Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers

Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers

The holidays are all about spending time with your family and friends. That’s why it’s such a special time, right? Well, let’s be honest; that’s also why it’s such a difficult time. Stress rates spike, family altercations increase, and you somehow find yourself in tears after what should have been a lovely dinner.

Stress Management Techniques for Family Get-Togethers #stress #family #anxiety #together

Much as we love them, family can be difficult. Whether your family is the type to get into out-and-out arguments, or whether the stress is usually a result of subtle barbs and hurt feelings, we can all use a little extra help with stress management over the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you keep your cool:

Deep Breathing
It might seem really basic, but it’s a classic because it works. When we’re stressed, our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and forces us into a reactive state, where we might act in ways we regret later. It can even become a self-perpetuating cycle, where you become vigilant for any perceived threat and it just continues to feed the stress. Instead, cut off your stress reaction by reassuring your body that it’s not in physical danger. How? Give it oxygen. Regulated, relaxed oxygen. Whenever you find yourself reacting to the stress, start to measure four counts as you inhale, four as you exhale.

Communicate Boundaries
If setting boundaries feels like a mean-spirited thing to do, consider sociologist Brene Brown’s advice that the MOST compassionate people are those with clear boundaries. Setting clear boundaries with our loved ones allows you to stop stressing about how much you need to take before just snapping. It also lets you have more peaceful relationships because others know where you stand, instead of being surprised that you’re reacting so negatively to something they say. It’s especially great for those arguments that you keep having over and over again. This post has fantastic advice for setting and communicating boundaries with loved ones in a way that will avoid conflict instead of creating it.
Stress Management Techniques For Family Get-Togethers

Check Your Self-Talk
Usually we’re quite sensitive to things that our families say because there’s actually more behind every statement. We hate when our sister brags about how great her children are doing in school because we feel self-conscious about our own performance as a parent, or we react badly to our father’s advice because we feel he’s never been satisfied with us, even back when we played little league. Instead of reading into each comment, check your own self-talk. Write it down and follow each lead down to the extreme conclusion so that you can decide whether or not it’s logical. Then, when that harmful self-talk creeps in again, you can nip it in the bud.

Take a Walk
Did you know that walks outside–especially walks in green spaces–have a powerful effect on our cognition? It gets us outside of our own heads, puts our body chemistry into a healthier balance, and redirects self-deprecating thoughts. So include a nice walk around the neighborhood into your family get-together, whether it’s with a few other family members, or just by yourself. If you want some time alone, you can always say that you have to take a call and step outside.
Stress Management Techniques For Family Get-Togethers

Have an Exit Strategy
By hour 4 of family socializing, stresses and conflict can compound. Evenings that seem to go on and on can wear on us, and yet slipping away might not feel like an option if you have a mother who has perfected guilt-tactics (and let’s face it, all of our mothers know how to guilt us). So, go into the evening with a plan and an excuse to leave. Tell yourself you’re heading out at a certain hour, and a reason why. For example, you might have to get the kids to bed, you might need to get to sleep for an early morning appointment the next day, or you might even have to leave a daytime party before it gets full dark because you don’t want to drive icy roads at night when your vision is compromised. Let your mother try to argue with the safety excuse!

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Self Care 101

Self Care 101

Self care has become very important to me over the last few months. I’ve been going none stop since August (which is why there aren’t a lot of posts yet; I am in a busy rut that will hopefully pass in the next month or so) so I need a variety of ways to relax and de-stress.

I have horrible anxiety yet i decided to take a retail job I thought was going to be part time that is actually full time along with a part time freelance business and a part time insurance receptionist job.

Tweet: What’s your favorite self care routine? https://ctt.ac/gN30W+ I like taking detox baths! #selfcare #bloggers #lbloggers #bbloggers #fbloggers

Self care 101 - take a little time for you #selfcare #inspire #rest #relax

What is self care?
Self care is the care provided by you for yourself. It is the importance of knowing what you need and doing activities that help nurture you. Self care is a way of treating yourself, kind of the way you treat others.

What are ways you can practice self care:

  • Take a bath with an amazing bath salt
  • Try yoga
  • Bake up a new recipe
  • Try doing a 15 minute meditation
  • Do something creative creative
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk (without your phone)
  • Turn off your phone for an hour or so
  • Get a manicure/pedicure
  • Take a little nap to recharge
  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Binge on a bowl of ice cream
  • Buy yourself a new outfit
  • Buy a new piece of Jewelry
  • Note 10 things you are grateful for in that moment
  • Buy yourself flowers (flowers always put me in a good mood. The colors are so pretty to look at)
  • Call your bestie and have a lunch date
  • Get rid of 2 things you don’t use anymore
  • Repeat positive affirmations (I love doing this every morning myself)

I love taking a bath with one of Lush’s new bubble bars, it helps me relax at the moment and it makes my skin feel so soft, which makes me feel great all day or night. On days I need to give my endlessly wondering mind I will read a book (I’ve been reading self help books lately. That and freelancing books to up my game) to give my brain something else to focus on other than my not so great decisions.

