Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 9 – Issue 3 – December, 2010
“The Graduate Course You Never Had” – January 11, 2011 – Join us at the Sierra Tucson Networking Breakfast where speaker Dr. Larry Waldman will give an interactive presentation in which the following topics are reviewed: Private Practice as a Business; Necessary Practice Management Concepts; Managing Managed Care; Become “The Expert;” and Non-Traditional Methods of Producing Income. Click here to register.
Debunking Myths – Holidays are Stressful
Myth: There’s nothing you can do about it, the Holidays are simply going to be stressful.
Fact: Here we are, smack-dab in the middle of the illustrious “Holiday Season.” People race around from store to store or frantically bake 14 batches of cookies or address hundreds of hand-made cards or drive children from one concert to another, becoming absolutely frazzled in the process, losing complete sight of whatever holiday they were originally trying to celebrate. Tempers flare, patience runs short, and there is often a discernible lack of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. Many people just throw their hands up and succumb to the craziness and whip themselves up into a frenzy every year, always vowing that next year will be different. Is the stress simply unavoidable? The answer is, “No.” There are many things you can do to reduce holiday stress. You just have to be willing to do them, that’s all.
1. Practice Moderation – The Holidays encourage and facilitate excess. Too much eating, too much drinking, too many parties, staying up too late, spending too much money, visiting too many friends and relatives, and buying too many presents. Your Holidays will be far less stressful if you sample all the delights in moderation. A cookie here and a cocktail there will not do most people irreversible damage. However, staying up 6 nights in a row to wrap presents for 3rd cousins you never even see is not going to keep your stress level down. Set limits on yourself and keep to them.
2. Courtesy and Tolerance – Everyone is getting so angry that his or her Holiday isn’t acknowledged or celebrated in the best, most respectful way. Well, that can’t always happen when various cultures and ethnic groups are all mixed together. Take some time to learn about and acknowledge Holidays other than the ones you celebrate. No one’s asking you to convert to a new religion or abandon Grandma’s traditions, just try to be mindful that not everyone expects to celebrate exactly as you do.
3. Things are just Things – Holiday materialism can make sane, rational people do insane things. Sure, it’s a nice idea to wait in line overnight to get a $300 item at half-price, but in 15 years, is your kid really going to remember that you did that? Or, will it be more likely that he remembers that you snapped at him when he was trying to show you his school play elf costume because you were sleep-deprived from standing outside some Department Store for six hours the night before?
4. Self-Esteem – If you’re feeling badly about the way you’ve lived the past 11 months, buying lots of presents and sending people expensive gifts is not going to change that. If you love and honor yourself and the way you live your life, then you can enjoy sharing blessings with people over the Holidays, but will not feel like you are trying to erase a year’s worth of regret in 3 frenzied weeks.
5. Focus – Whatever Holiday you are trying to celebrate, my guess is that it’s original meaning had nothing to do with Wal-Mart or diamond jewelry. When you find yourself overwhelmed with Holiday obligations, ask yourself which of them really serve to honor the Holiday in question. Often extra stressors can be dropped, guilt-free, when you keep the original purpose in mind.
November Discussion Question: To whom do you owe a sincere thanks that you never got to thank in person?
Tina, in Washington, D.C. responds: I had a boyfriend one time, and I was crazy in love with him. I dropped my whole life to move to another country with him where I had no job, no friends, but we had each other. Well, he cheated on me and we broke up, and here I was, stuck in this other country. Dumb! Well, I look back at it now and I am so grateful he broke up with me because he was a jerk and I would have just had a terrible life with him. I would never tell him, but I’m glad I’m not with him today.
Very interesting, Tina! Thanks for your response! Your fabulous Dr. Marlo prizes are on their way!
December Discussion Question: To what do you attribute your greatest successes?
E-mail answers to: email@example.com and answers will appear next month. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them. Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our fantastic information cards, RECOVERY REMINDERS, and a couple of temporary tattoos, just for fun.
Thought For The Day: Peace on Earth starts at your house.
PERSONAL GROWTH EXERCISE
To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise. These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services. The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs. E-Coaching Sessions are available for $50 each.
The Art of Letting Go
In keeping with our theme of stress-reduction for the Holidays, the exercise this month has to do with letting go. When we are too stressed, the quickest solution is to let go of something that is not essential to our survival. We often just lose track of which things are essential for our survival and which are optional. To review, water, food, sleep, clothing, shelter, exercise, and hope, are the basics, essentially in that order, too. Although most people realize that if you were to go 3 days without water, you would die, many people don’t really notice how dangerously close they get to hitting that limit. Soda is not water. Beer is not water. Orange juice is not water. During the holidays, we sometimes forget to drink good old fashioned water. Likewise, people realize that after a number of days without food (maybe 10 or 11, maybe 30 or 40), eventually you will die. However, people also don’t realize how close they come to hitting that limit, either. Cheetos are not food. Christmas cookies are not food. Red and Green M&Ms are not food. If you spend the Holiday season eating food with little or no nutritional value, you are putting yourself at risk for getting very run down. You get the drift. Sleeping for four hours after drinking all night doesn’t count as sleep. A fabulous, but skimpy dress and open-toed shoes don’t count as clothes if the ambient temperature is 20 degrees below zero. Living out of a suitcase for weeks on end, bunking with one relative after another doesn’t really fit the bill as shelter. Christmas Caroling and Beer Pong don’t count as exercise.
Why is it that we engage in so many behaviors that aren’t that good for us during the Holiday Season? It tends to be because we have difficulty letting things go. We struggle with letting go of ideas, expectations, obligations, traditions, competitions, desires, wishes, impositions, and other people’s suggestions.
Here is your challenge… Every remaining day in the month of December, and during the first half of the month of January, if you are not getting the basics – water, nutritious food, reasonable protection from the elements, rest and relaxation, as well as vigorous exercise, look at what you’re doing and let something go. It might be the decision to opt out of a present name exchange, or to leave a party early, or making a covenant with a friend to forgo a traditional holiday indulgence. In any event, let something non-essential go if you are not getting in the essentials.
For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you! We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to). Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com. (Offer Expires 1-07-11)
E-Coaching! Try it Now!
Not every problem is a mental illness. Not every issue is a trauma. Not every botherment is an emotional disorder. For life’s daily issues and for personal growth, now there is E-Coaching! Dr. Marlo Archer offers a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth. We are offering the 10-Session package for $500. Begin by calling 480-705-5007 to make a $500 payment, then send an e-mail to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!
Dr. Marlo’s Movie Madness – Entertainment and Education
Okay, let’s try this again! We have now moved this event from the office to our home. We’re also going to try a new day/time – Fridays at 2:00pm. We can now accommodate up to 10 credentialed clinicians (who are not allergic to cats) comfortably to enjoy a movie, popcorn, and informal continuing education. We will continue to show the movie for free and will now also offer the CE certificate for free. Join us in January for “Eat, Pray, Love.” Mark your calendar now for Friday, January 28th from 2:00pm – 4:30pm. Suggest a movie now for future dates: February 25th, March 25th, April 8th & May 20th. If your selection is chosen and you have included your mailing address, we will send you a FREE DVD MOVIE from previous years’ Dr. Marlo’s Movie Madness. Sign up for Movie Madness updates by sending a blank e-mail with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to MovieMadness@drmarlo.com.
Publish Your Work – Promote your Practice – Two ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $25, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included). We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions. Send creative contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Marlo in the Media
Read Dr. Marlo’s article, “Essence of Time” in the November issue of Together Arizona Newspaper. Click here.
I hope your Holidays are Happy, Safe, and Sane! –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.