Written by Barb Greenberg, excerpt from Rediscovering the Holidays
When relatives invite you to celebrate a holiday with them, by all means go if it feels safe. Let yourself be supported, hugged, clucked over and waited on, while your children play with cousins, snuggle with grandparents,or pester a favorite aunt.
In some situations it doesn’t feel safe to celebrate with family. If this is the case for you, respect yourself and your intuition and politely decline any invitation you may receive. You can say something as simple as, “Thank you for your kind invitation, but I don’t feel ready.”
If your family persists, as families sometimes do, simply repeat the same sentence. You don’t have to justify yourself or make excuses.
You may plan to go to a friend’s house, or find a good book or movie, or simply sit on the sofa and eat ice cream or your favorite snack.
If you enjoy having company for the holidays, invite people over. If this sounds good but also sounds like too much work, or you are worried it will be too expensive, make the celebration a potluck and take the pressure off yourself.
People may ask, “What I can bring?” And with a heartfelt thanks, you can choose whether to request an appetizer, a salad, a bottle of wine, or their notorious homemade chocolate chip cookies! And don’t worry if your home doesn’t look perfect. One thing divorce teaches us, is that perfect is over-rated.
Print out the Rediscover Family – Questions for Reflection.
Written by Dr. Barbro Brost, The Brost Clinic
Eating an alkaline diet is one of the choices we need to make daily if we want to have and maintain optimal health. Alkaline is the opposite of acid and the PH (the measurement of alkalinity/acidity) is affected by the choice of foods we eat. The more acid our bodies are, the higher risk for degenerative diseases and even cancer. Our blood PH has to always remain constant for us to survive. When we eat acidic foods the body has to buffer the acid to get to a normal blood PH. The easiest way for the body is to pull calcium from our bone. Hence the high incidence of bone loss (osteopenia and osteoporosis) in this country, where acid forming foods are common in the diet.
So, you ask, what are acid and what is alkaline foods? There are books written on this or you can google to get detailed information, but to simplify and make it easy to remember when you go to the grocery store: grains, baked goods, candy and red meat are acidic. Fruits and vegetables are alkaline. Rice is PH neutral.
Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. Stay low on red meat, grains, baked goods and sugary foods. This will keep your body at a healthy PH and decrease the risk for many diseases, slow down the aging process and give you more energy. This kind of diet will also help you keep a healthy body mass index, which is another key to optimal health and wellbeing.
Written by Mary Battista, Prairie Health Companion
The holiday season is once again upon us and for many of us that means challenging situations they may throw us off our game. Not only will there be lots of indulgent drinking and eating, but we start to get sleep deprived from staying out late or staying up late just getting everything accomplished. This only makes things worse as lack of sleep can make us feel tired, therefore craving energy in the form of sugar/caffeine, and the body’s hormones that regulate satiety get thrown off leading to increased snacking and indulging during the day. On top of all of this is the stress that comes with unrealistic expectations and overwhelm! What’s a healthy person to do?!
A few simple strategies can keep you on track and feeling in charge of your health and happiness.
- Begin with the end in mind. Visualize the outcome and how good you will feel when you stick to your healthy choices and guidelines. Imagine how good your clothes will feel the next day when you put them on. Mentally walk through the event making choices exactly as you want them to be. See yourself saying, “no thanks” and still having a great time! Practice this is your mind several times before you go. This is a key step!
- Decide on guidelines for alcoholic beverages and treats when you go to a party or holiday event. By setting guidelines you will pace yourself differently. Use water to stay hydrated and to pace yourself alternating water in between sips of wine. Keep treats small and eat them slowly and mindfully.
- Don’t go to holiday events ravenous! Have something healthy before you go so you are satisfied but not totally full. A cup of soup, some veggies/hummus, a piece of whole grain toast with hummus or nut butter, a cup of yogurt or a small salad. If you are too hungry, you may have difficulty controlling portions especially at buffets which are very tantalizing.
- Look over the holiday buffet before making your choices and use a small plate. Look for fresh fruits, veggies, shrimp, hummus, salsas, chicken, turkey etc over high-fat/high-salt appetizers and entrees. Foods with fiber fill you up with fewer calories.
