5 Simple Ways to De-Stress for the Holidays


(1) Simplify your shopping ~ If you’re into “shopping ‘til you drop,” and can do this without feeling overwhelmed, go for it!  Me?  I’ll pass on Black Friday craziness.  This year, I did most of my shopping online. It was fun and easy.  My daughter sent me links for her “wish list” and I clicked on the links, ordered the stuff, and voila, packages arrived like magic. Since she lives in another state, I had some of them sent directly to her, and enjoyed Amazon’s free shipping. I also bought my hubby’s gifts online, giving him the gift of fun stuff to do together, instead of the usual clothes!  I’m giving money to my young great-nieces and nephews, which de-stresses my pre-holiday preparation even more. 

(2) Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, don’t watch the news stations on television or the Internet.  All the bad news will raise your blood pressure and give you nightmares! Instead, pop in your favorite holiday movie (For me, it’s Elf, a Christmas tradition for me and my daughter), listen to some seasonal music, or read a good book. 

(3) Remember that the holiday party is about being with your loved ones – it’s about who’s at your table, not what’s on your table.  I used to be a fanatic, baking and freezing hundreds of cookies, picking out dozens of new recipes and overspending on food and other goodies, basically driving myself crazy because everything had to be perfect!

(4) Relax before bedtime by curling up in a chair and listening to meditative music on your Ipod or other player.  This is particularly relaxing when you turn the lights down low, light some candles, and enjoy the glow of your Christmas tree lights.  (That is, if you celebrate Christmas)  

(5) If you believe in a Higher Power, another wonderful way to relax and get into the spirit of the holidays is by reading a faith-based book. My current choice is The Inspirational Study Bible by Max Lucado, which provides life lessons along with the readings. Other options include books by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance), Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) or other inspirational authors.  

7 Keys to Age Empowerment

So here’s the question of the day:

Are you simply getting older, or are you growing older?

The key is in the word growing.

Think about it this way:  You can be a “Senior Citizen,” or you can be what my 74 year old sister chooses to be: “Age Empowered.”

Baby boomers, we have a choice to make every day.  As of 2014, we range from the age of 50 to 68.  We can’t turn back the clock and return to our twenties or thirties, and do we really want to?  I know I don’t.  I don’t want to be young again.  I DO want to remain healthy and happy as I continue this journey into “old age.”

We can all do that by having an age empowered attitude:

  • Never stop learningFrom continuing your education, no matter what your age, to playing brain games, to fearlessly trying new technologies; we can keep our brain cells active and strong. 
  • Open your mind to other possibilities. Let’s face it, we all tend to get judgmental, and set in our thought patterns, especially as we age.  Seeing things in black and white, however, is limiting; it keeps us from opening our minds to other people’s points of view.  We can learn from each other!
  • Stay physically active. Exercise is such a powerful life enhancer. We don’t have to be marathon runners (though many of us boomers ARE), we don’t have to be body builders or world-class athletes.  But we can, and should, take care of this body and brain we’ve been given – this gift of life – and do our best to ward off those age-related diseases, protect our minds, and keep ourselves from getting frail and weak. 
  • Stay connected to others. Loneliness and depression can come with aging, if we keep ourselves isolated from others.  Stay socially connected through your church community, your local senior center, a volunteer group, a walking or running club, a quilting club . . . .
  • Accept the changes that come with age.  The Help Guide website has a wide variety of articles that talk about the basics of healthy agingHelp Guide is a great resource for people of all ages.
  • Stop and smell the stinking roses, would ya?  This is even more important over the age of 50, because you just don’t know when your time will be up on this earth.  Enjoy those grandkids, learn to forgive, continue to make great memories with family and friends.  Take time to go outside, breathe in that fresh air, and thank God (or whomever your higher power is) for this gift of life you’ve been given. 
  • Find the humor in life. Laughter is an absolute necessity in our lives.  Laugh at yourself, laugh with others – you’ll relieve stress and worries, and you’ll remain healthier.

For further reading:

National Center for Creative Aging

Older People Become What They Think






Four Self-Improvement Blogs

Want to empower yourself?

These four  blogs can make that happen:

The Self-Improvement Blog (written by Irene Conlan, MSN, PhD)   In a nutshell, this blog is all about taking care of yourself and finding your own happiness.  Categories include: Self-Improvement, Health and Happiness, Coping Skills, Self-Esteem.  You can find the Irene’s Self-Improvement Radio Show on this blog.

Pick the Brain (edited by Erin Falconer – with 200+ contributors) This blog focuses on self-improvement, focusing on “personal productivity, motivation, and self education.” I enjoyed her articles:

Live Bold and Bloom  (written by Barrie Davenport, a blogger I’ve admired for several years) Barrie is a certified Life Coach, who knows what she’s blogging about!  Categories on this blog include Relationships and Self-Improvement.  Try her free download:  The Bold Living Starter Kit

Barrie also created a course titled Simple Self Confidence, 30 Days to Personal Empowerment $127 for the 30-day course.

