Tag Archives: depression

The holiday horrors of Time; Drinks and Appearance & 24 ways to win!

The Festive Holiday Horror of TIME and 
                                    the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it.

How much TIME it all takes!

Hit the road running and don’t stop until you collapse! If there is one universal (right along with how much it all COSTS) it is how much TIME is needed on TOP of an already overwhelming, jam-packed schedule. No wonder you feel beat!
Your heart sinks and you get that whizzy feeling in your stomach every time you contemplate the impossible list of things that HAVE to be done – not to even think about what you might LIKE to do!

If you normally do not have enough time, then you will certainly NOT have enough now. Still you push yourself harder and harder, get up earlier; dash through the day; squeezing activities in every second that you can; skiving off work a bit; doing your personal things on work time (when you think no-one is watching) staying up later; skipping meals and grabbing some ‘fast food’; falling into bed absolutely exhausted. ‘And I am supposed to be HAPPY??!!’

Everyone is expecting this and that from you and worse you have accepted their rules and are killing yourself to try to make it all happen. Watch the faces of the people in the shops or as they drive their cars, do they look happy? And how do you look?

You need to find TIME to find gifts; wrap gifts; pack and post gifts; (return gifts!) buy food; cook food; arrange parties and family gatherings; attend parties and family gatherings; maybe travel; buy decorations; put up your decorations; buy cards (if you still do this!) post cards; open and read cards from others; buy your holiday outfit; see friends; listen to friend’s woes and ALL of your ‘usual’ jobs as well! You need help!

Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness – PUSH BACK!

It is TIME (ha ha!) to grab back your reins of control. There are 24 hours in a day, we all have the same and what is CRUCIAL is to make the best use of them. What does that mean? Well, some of those new Mind Chi skills that we have mentioned need to be employed here too.

Begin by just STOPPING! Oh breathe deep and full breaths for a minute. 

Think about those closest and most important to you and jot a few things that you may wish to do for or with them. Think of your ‘usual’ to do list and CROSS SOME OF THOSE ITEMS OFF – the key point is that YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL!  So for each festive thing that you add, remove a usual thing (most things won’t matter if they are left for a few days).  You need the big picture – what / who is most important and ditch (or delay) the rest.

Use your POWER to PUSH BACK. Every day, (in future start before Thanksgiving) and carve a little ‘DISCRECIONARY TIME’ – moments that YOU get to choose what you do (even if it is NOTHING!)

Use your POWER to say ‘NO!’ (As nicely as you are able). You will be amazed at how something that you were going to burst a blood vessel over and if you ask ‘Might I do this later?’ ‘Do you really need this now?’ ‘Could I leave this out?’ you may find it just literally melts away before you. Oh triumph!

Question all those things you think you ‘should’ and ‘aught’ to do

(More information on this in Horror 8) such as sending festive cards, if you are using it to be in touch, then begin a phone rota or send an email. STOP the silliness of giving cards to people you see – just say, ‘Thank you, and I am wishing you (with a hug if appropriate) a Happy (fill in the festivity)’. 

Question all the gift giving (especially in these economic times). You might want to give a gift for the person’s birthday and only a token over the general festivities. Or better still; give a gift of your TIME or FOOD to some one less fortunate.

Set a new ritual, it doesn’t have to be what it always was. In fact with the changing family structure it seldom is. So create a new way to celebrate. 

Be ‘in the flow’ – there are days when you can have a directive goal, but not specifics, and just flow through, taking plenty of breaks and achieve a wonderful amount, but feel RELAXED.

…and 24 ways to overcome them!

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Festive Holiday Happiness to overcome the Horror of TIME are:

  1. PUSH BACK by setting yourself time limits –‘I will only take one hour in these shops’.
  2. PUSH BACK by giving yourself a reward when finished (as procrastination is a real TIME waster) – ‘A cup of tea when I complete this task’.
  3. PUSH BACK by grouping friends / activities for ONE meeting or journey (rather than several).
  4. PUSH BACK by re-assessing what you really NEED or WANT to do. Question if what was, is still appropriate.
  5. PUSH BACK by STOPPING and creating the big picture of what matters, ask yourself ‘What will we remember?’
  6. PUSH BACK by not doing some of your ‘usual’ tasks, something must go!
  7. PUSH BACK by saying ‘NO!’ (Nicely) and questioning your ‘shoulds’ and ‘aughts’.
  8. PUSH BACK by creating new rituals and crafting ‘flow’ days for you to enjoy.

All the DRINKS Festive Holiday Horror and
                                     the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome them.

All the DRINKS Festive Holiday Horror

Everywhere you go in the holiday time, people are plying you with drinks.

The festivities are synonymous with DRINKS, ‘Come on, have a drink’ rings out as much as the Salvation Army bell. ‘No!’ you say, ‘Awww go on, just a small one!’ ‘Everyone else is – don’t spoil the party!’ So feeling the pressure and not wanting to be thought of as a spoilsport, you acquiesce and have ‘a small one’.

There is an interesting phenomenon about your brain, once you initially lower a thresh-hold, the pathway to repeat the behaviour is ‘oiled’ and so before you know it, you are repeating the behaviour. Are you able to have just ONE chocolate???!!! How about ‘I’ll just have A bite?’ And ‘just a small sip’, all mean that it is the top of the slippery slope down to repeating the behaviour. It happens without your even giving it a thought and that is the problem. 

And it is not only all those friendly offices, neighbours, relatives, religious groups, sports groups, ANY group or friends, it is also YOURSELF!!!

To be sure you can be ‘hospitable’ should anyone drop by, you went out and filled up your booze cupboard, so-and-so drinks vodka, and he likes gin, better get a couple of bottles they are low, oh and scotch for her, now red wine and white, beer for the TV games and BBQs and better get some bubbly as well.

While it is sitting in your house, it is so easy to have just one extra drink of an evening and then you are so tired from all you have done, a drink will cheer you up and get you going… except it doesn’t, does it?

You can probably add some more DRINKS Horrors as well. So, what to do?

Mind Chi Happiness – BREATHE – grab your reins of control

Think –  who has the POWER to decide? 
YOU do and this is a time when you particularly need to pull on your own power to be able to take only the DRINKS that you do want and when you want them. And how to do that? 

Use the power assist of the BREATH.

Taking a slow BREATH before you respond to any request will enable you to check in to your body and emotions and then make an appropriate decision for you at that moment.

Start SLOWLY and build up, if that is what you wish. Or if you are staying in one place for the evening, then START with a glass of wine and then taper off (as long as you have the POWER to do this!) Remember to do your reins grabbing BREATH before you take any drink.

Maybe arrive with a container of a non-alcoholic drink, so you can say ‘Thanks, I am OK for a bit!’ Your hosts do not usually notice what you drink after they have got you started, so have a quick look to see if there are some fruit juices or cranberry juice (looks like red wine and everyone leaves you alone!) If there aren’t any of these options, SIP your drink slowly; drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

Perform your BREATH before you fill up your glass.

In your own home, do NOT buy all the alcohols, it is OK to say, ‘We can offer you beer, red wine or cranberry juice?’ Always offer a non-alcoholic option with equal enthusiasm. 
You do NOT have to be as a bar and provide every drink there is. Hide your DRINKS in a cupboard so they do not act as a constant reminder; make them a little difficult to get to!
Make a punch, this can be light on the alcohol and served in little cups, so people can have several and are still able to drive safely. Do not pressure your guests to have more to DRINK.

Be a responsible host. If a guest has somehow still managed to drink too much, either have a non-drinking friend drive them home, or call a taxi. DO NOT LET THEM DRIVE HOME. 

To recap, the 8 positive actions for Mind Chi Holiday Happiness to overcome all the DRINKS Horrors are:

  1. Use your deep, full BREATH to let you check in with what drink you might actually want.
  2. Use your POWER to act and be responsible, you are no-one’s puppet.
  3. Beware the ‘Just one small one’ as your brain makes it hard for you to stop.
  4. Team with a non-drinker or take turns. Do NOT drink and drive.
  5. Plan ahead your DRINKING for the day – consider how you will organise it.
  6. Sip your DRINK slowly and have a glass of water for each alcoholic beverage.
  7. Conservatively buy DRINKS for your own home, hide them so they do not temp you.
  8. Make a punch, do not push DRINKS and never let a drunk friend drive home.

Your APPEARANCE Festive Holiday Horror and 
                                    the Mind Chi Happiness to overcome it

Your APPEARANCE for the holidays

Are those jeans a bit too tight? Is that SO last year?
You just can’t be seen in the same outfit as you wore last year, or even the party last week?
And besides, it seems to have shrunk since last year anyway!
This entails a mad rush to the shops, your heart sinks, it is so crowded, no parking and people are acting like animals, pushing and shoving – wait that is actually rude to animals! What about on line?

Yes, they can do next day delivery. Great – just in time for the party tonight, except it just doesn’t look as good on you as it did on that lovely model. Now what?! 
Because you are rushing, you do not shop well. The shop attendants are rushed and so cannot really help you and your brain is actually planning the food and a gift for Aunt Sally.
There is often even more going on. That is that you are actually just not pleased with your appearance. You have noticed some lines, you are becoming ‘podgy’ and even a few grey hairs are starting to show themselves. You are just not happy in your own skin.
You can probably add more APPEARANCE Festive Holiday Horrors as well, so what to do about it?

Remember YOUR ATTITUDE – the only thing you can change

Might we suggest that it is not your clothes that need changing, but your attitude?
It is very unlikely that anyone will remember what you wore last year or even the party last night!
So maybe have ‘an outfit’ one that symbolises the holiday or celebration for you, and it is what you wear ‘Simples’ as they say!

Or, as all the fashion experts would suggest. Purchase ONE mix n’ match set of tops and bottoms that you can wear as dress up or down, then a few clothes go a long way.
Another thought is to wear your regular clothes, but ‘decorate’ yourself! How about a hat or something hanging round your neck, some sort of a scarf or tie, maybe a broach or button? 

These are all inexpensive and easy ways to say ‘I am in the celebration mood!’ 

However, the most important of all is your attitude, when people look at you, what do they see?
Usually the first thing people notice is your energy – how straight are you standing? 
How do you move? What is your general facial expression?
Then they may look at some details – are you smiling? How are your eyes? Do you look ‘cared for’?
All these factors scream much louder than the actual outfit. 
Do a bit of people watching next time you are waiting for something/one. What do you notice?

How to make your attitude APPEARANCE be the best it can be?

1.         Make sure that you are having enough sleep for you (varies from 4 – 8 hours) you can check this by discovering if you wake up feeling rested and ready to start your day. 
2.         Eat a balanced and varied diet – all the foods that you know are ‘good’ for you – in moderate and considered meals.
3.         If you do drink alcohol, make sure it is in moderation. Balance your alcohol intake with plenty of water and juices. Resist sodas as much as possible.
4.         Look ‘cared for’ by making sure your clothes are clean and tidy. This is much more important than having the latest hot fashion label.
5.         Look ‘cared for’ in yourself as well – is your hair clean and brushed? Are your teeth clean and breath fresh?  Does your face look as though you looked at it and gave it some attention this morning? Are your hands and nails clean and manicured? And what about your feet? 
6.         How are your standing and walking? Are you straight and tall? Are your shoulders back? Do you walk and move with purpose and ease? 
7.         Have you a twinkle in your eyes and a smile on your lips? These are the two most flattering things you can do to make your appearance be its very best. And they are free!
8.         All of the above are easy if your attitude is one of optimism and a positive outlook on the world, suddenly you will find you have an appearance, that if you catch you reflection in repose, is one you think ‘That looks a nice person!’ And it is – it is YOU!

Next week there will be 24 MORE Mind Chi ways to bring as much happiness into your life – by doing so, you will also help many others around you! So try them all out and share what worked best for you!

Chat with Santa Vanda here:

Build resilience and joy in yourself and your teams, here:

See the previous 3 horrors of Cost, food and relationships, here:

Would you choose UNhappiness?

Have you consciously thought about your place on this scale?

Heading towards JOY!

Heading towards JOY!










Where are you right now? Make a mark on the arc and then, where do you want to be?  Make another mark on the arc. If they are not very close together, then here is a very simple, yet powerful daily  8 minute routine which can dramatically move you towards more JOY in your life.

You may be the same as many people with whom I work / talk / mentor / share who are on the towards burnout side of the scale – they suffer from abuse of the 3 D’s – drugs, drink and depression.  The strain of stress is taking its toll and they are on the slippery slope downwards.

Please make yourself a nice cup of tea and listen (takes 23 minutes) to this interview with Helen Winder asking Vanda North about Mind Chi. Vanda explains the Mind Chi Basic 8 step routine and the attitudes which can put you in control of you and move towards the JOY end of the scale:  Vanda North is interviewed by Helen Winder