- Stick to your exercise/sleep routine to help manage stress and overwhelm. Exercise is a great stress buster so be sure to schedule it in your busy day which might mean starting your day with it. Perhaps you could squeeze a walk in over your lunch hour? The more you diffuse stress during the day, the better you will be as the day progresses. If you don’t get to bed at a reasonable time, you aren’t going to get up to exercise, so be sure to pre-determine your bed time and stick to it!
By thinking through how you want the holiday season to go, you can anticipate triggers and have skills ready to head them off. The main strategy is to plan your work by thinking it through and having guidelines that you are committed to. As my Dad would say,”Plan your work, then work your plan”.
Some divorced women are financially secure and comfortable while many others are struggling and scared. Some women have strong money management skills, and others have let their spouse handle the finances and have found themselves with no money left to manage. And emotions range from irritation to terror.
Wherever you find yourself, these 4 points can help.
1. Surround yourself with great professional help. Find a financial planner, a banker, and insurance agent, and others you may need, who you trust and are comfortable working with. And, if at any time, you feel any of these professionals in not a good fit for you, find someone else. Many of us stay in a bad relationship too long…whether it be personal or professional.
2. Start where you are. If you can only save $5 a month, that is where you start. If you want to contribute to a cause that is dear to your heart and you can only contribute $3, that is what you do. As you rebuild your life and your financial security, you will be able to do more.
3. Attitude is so important. (don’t you get tired of people saying this!) Believe you will be able to rebuild your life. Value yourself and your future. Be grateful for what you do have. And remember, it’s not “cold, hard cash”…it’s soft and warm!
4. Be willing to move forward. I went through a phase where I thought if I stay broke and miserable, then I can say, ”See what he did to me, that no good, so and so.” It took a while to realize if I continued to do that, I was allowing him to continue to control my life…geez..not a good idea! Instead, I took the advice of a friend . When I shared feeling so financially damaged, she responded, “Consider that the ransom you paid for saving your life.”
5. You, too, are saving your life. A life that is filled with possibilities, and financial growth.
Written by Theresa Nutt, Closeted Creatives
This notion about what it is to be a vibrant woman continues to grow. Last week I shared the importance of embracing emotions. This week I want to focus on why it is important to speak your truth. Too many of us have been taught that it is not polite to speak our truth, that we must consider the feelings of others before our own, and if we don’t have anything nice to say we shouldn’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, this means we swallow our truth and bleed inside. Instead, speaking your truth with grace is exactly what you need to do.
“In the process of telling the truth about what you feel or what you see, each of us has to get in touch with himself or herself in a really deep, serious way.” June Jordan
What Does Speaking Your Truth Mean?
The reason I spoke about embracing your emotions first is that speaking your truth requires self awareness about how you really feel. And based on how you feel, you want to be able to respond by speaking your truth. I recently had a conversation with a friend who doesn’t believe in shamanism or energy healing and he made a sweeping statement about how it isn’t real. I was instantly hurt and felt invalidated because I have significant training in both. And sadly, in that moment I didn’t tell the truth. I did feel my feelings, but couldn’t find a way to express what I was feeling. And you know what happens next – a distance is created and a story starts to build about the other person. A story that in time can take on a life of its own and significantly impact a relationship.
In the moments we swallow our truth we do a huge disservice to ourselves and others. Let me put in a disclaimer here – I am not talking about blasting someone with your truth or lashing out in anger. We always want to make a choice to speak in a way that others can hear us. But swallowing our truth and letting it fester inside of us, often creating resentment, causes health problems and distance in our relationships. So how do we speak our truth with grace?
Speak Your Truth With Grace
Here are some tips to help you speak your truth in a way that others can hear. The goal of this practice is that you speak your truth and at the same time preserve the relationships that matter to you. Its a form of energy hygiene. Who wants to expend a bunch of energy on a conversation that happened some time ago?
- Get clear about what you are feeling first
- Take a deep breath and get grounded especially if you feel a lot of emotional charge about the topic
- Ask yourself how you can best connect with the other person
- Speak from your heart more than your head – NonViolent Communication is a great tool for these conversations
- Ask a question to get more information from the other person if you aren’t sure where to start
- Be willing to meet the person where they are
- Don’t swallow what you need to say – be willing to take the risk of speaking up
- Stay present with yourself throughout the conversation so you can be clear about what needs to happen next for you
- Have a process in place for working through your emotions or triggers when the conversation is over