NEW CASTLE —
Along with holiday excitement can come a lot of stress.
Financial, family, work can all play into how you are feeling about the holidays. This is the time to review what you really value about your life, and the things you really care about.
Going to the heart to visit what is truly dear to you will ground you. Grounding your racing or negative thoughts, and electric emotions, is the same as neutralizing a lightning strike. This is very powerful medicine to your systems to keep you relaxed and happy.
Groundedness gives you a perspective of calm that empowers you to say “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Knowing what is truly valuable helps you not get too caught up in the external pressures that can feel demanding this time of year.
The operative word in that last sentence was “external.” External pressures can cause anxiety, worry and stress eating. The influences outside of you that you feel responsible for can trigger stress that leads you to feel drained, tense and bloated. They come from demands of your job, your spouse, your duties and chores — gift wrapping.
You may also have to look at “internal pressure” that arises from inside yourself when you put too many expectations on yourself. Do you demand a lot from yourself? Are you a worrier? This can cause depression, anxiety, and stress eating.
When you find internal or external pressure is what’s driving you this holiday season, it is important to know that you can create limits and boundaries for yourself. It is wise that you do so.
Don’t expect perfection. Open your eyes to see what is going well and relax about micro-managing every detail. Instead of judging, let the joy of life come to you by opening to receive more. Grasping and controlling usually ends up with a lot of tension and fatigue.
At work and at home, receiving can begin by verbalizing when you need assistance with tasks. Ask someone you can count on to help you out — don’t be a hero. The truth is you can’t be a hero all by yourself anyway. If you think you can, you probably live in stress mode.
Cooperation, like a holiday Peace dove, requires the wings of both giving and receiving. You will soar through the holiday season when both wings are operating well.
Do you remember the Christmas jingle, “Making a list, checking it twice?” List-making is another sure way to make a very grounded sense of order. Then you can prioritize.
This brings inner safety, seeing what you need to do, and outer command by knowing exactly what is required of your time. Then you can formulate a plan for meeting your accomplishments and goals.
Getting to the heart of your priorities can take it all out of your head. We humans tend to spend a lot of time in our heads, especially in our demanding culture. The heart of things focuses more on how your feel.
Intend to find the most positive feeling behind each of the things you are doing. This includes delegating. This helps you stay on purpose so you don’t get caught up in stressed-out doing.
This is the gift that you give yourself. It will improve the quality of your moments, and bring much enjoyment. A happy holiday season will be your reward, and the gift you pass onward to your co-workers, friends and family.
Apple Cranberry Cake
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup oat bran
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 2 cups plain non-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 cup egg beaters or egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups unpeeled, cored apples, diced one-half inch
- 2 table spoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, stir together flour, oat bran, baking soda, and cinnamon until well blended. In a second bowl, whisk together yogurt, maple syrup, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir in cranberries, and bread crumbs. In a third bowl, whisk egg whites, and sugar.
Add flour mixture to yogurt mixture, stirring just to blend. Do not overwork. Gently fold in egg whites, then apples, taking care not to overwork batter. Transfer to a 10-inch round cake pan, either nonstick or lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until firm to the touch and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Cool in pan before un-molding.