Dumb Little Man  Jay White (Pen name) started this blog, and he’s invited readers to submit articles and share their tips and ideas. This blog offers readers “Tips for Life,” and includes a variety of categories, including: Personal Development, Motivation, Earning and Saving Money, Health and Fitness and more.

Recent posts include:











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Why I Read “Success Consciousness”




The Success Consciousness website,  created by Remez Sasson, is the home of one of my favorite personal development blogs.  At the Success Conscious site, readers who are interested in personal development can buy one of Remez’s many books which include topics such as: Self-improvement, motivation, inner peace, spiritual growth, and more. What I like is that you can download free chapters/excerpts from some of his books, to review before purchasing.

Stressed out today? Or just want to relax before bed? Watch one of Remez’s meditation videos. If you’re interested in connecting with others and talking about personal and spiritual development, you can check out the site’s forums.

My favorite part of the site, however, is Remez’s blog, found here.

I recently read a post that described me in my younger years.  Titled, A Few Questions to Ask Yourself, it talked about asking yourself how you react to things that happen in your day. Do you get angry and upset at the little irritations that pop up?  Do you dwell on problems, personal criticism, and such?  Remez points out that how we respond to life’s obstacles has a lot to do with our peace of mind.  And he provides ideas about how to rid ourselves of our automatic negative reactions.

This post also reminded me about something I had learned from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, and that is: Don’t take things personally!

Don’t know about you, readers, but developing my own peace of mind has been a continuous journey.  It’s worth the trip, though, because at least for myself, serenity has led to a greater sense of self-acceptance and happiness.

A few other posts that I enjoyed:

(1) How to avoid negative thinking

(2) When One Door Closes Another Opens


(3) How to calm your mind

And one post that reminds me not to give up on my dream to write a book, and may convince you not to give up on your dreams either:

50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First





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What is Success?


Hal Urban, in his book Life’s Greatest Lessons, starts out talking about success.  In his first chapter, titled, “Success is more than making money,” the author answers the question:  “What does it mean to be successful?” He then lists several answers to this question. 

As I read through this list, I realized I knew someone who has those qualities!

Here’s a description of the man who personifies success to me:

  • He’s a man with a strong work ethic. 
  • He’s a problem solver.
  • He’s well-liked by his co-workers and peers and has gleaned the respect of his manager and other “higher-ups” in his workplace.
  • He gets things done at work because he doesn’t point the finger at others for mistakes made; he simply helps resolve those mistakes. 
  • He’s kind and friendly to others, and gives them respect.  He looks for the good in life, and somehow finds it. 
  • He’s generous, and thinks about his family before he thinks about himself.  He often says that if he won the lotto, he’d like to help others, particularly members of his extended family. I know in my heart that he would follow through with that plan!
  • He sees no need to impress others by having a big home, an expensive car, or other material things.   
  • He lives a life of integrity.  
  • He enjoys life as it is, right now. 

He’s not a man of great wealth, or great power.  He’s not the president of a company. He’s not a Hollywood celebrity, or a superstar athlete.  

Nope, he’s just a successful man.  I’m lucky enough to be married to him. 

Here’s to you, Mr. Boomer!

Want to read the book? It’s a good one. You can find Hal Urban’s Life’s Greatest Lessons at Amazon.

Quote for the Day:

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. ~Pericles

Live Bold and Bloom: Good Reading




Barrie Davenport writes Live Bold and Bloom, a personal development blog. Live Bold and Bloom is a guide to help readers live fearlessly. 

 I like the idea of living fearlessly, especially as I get older.  Life is too short to be confined by fear.  Fear limits me and narrows my options. Facing fear head on is empowering.

Barrie’s blog is very professionally done, and no wonder. She’s not only a career and life transition coach, but a blogging coach, as well.  You can read more about her and why she created Live Bold and Bloom here.

Here’s a sampling of some of Barrie’s posts:

I recently downloaded Barrie’s e-book, “The Bold Living Guide: 7 Key Ingredients for a Meaningful Life,” which you can get in your email simply by subscribing to her blog.  

This is a short guide, merely 46 pages long, making it an easy read. Yet in that easy read, you’ll find concise guidance for finding meaning and happiness in your life.  Barrie defines the 7 key ingredients as: Security and Comfort, Balance and Moderation, Contribution, Relationships, Beauty, (that is, savoring the everyday beauty in our lives)  Creativity, and Personal Growth. 

Other Live Bold and Bloom free downloads can be found here.

So, do you want to be fired up about life? Inspired to make some changes?  Live Bold and Bloom is bookmarked in my favorites. Check it out, you may find a new favorite yourself!