There are so many ways you can self care for yourself, anything that makes you happy and sets your mind at ease. We all need to take a little break from the madness that this loud life has to offer us.

*This post contains affiliate links, i get a small percentage of commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase from the link, thank you for supporting Leslie Nichole.*

Bedtime Yoga Routine

Bedtime Yoga Routine

It’s no secret that I love yoga! It does great things for your mind and muscles. I tend to do a daily yoga bedtime routine.

I experimented with different poses until I found my optimum destressers (is that a word? I don’t think it’s a word). To each is their own but I’ve told a few friends about my nightly bedtime routine and they’ve tried it and said they sleep like babies (some of them very loud bear like babies).

The stretching of worked muscles and ease of a tired mind come together like a harmony of well, great things. If you find some of these poses are a little too much then cut back the stretch or cut it out all together. You’ll also want a quality yoga mat to prevent injury as well.

The idea is to relax enough to fall asleep and rest your mind enough to stay asleep. You’ll wake up refreshed too (that’s your body’s way of thanking you)!

Down Dog

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The preparatory position is with the hands and knees on the floor, hands under the shoulders, fingers spread wide, knees under the hips and typically about seven inches (17 cm) apart, with the spine straightened and relaxed.

On a deep exhale, the hips are pushed toward the ceiling, the body forming an inverted V-shape. The back is straight with the front ribs tucked in. The legs are straight with the heels reaching to the floor.

The hands are open like starfish, keeping the forefinger and thumb pressing down on the floor/mat. The arms are straight, with the inner elbows turning towards the ceiling.

If one has the tendency to hyper extend elbows, keeping a microbend to the elbows prevents taking the weight in the joints. Turning the elbows up towards the ceiling will engage the triceps and build strength. The shoulders are wide and relaxed.

Line up the ears with the inner arms which keeps the neck lengthened.

The hands are shoulder width apart and feet remain hip-width apart. If the hamstrings are very strong or tight, the knees are bent to allow the spine to lengthen fully. The navel is drawn in towards the spine, keeping the core engaged.

The hips move up and back. Focus is on the breath while holding the asana, with deep, steady inhalation and exhalation creating a flow of energy through the body. On an exhale, the practitioner releases onto the hands and knees and rests.

Childs Pose

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In this asana, the body faces the floor in a fetal position. The knees and hips are bent with the shins on the floor.
The chest can rest either on the knees or the knees can be spread to about the width of a yoga mat, allowing the chest to go between the knees.

The head is stretched forward towards the ground – the forehead may touch the ground.

The arms may be stretched forward in front of the head or backwards towards the feet.

Cat Cow Pose

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Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Make sure your knees are under your hips, and your wrists are under your shoulders.

Begin in a neutral spine position, with your back flat and your abs engaged. Take a big deep inhale.

On the exhale, round your spine up towards the ceiling, and imagine you’re pulling your belly button up towards your spine, really engaging your abs.

Tuck your chin towards your chest, and let your neck release. This is your cat-like shape.

On your inhale, arch your back, let your belly relax and go loose. Lift your head and tailbone up towards the sky — without putting any unnecessary pressure on your neck.

This is the Cow portion of the pose. Do this for several breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist Pose

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Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.

Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can.

Then bend your left knee and cross your left foot over your right knee. Plant it on the floor so your left ankle is next to your right knee.

Reach your left arm behind you and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your right elbow and cross it over the outer side of your left knee.

Keep your elbow bent, or if you can, hold onto your left toes. Keep your left hand on the floor for stability, or bring your left arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt, or if you can, hook your fingers on the top of your right thigh.

Gaze behind you and over your left shoulder.

Continue pressing your right arm into your left knee, and use each inhale to lengthen the spine and each exhale to rotate further to the left.

Do this for at least 6 breathes.

Corpse Pose


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Lie flat on your back, preferably without any props or cushions. Use small pillow below your neck if absolutely required.

Close your eyes.

Keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing to the sides.

Place your arms alongside, yet a little spread apart from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.

Taking your attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body.

Begin with bringing your awareness to the right foot, move on to the right knee (as you complete one leg, move your attention on to the other leg), and so on, and slowly move upwards to your head, relaxing each part of the body.
Keep breathing slowly, gently, deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body while the outgoing breath brings relaxation.

Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the whole body to the floor and let go.

After some time, about 10-20 minutes you should feel fully relaxed.