A Choice Instead of a Chore

Chistmas music background

Today we wrap up the Top Ten Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming Through the Holidays.  I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these tips this week.

Recording these certainly stretched me beyond my comfort zone.  With writing I can always edit.  With Vocaroo I got one shot to get it right. Clearly, that didn’t happen, but it was fun trying!

Yesterday I heard this fascinating tip on happiness from Shawn Achor.  He said “Joy is what we feel when we’re moving toward our potential.”

In that respect, this was the best way I knew how to spread a little joy to the world.  Next up, I’ll try video.

Click below to listen to today’s tips or you can read the tips below.

  1. Silent Night…

Take some time out to get quiet and tune in to the gifts of the season. From the sound of carolers outside your window to the squeals of small children on Santa’s lap to the brightly colored lights decorating the streets where you live, notice the abundance of beauty that surrounds you.

10. Joy to the World…

In the end, it all comes down to attitude. This season examine your beliefs regarding what you “should” do, “must” do or “have to” do. Now consider altering your perception of these things by “choosing to” do them instead. You may decide some of the things are simply not worth the energy it takes to accomplish them. When life becomes a choice instead of a chore, the world looks a lot brighterand you have more energy to spread that joy around!

Wishing you the Merriest and Healthiest of Holidays!

Home for the Holidays

Atmospheric Christmas window sill decoration

Listen to tips 7 & 8  of my Top Ten Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming Through the Holidays by clicking here…or reading below.


  1. I’ll Be Home for Christmas…

Many families are spread out over the country. This can present not only logistical challenges, but financial and emotional ones as well when you attempt to make it “home” for the holidays. Determine if the benefits of being home are worth the stresses you may encounter getting there – especially if you are organizing this pilgrimage for your household. If home is where your heart is, then may the force be with you in your travels! But if traveling makes your heart weary, know you can create the feeling of home wherever you are. Volunteer at a shelter, a church, or local charity. Your presence there may be the best present you give and receive this Christmas.

8. All I Want for Christmas Is…

What do you really want? What will having this item do for you? How will it satisfy your soul? What about those on your list? What might they really want? Can you give it to them in a more authentic or direct way? Is it possible for you to make something or do something that brings them more joy than the buying an expensive gift that busts your budget?

Share your tips or let me know what’s on your list in the comments below.


Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Couple near fireplaceThis week is all about the audio.  I’m giving your eyes a break so your ears can hear these tension tackling tips and keep you humming through the holidays.  Since I don’t actually sing anything, there is no threat of getting the Christmas carol stuck in your head for the day. (But I do hope the tip sticks!)

Today I have three tips and tunes to share with you.  You can tune in above or read below.

  1. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire…

Too many of those nuts, candies, and homemade delights might tip the scales out of your favor. If you are sipping Jack Daniels to handle your woes or to prevent Jack Frost from nipping at your nose, the additional indulgences could wreak havoc on your health. The potential to pack on the pounds over the holidays is certainly possible. To prevent you from becoming a weight bearing statistic, pay attention to the partridge and hang out around the pear tree instead of the party table.

5. Making a List and Checking It Twice…

Don’t expect your already overloaded mind to remember any more than your way home and the names of your immediate family members. Count on lists to remind you of those things you have determined you must do. Make as many lists as necessary, but review them all before taking action. Prioritize, organize, scrutinize, and compromise, if necessary.

  1. Deck the Halls…

Surround yourself with things that bring you joy. Designate a room, corner, or cupboard as your own. Then decorate that space as only you know how. Your spirit needs nourishment and encouragement. Give yourself the time and place to celebrate what is sacred to you.

Okay, that’s it for today.

In a nutshell: moderation, expectation, and decorations.

Leave your comments or favorite tips in the comments below.


Tune In Tuesday

Business Data

Today is Tuesday so you get two Top Ten Tension Tackling Tips instead of one as a little holiday bonus. Rest assured no tunes were harmed in the recording of this audio since I did not actually sing.

If you’d prefer to read today’s tips, here they are.

  1. Let It Snow…

Let it go. No, you don’t have to wish for that fluffy white stuff to perfect the holiday picture. But it is wise to acknowledge that there are certain things that are out of your control (like the weather). What is in your control is your reaction to events. Try to let go of your expectations and accept things as they are.

