Making More Calm and Less Stress for Holidays – and All The Time

“Being more intentional, grounded and grateful is not just a good thing to do for the holiday season. It’s a way to live all year long. And not only that, it’s the quickest way to transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.” Carrie Contey, Ph.D.

How to Have an Extraordinary Holiday Season classDr. Contey writes on the information page for her online class:

“A few years ago I noticed a pattern. Right around the end of October clients would come into my office feeling stressed, out of sorts and uneasy about the approaching holidays. They saw it as something to endure vs. something to enjoy.

“I checked in with myself and I realized I was in the same boat. I was not looking forward to the travel and the shopping and the hustle bustle of it all. I knew I couldn’t control how everything unfolded nor could I opt out of all of the ‘have tos,’ but what I did recognize was that I could change how I approached it all.

“That fall I decided to get very intentional about my holiday season. I took time to decide how I wanted to feel.”

Video with Carrie Contey – How can we make the holidays Merry and Bright?

Learn more about her online class:

How to Have an Extraordinary Holiday Season


Alan Christianson is a Naturopathic physician who specializes in endocrinology.

Dr. Christianson cautions:

“What do you get when you are spending more than you planned, eating too much, not sleeping enough, hanging out with people you don’t see regularly, being stuck indoors, and dealing with bad weather?  A recipe for some serious holiday stress!

“Stress is a big deal and worth preventing.  It causes daily symptoms including:

-Unclear speech  -Insomnia  -Social withdrawal
-Edginess  -Gas and bloating  -Fatigue
-Frequent urination  -Headaches  -Clenching teeth
-Back pain  -Dry mouth  -Racing heart
-Frequent sighing  -Poor concentration

“These symptoms cause people to seek out explanations for their troubles.  Often doctors find no medical explanation for the symptoms, which only adds to the stress. 

“So much research has been done on stress that we now know even if you cannot change all of life’s circumstances, you can change what stress does to you…and thrive.”

Learn more about his online class:

How to Thrive Under Holiday Stress


Lisa Byrne is author of “Replenish: Experience Radiant Calm and True Vitality in Your Everyday Life.

She is a mother to three and founder of WellGrounded Life.

Video: Nature’s Instant Calm Button

Video: Use the Holiday Emotional Gunk to Fuel Your Own Brilliance

Roadmap for the Holidays – one of her courses

“For many of us, the holiday stretch is anything but idyllic and enjoyable. Our calendars start to overflow, (sugar-laden) food begins to show up everywhere, the shopping frenzy picks up,  the to-do list gets on steroids, the kids are cranky and we’re all getting wearier and wearier by the day.

“Sometime mid-November, we run the risk of losing our enthusiasm for this season.

“This is NOT how it is meant to be.  More than anything, that reality made me sad.  And then it made me committed to re-write how we were living out our holidays as a family. Here’s what I learned:   If you aren’t intentional about how you want the holidays to go, you’ll be swept up in the rapids this time of the year.”

Roadmap for the Holidays programExcerpts from the program description:

A Plan for Health – You’ll learn how to bolster, prepare and strengthen your immune system in order to stay healthy and energized amidst the added stresses, bouts of wintertime viruses and the shorter, colder days ahead.

A Plan for Delight – You’ll learn effective food strategies in order to ride through the holidays without gaining a pound and most importantly without restricting, obsessing or beating yourself up.

A Plan for Peace – If restoring peace and meaning back into your holidays is a priority for you and your family, you’ll need to cut through the chaos and get clear on your top values.

Learn more at the WellGrounded Life page:

Roadmap for the Holidays

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Get Vitalized-presentersNOTE – I “discovered” Lisa Byrne when she spoke on “How to Replenish Your Inner Bank of Calm” at the Get Vitalized Naturally virtual conference, and was impressed with her knowledge and positive energy.

The program was online live in early December 2013, and recordings are now available of the 13 thought leaders, doctors and entrepreneurs including Marie Forleo, Abel James, JJ Virgin, Danielle LaPorte, Daniel Amen and others who address “your hormonal dashboard and how it impacts your capacity to give and receive love, extend vitality and longevity.”

The conference is hosted by Dr. Sara Gottfried M.D., a Harvard-educated physician, speaker, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive, and Vitality with The Gottfried Protocol.”

[I am new to the area of using essential oils or aromatherapy, but am trying Meditation Synergy Essential Oil Blend (Ylang-ylang, Patchouli, Frankincense, Clary Sage, Sweet Orange and Thyme).]



Bunny-cellphone-novelistSocial Media and the Holiday Blues, by Rose Haywood.

“Social media has provided us new ways to come together on a variety of platforms and across cultures, but it may also contribute to feelings of isolation and even depression.

“According to a study from the University of Michigan, frequent use of Facebook in particular was identified as having a negative impact on one’s sense of well-being. This effect may only be amplified during the holiday season when people are already prone to stress.”

