time we are we need it is now. As if our own dreams we not enough we are constantly bombarded by images from the media of what we need.

• Keep the financial pressures at bay by planning a budget. Know your spending limit. That means adjust your spending to the amount of money you can afford NOT the other way around!

• Head to the stores armed with lists. Avoid last minute splurges out of desperation.

• Remember the purpose of giving and the message you want to send. Inexpensive personal gifts are more meaningful and often more appreciated than ones with a hefty price tag.

• Telling ourselves that we “need” something often helps to convince ourselves that we can not live without it. Ask yourself is this really something I need, or do I just want it.

Remember, food affects your physical health and mood. Overeating is an acceptable and often encouraged tradition during the holidays.

• Plan ahead for how you will handle the pressure to “go on and have another.” Consider bringing a lighter alternative to a holiday party such as a veggie or fruit plate. Others will likely appreciate the option too. If you slip don’t give up completely. Tomorrow is another day!

• Limit alcohol, and caffeine…that means chocolate as well as coffee, tea, and soda. Both of these will affect your sleep and mood. Consider bringing a sparkling juice or special punch to the festivities.

Thinking about all of these things may make you feel overwhelmed already, but relax. You can enjoy yourself; even have a good time. That will be more likely if you remember to manage your time and money, get exercise, proper nutrition, and don’t forget to relax.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS