How To Have A Stress Free Christmas With Brian Colbert
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Brian Colbert, Mind Coach/Master Trainer of NLP
Qualified Hypnotherapist/ Psychotherapist
NLP Master Practitioner and Master Trainer of NLP
Director and co-founder of the Irish Institute of NLP. He spends much of his time here developing and presenting NLP to enable people to reach their true potential.
Brian is regarded as one of the leading consultants in the area of personal growth in Ireland today.
Brian adheres to his own personal philosophy of always being true to yourself, honouring your destiny and living life to the full. What sets Brian apart from other personal coaches is his hands on direct no nonsense approach, which can often be challenging but more often effective.
What is NLP?
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a therapeutic process which enables you to break old patterns and generate unlimited potential using posture, breathing, specific exercises, awareness and communication skills.
Neuro-Linguistic Patterning is a useful model of beliefs and techniques that offer a way to use the mind and body to achieve excellence in learning, business, counseling, relationships, sports and other experiences of life.
Money - budgetary constraints
Christmas has not been cancelled but it has definitely been cut back. Never have we been more conscious of money than this Christmas. Money is needed for most things, but some shrewd planning on your behalf can reduce the impact of that considerably. Not everything costs and the things that matter most quiet often are attention, recognition, companionship and practical assistance.
Budget: This year is special because it is okay to say you are working on a tight budget because nobody knows what the New Year will bring because of the global down turn/credit crunch etc. This gives you permission to forewarn and apologise in advance.
Christmas Shopping Exercise: Take the stress out of it and keep the surprise in it by getting your partner to do a Christmas walk around. Go into town and have your partner point out a number of things that he or she would like, then go your separate ways and do your shopping working from a selection of items on the list or similar to the list..make sure that the list is big enough to leave in the element of' which might I get' .
Santa: I 'believe' there were more children born to the world this year, so it makes sense to sit down your child and explain that Santa has a bigger job this year so in order to get to everyone, they will be best making a wish list and (rather than a requirement list) and Santa will do his very best, because he has to get to all the children in time.
Giving: Change the frame because of the above to the concept of giving, get your children to help Santa by putting a present under the giving tree.
Scenario - The big Christmas Food Shop.
Solution - Start saving as early as possible. It is the 2nd of December but it's not too late to put a bit by each week.gift cards are good and you won't feel a few quid here and there added onto your food shopping which you can call upon later for the expensive Christmas food shop. Only buy what you need to for Christmas as there is a temptation to graze on food all over Christmas as you don't want to "waste anything.
Scenario - I haven't got enough money to buy a present for my loved one.
Solution - Instead of buying low cost gifts that actually embarrass you, buy a card but write something meaningful in it, something that they wouldn't expect something with some thought in it. Avoid starting the New Year with massive debts by setting yourself a realistic budget for presents, food and entertaining.
Time - Getting it done
Commit yourself to a realistic plan which you should design in as much detail as possible. Plan in lots of rest and recovery time so you can actually enjoy the whole build up to Christmas.
Decide in advance ..you won't get it all done so.with each scenario decide to..
Do it : use the add 20% extra rule , everything takes more time than you think
Delegate it: you can always get the help of a family member
Defer it : Can it be done in the new year
Drop it : Some things can be dropped. Christmas will survive without them
Scenario - I have so much to do and I never seem to have the time to do it.
Solution - Reduce your stress and free up your mind by writing it all down.This is your To do list so check and re-check it often and tick off your achievements as you go. This will give you an increasing sense of accomplishment which will keep the good feelings going for longer.
Time is going to be extremely valuable so before you add to your list ask yourself these questions
How important is it, is it a MUST or a WANT?
Assuming it is important what priority do I want to give it?
Now what has to happen for that to happen?
Finally what will you do if that doesn't happen?
Do a list and set yourself a target and a time scale (I will have 3 presents bought by 11.00 o'clock)
Scenario: With work and the kids I don't have enough time to buy presents.
Solution - If you know what you want why not delegate it to someone who has time on their hands and may enjoy doing it.
Stress Relieving Technique 1: Portable Memory Bank
De-clutter your mind by writing everything down..use your phone or a little policeman's notebook. This will help you capture everything and free up your mind to get what needs doing done with less hassle.
No matter how well you've planned everything may not be perfect so be prepared to let go and realize that you have done your best which means that you are going in a perfectly good direction.
Perfection: Perfection is not required. Put enjoyment as the priority so that when things go wrong you focus on enjoying the event rather than getting it right.
Food and Drink: Excess intake puts pressure on the system so if you overeat and drink be sure to exercise and cleanse, give your liver a break by increasing your intake of water etc.
Scenario: It's my turn to have the extended family for dinner this year and I just don't know how I'll cope!
Solution: Don't hesitate to ask family members to bring food. Most people are delighted to help out. For instance, one could bring a starter, another Christmas pudding and somebody else could bring an alternative dessert. That leaves you with just the main course. Prepare as much as possible in advance and let the children help with decorations and laying the table.
Scenario: My kids see so many toys advertised on TV they want everything - and keep changing their minds about their main present. I don't want them to be disappointed!
Solution - Talk with the children early in the season and explain that they need to have realistic expectations about what Santa can bring.
Scenario: My sister bought my kids expensive gifts last year, while we had got them modest presents. I was mortified!
Solution: Call your family members and agree a limit on the amount you spend. This makes life easier for everybody and avoids embarrassment all round. Or suggest a Kris Kindle, where each family member anonymously picks a name from a hat and that's who they buy for.
Stress Relieving Technique 2: Surround your self with scents.
As it is Christmas claim the benefits of aromatherapy and surround yourself with the natural scent of pine which has a calming effect on the body, Lavender, chamomile and neroli essential oils also work or get yourself into the Christmas spirit with cinnamon and ginger spice.
Smells has direct cortical project it goes directly to the brain and our body can be condition by smell to relax and unwind quickly.
Stress Relieving Technique 3: Remember to Breathe
By regulating your breathing you can automatically diffuse tension and reduce stress. The general idea is that your stomach should rise and fall gently like that of an infant child for you to be breathing correctly.
First do this
. Treat oxygen as precious and handle it like you would do a newborn child.
. You are about to do an exercise that will fill your lungs partially but will attempt to empty them completely.
. Now take a gentle but deep breath in.filling up your lungs to about 60%.
. As you inhale count slowly from 1 to 4 then stop
. Hold your breath in for another slow count of 1 to 4.
. Finally exhale even more slowly and gently as though you are preventing air from releasing from a balloon and as you do so this time count from 1 to 8.
. Setting the pace such that as you approach the count of 5 that you have to push the remaining air from your lungs 'completely'.
. Once that is done continue for another 9 times.
. The flood of oxygen throughout your body may leave you feeling warm tingling and lightheaded but that's okay.
. Afterward pay more attention to your breathing taking deeper breaths than normal as the sensation of comfort begins to generalize and spread throughout your entire body.
Stress Relieving Technique 4: Exercise
Studies show that half an hour of high-intensity exercise helps lower stress levels more than working out at a moderate pace. What's more, the benefits last as long as 90 minutes afterwards.
People - Family Conflicts / Bereavement
For some people Christmas has negative associations, perhaps through the death of a loved one. Also getting the extended family together can be a stressful time if there is a bit of conflict between two or a few members of the family.
Beware of the 4 Dragons of Christmas!
Recrimination: Everyone does the best that they can.
Remorse: Get involved. Acknowledge grief by celebrating life.
Resentment: Focus on the present, leave the past in the past.
Revenge: Now is not the time, in fact now is the worst time.
Scenario: Since my partner passed away I find Christmas a very difficult time.
. Quit saying things would only be better if only...
. Quit saying things will never be as good as they used to be
Refuse to allow yourself to be lonely and help yourself to move forward by inviting people to your place or accepting invitations to theirs.
Change how you feel about someone by changing the internal memory/ associations you have of them. This I can demonstrate it takes a minute or two.