ENewsletter: November 2008

 Renee Trudeau & Associates

Dear %$firstname$%:

While the holiday season is a favorite time of year for some, this upcoming stretch can also be incredibly stressful, emotionally-taxing and just plain exhausting for many of us. (There is a reason the rates of depression and suicide skyrocket in December and January). Before you swing into disequilibrium (read more about disequilibrium on my blog), pause. And check out these ideas:

5 Steps to a More Peaceful Holiday Season:

1) Approach the holidays intentionally: If you were to set an intention or theme for the holiday season what would it be? What do you most want to experience this time of year? Rest and relaxation (and lots of unscheduled downtime)? Spiritual reflection and renewal? Connection and sharing with close friends? Deeper or more meaningful exchanges with family? Creative expression (whether that's through making things for others, singing or decorating)? Giving or volunteering to help those in pain or in need? What activities or choices might you make to support this intention? What do you need to let go?

2) Release expectations --particularly around family: What if you showed up at family holiday gatherings--whether you're hosting the get-together or not--with the idea that this might be the last time you'd ever see your family members? How might you treat them? Do you think some of your expectations might change around how they should treat you, interact with one another or behave at group gatherings? Would your language or tone change while you were together? Would you initiate long overdue conversations? Express your love or gratitude for their presence in your life?

3) Schedule time for self-care NOW! What do you need to nurture yourself--emotionally and physically--during this period? Maybe more exercise, protein-rich foods, emotional support from a close friend or mentor, taking an afternoon off for a solo date or just lightening your schedule so you can build in a 20-minute rest period between errands? I recommend you schedule time for yourself just like you would schedule a doctor's appointment. (Read more about this theme from The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life by Renee Trudeau.) "Self care is not about self-indulgence. It's about self-preservation." Audre Lorde

4) Say yes to what feeds you and no to what doesn't: Check out the Nine Ways to Say No for support in becoming more comfortable drawing boundaries. I like to ask myself "Is this something I really want to do--something that would feed me--or am I doing this because I think I should?" Actor Larry Eisenberg summed it up: "For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the Universe."

5) Slow down and practice living in the present: The shopping will get done and you'll make it to the meaningful holiday activities that are important to you. The question is, how do you want to feel while accomplishing these things? Stress comes from living in (or having thoughts about) the past or the future. Right here, right now, in this moment--there is no stress. Breathe. Slow down. And read more about this theme in Being Present and Remembering What Really Matters from The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.

Before you enter this holiday season, think about last year: what worked and what didn't work? Then, I challenge you to listen to your needs, say no to activities that don't fuel you, make choices that support your emotional and physical well-being, keep it simple, and, when in doubt--practice self-kindness and be easy on yourself. You'll be surprised by how many people around you will follow your lead.

P.S. For those of you that are like me and avoid the mall at all costs, consider giving friends and loved ones a gift certificate for a self-care service or professional/personal growth opportunity. Thoughtful, from-the-heart and life-transformative, here are some favorites from our career and life balance coaching team:

Questions? Call 512-459-6700 or email christy@reneetrudeau.com.

Upcoming Events and Training:

  • January 22: Finding Your Career Mojo Workshop: For professionals in career transition or those considering a career change. Highly popular and packed with resources/tools and inspiration!
  • April 24-26: Women's Self-Renewal Retreat at The Crossings Spa & Retreat Center in Austin, TX
  • Are you a therapist, coach, doula or women's empowerment advocate who loves supporting women and helping them nurture their emotional well-being? Learn more about becoming a PRG Facilitator and join a national community of leaders who are changing women's lives through powerful life coaching groups centered around The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal.
  • Did you know Renee travels around the world speaking to corporations, organizations and at national conferences on Creating Balance from the Inside Out (and other related topics)? Learn more about having Renee speak at your next event, workshops or conference. We're scheduling spring and summer events now.
  • Interested in introducing the self-care message to your friends, school group, neighborhood circle, book club, mom's group or clients? Consider learning more about how to host a (free) popular Self-Renewal Party for women!
  • Visit our online calendar to learn about upcoming self-renewal retreats and events.