3. Dashing Through the Snow…

Movement is absolutely essential to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Maybe now is not an opportune time for you to start a fitness program (because Santa has your new exercise equipment, right?), but there are many ways you can incorporate movement into your day. Having to park three miles away from any place peopled with shoppers gives you an excellent opportunity to squeeze in a little aerobic activity. Carrying your purchases back to that same location might be considered strength training. It’s amazing how many ways you can work in a workout.

Let me know how you feel about snow, letting go, and dashing about. Or share your favorite tip for humming through the holidays in the comments below.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Cane golden retriever con cuffia e occhiali

I’ve been told I march to the beat of a different drummer. Well, today I wanted to share the voice I hear in my head.

If you’re like me sometimes you are a wee bit busy and don’t have time to read even the shortest blog.  But you may have a moment between appointments or during your commute to listen to something.

In my resolve to evolve, I wanted to branch into audio before taking the terrifying plunge into video.  So here is today’s best effort. I promise the recordings will improve as we go!

Here is the first of my Top 10 Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming Through the Holidays.  If you’d prefer to read the post, you can do so here.

And yes, my dog did listen intently to the recording.  If I would have actually hummed the tune, I’m sure he would have howled right along with me.

If you like this audio blog, let me know.  If you’d prefer I stick to writing, you can let me know that, too!  And if you have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear them.  Leave your comments below.



Record music with Vocaroo >>

Keep It Simple, Santa

Composite image of santa claus delivering gifts with bicycle

It happens every year. I vow to keep calm and carry on. And then the Christmas season comes  upon me with such a clatter I have to continually check in just to see what’s the matter.

What’s usually the matter is I have cluttered up my schedule and complicated things by attempting to do, be, or have too much in a tiny little window of time.

At the end of the year when all I really want for Christmas is enough peace on earth to reflect on a year well lived, I have to resist getting caught up in the buzz of busy-ness that creates a holi-daze.

Of course not everyone loses it this time of year. Some might even suggest it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I suspect they have a strategy. This year I’m going with Keep It Simple, Santa.

A co-worker tells me she limits shopping to four items for her immediate family.  She gets them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

I also know a few wise men and women who give the equivalent of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This roughly translates to something that recognizes the recipient’s divinity, purpose, and suffering along the way.

Admittedly last week was not one of my better weeks.  The story I was telling myself was not one that made me feel very good about myself or anyone else, frankly.

I’m a coach. I know better. I help people find a way out of their funk all the time. I have a toolkit of tricks, my own set of gifts from the Magi I wasn’t using.

Until I remembered that no matter how hard it is to be kind and generous and believe in the greater good despite any and all evidence to the contrary, it is the only way I want to go through life. I want to believe in good for goodness’ sake.

So yesterday I found my toolkit and took out my #1 tool – gratitude (gold). I started counting my blessings instead of the random boxes of holiday decorations strewn from one side of the house to the other. I told myself I get to make up whatever story I want to about my life and the people, places, and things in it. Why not choose something supportive, even enchanting?

Then I took out tool #2 – movement (frankincense).  I proceeded to do a week’s worth of Say It, Sweat It, Get It workouts and was sufficiently humbled but equally elated by the aftereffects. Doing them as intended for 5-minutes each day wouldn’t have been so shocking to my system as doing them all at once, but I was delighted to discover I still had it in me. I’m now a huge fan of Erin Stutland’s approach to fitness. She keeps it simple. (Not to be confused with easy.) And it was all for free! Now that’s supportive.

And you’re reading tool #3 – expression (myrrh). I wrote and wrote and wrote, slept on it, edited and edited and edited, and finally pressed Publish. Writing is how I make sense of my life. Yours may be cooking, skiing, restoring houses, collecting antiques, square dancing, mixing music, playing cards, whatever brings calm to the chaos.

All of these tools remind me of the first of the timeless truths on my Top Ten Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming Through the Holidays.  You are only one thought away from a new perspective.

In my grand attempt to end the year on a high note of grace, gratitude and goodwill, the goal is to keep it simple.  Or, as Kris Kringle shows us in Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, put one foot in front of the other.

What about you?  What strategies get you through the holi-dazeShare your favorites in the comments below.