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Rue HassCounselor Rue Hass on using EFT to help highly sensitive people celebrate their positive qualities.

“More often than not we put our commitment to ‘saving the world’ ahead of our own well-being.  In fact, many of us have the unconscious belief that we must ‘save the world’ before we can attend to our own needs.”

Rue Hass, M.A. is a counselor and Intuitive Mentor – and a Highly Sensitive Person. An EFT Master therapist, she uses Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with a variety of clients, including HSP individuals to “help them see what they and others might view as a ‘flaw’ as a ‘blessing’ or gift.”

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Sensation and Stress

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
~ W.B. Yeats

[That is a quote Dr. Contey posted on her Facebook page.]

The Soul Of The Rose[Painting: “The Soul Of The Rose” by John W. Waterhouse, 1908 – used on the cover of the hardback version of Diane Ackerman’s book A Natural History of The Senses. A quote by her: “One of the real tests of writers is how well they write about smells. If they can’t describe the scent of sanctity in a church, can you trust them to describe the suburbs of the heart?”]

As highly sensitive people, we may experience sensations more deeply and widely – which can fuel creativity, but also at times, overwhelm and stress.

One of my articles on that topic: Multiple Talents, Multiple Passions, Burnout – Many multitalented people feel inspired and energized to pursue multiple creative projects, often at the same time. One potential downside is physical and emotional burnout.

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Elaine Aron on holiday stress relief for sensitive people.
I want to live my life without stressPsychologist Elaine Aron, PhD wrote in an issue of her newsletter about holiday season challenges specifically for highly sensitive people (HSPs), but her perspectives can be helpful for anyone:

“Here come the holidays and the New Year. Give yourself a gift by remembering to do this time of year your way: If you are already doing all you can, don’t expect anything extra of yourself without dropping something else, especially if the holidays are busy for you at work.

“Plan what you will enjoy, then cut it by half. Don’t buy into the idea that this time of year must be fancy or especially meaningful. It’s stressful enough during the holidays without trying to meet extra cultural expectations.”

[“I want to live my life without stress…” – photo from Facebook page Created Equal.]

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Creative People and Trauma articleCreative People, Trauma and Mental Health

Pretty much all of us experience some kind of trauma in life. How does creative expression help people deal with it, to heal and recover?

How do people make use of traumatic experiences in their creative work? What impacts on mental health can trauma have, and how can people regain health?

See bottom of article for multiple resources.

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Sensitive to Anxiety and Depression

Being highly sensitive probably increases our vulnerability to anxiety and depression, which for many of us go together to some extent. Elaine Aron, PhD thinks “high sensitivity increases the impact of all emotionally tinged events, making childhood trauma particularly scarring.”

Eric MaiselPsychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel notes “When we call something a ‘mental disease’ or a ‘mental disorder’ we imply a great deal about its origins, its treatment, its intractability, and its locus of control. The mental health industry has its reasons for calling life’s challenges ‘disorders’ but we have few good reasons to collude with them.”

Eric Maisel says “Only a small percentage of creative people work as often or as deeply as, by all rights, they might be expected to work. What stops them? Anxiety or some face of anxiety like doubt, worry, or fear… anxiety is the great silencer of the creative person.” From article Eric Maisel on anxiety and developing creativity.

His books include: Mastering Creative Anxiety.

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Psychotherapist Sarah Chana Radcliffe on technologies for growth

This audio clip is from the Shrink Rap Radio podcast Holistic Psychotherapy with Sarah Chana Radcliffe, with host David Van Nuys, Ph.D., aka “Dr. Dave” interviewing Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M.Ed., C.Psych.Assoc. She practices emotionally focused therapy, process experiential psychotherapy, energy psychology, EMDR, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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Slow Holidays: A Survival Guide for Sensitives, HSPs and Empath’s by Carol Burbank. PhD

“When we’re sensitive to other people’s emotions and struggles, holidays bring extra challenges. Winter celebrations bring their own craziness, the joy/grief cycle of memory, reunions and rituals that touch everyone to the core. Just riding our own rollercoaster is enough! But when we are empathic, we sense everyone else’s wild ride, too! It can be overwhelming…Here are three tips to slow the holiday rush down so sensitive people can enjoy the ride.”

Wayne DyerArticle includes a quote by Wayne Dyer – here is an excerpt:

“Tis the season when we really need a moment of silence. It’s also the season when we really have to work to make sure we get one. At a time we traditionally devote to loving, giving, and gratitude, the quiet and peace we need to appreciate our gifts seems all too elusive. Try to give yourself the gift of silence now and then during the holiday hubbub so you have a chance to really enjoy the experience of celebration.”

Note – This article is posted on the site of BioElectric Shield – see a video with Virginia Bonta Brown, the company founder, relating a story about Wayne Dyer using a Shield, on the Anxiety Relief Solutions page: BioElectric Shield – EMF Protection.

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List of articles on relieving stress and anxiety – by psychologists, therapists and other writers.

See products and programs on the right side of this page.


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