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Staying (mentally) healthy at Christmas time

festive-seasonChristmas – it’s called the silly season for a reason. The big day is just around the corner and this is when our emotional health and wellbeing gets put to the test. We need to stress less and enjoy more.

Here are some tips for you to keep your nerve and still have a smile on your face, even after all the Christmas pudding has been consumed.

Avoid the rush. Planning ahead saves time and money. Make lists (and check them twice!) for groceries, presents and jobs to be done. Sticking to your list and a budget will save burning a hole in your pocket and starting the New Year broke. Take advantage of extended hours at shopping centres, or avoid them altogether and buy online. Alternatively, get the kids busy in the kitchen and make edible gifts for neighbours, teachers, friends and family. There’s nothing better than receiving a home baked present.

Give the gift of gratitude. Express gratitude to those that have made your year special, even if it was in a small way. Send a Christmas card with a heartfelt message. Say thanks to the tradie that came out on the weekend, or the babysitter that was able to turn up at short notice, or your neighbour for checking your mail while you were on holidays. By being grateful, you not only let someone know they are appreciated, but you open yourself to deeper connections and friendships for the year ahead.

Say no to holiday stress. Prioritise what’s really important to you and your family. It could be putting up the tree, religious observances, holidays, catching up with friends, or quality family time. At this time of year it’s too easy to say ‘yes’ to everything, including uninvited house guests, Christmas parties and long shopping trips and overspending, leaving you mentally and physically exhausted.

Focus on your priorities and say ‘no’ to everything else. Politely decline the extra invitations and if it’s someone important to you, suggest to catch up after the silly season.  You’ll feel less frazzled and able to embrace your true meaning of Christmas.

Relax. The Christmas rush can be overwhelming and these feelings can produce symptoms of anxiety, anger and stress. Take 15 minutes at the end of your day to sit, relax and practice mindfulness. Focus on your breathing and let your thoughts come and go. It will not only alleviate the stress but will give you a sense of calm and inner peace.

Eat, drink and be merry (in moderation). With the many festive parties, catch-ups and celebratory drinks, Christmas is synonymous with over-indulgence with food and alcohol. Enjoy indulgent food and alcoholic drinks in moderation and balance them out with lots of healthy choices. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of H20.

Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Christmas is about sharing good times with friends, family, work colleagues and other special people that make our lives enriched by being around them.

 

About the writer
Luke Sheedy is a gifted life advisor, motivator and free thinker. He combines his metaphysical talents to advise clients on their natural strengths, talents and abilities. Luke helps release what is holding you back, so growth can occur and your life’s plan can unfold naturally.

Enjoying the good with the not so good

6072775526_569fc97533_bLife is all about balance. We have days when we wake up and feel great, which sets the tone for the day, where nothing goes wrong, the day flows harmoniously, and everything you do works out exactly as you want. For some unknown reason the following day is the exact opposite, where you can’t do anything right and you wished you didn’t put a foot out of bed, rolled over and went straight back to dreamland.

Both of these dualities will pass and repeat some time again in the future. There’s no doubt about that. But finding the happy medium in our lives is the key to our happiness and we have to take the good with the not so good.

There is a shadow side to everything. By accepting each day for what it is, we are able to appreciate all of its wonders. We begin to realise life is all about the good and the not so good, the light as well as the shadow side.

Nothing ever stays the same forever. Just look at the cycles of life, the ebb and flow, the high and the lows we experience, the seasons throughout the year, life is full of impermanence. How boring would life be if everything stayed the same? Having a winter that lasted forever, never being able to enjoy the warmth again, how dreary does that sound?

By detaching from the good and accepting and learning from the not so good, it will give you more substance to enjoy what is, and the role these opposites play in our lives. The school of life never stops, nor the lessons that it teaches. Though when you have a more balanced perspective and interpret the challenges you find yourself in, life becomes more enjoyable, mystical even. The bigger picture in your life will unfold naturally, opening up like a new chapter in a book. You will be more consciously aware of the part that you’re playing, allowing you to read between the lines.

Remember to enjoy the obstacles along your life’s journey. Life is not a treadmill, when you’re not enjoying the day you can’t simply hop off because you don’t want to go through the pain anymore. You need to stay on and keep going, continuing to learn the lessons that life’s teaching you by embracing what is and accepting life.

You will begin to see things from a different perspective, finding out there are many different shades, not just good and not so good, there is much in between. Life is for learning, there are gems to be found in every scenario and every experience throughout your day, you just have to have the right tools and know where to look.

Everything that you learn, which gives you an enlightened moment is a treasure. Savour it as this is a gift given to you by life itself. Don’t look back at your day as good or bad, there is no consistency in life, that’s a fact. But by being kinder to yourself and others around you, and learning the art of surrender to what is, you become free with no attachments to good or bad. Because sooner or later through your own evolution you will realise what you go through, the experiences day to day, is the gift within itself.

Each day provides its own gifts. -Marcus Aurelius.

About the writer
Luke Sheedy is a gifted life advisor, motivator and free thinker. He combines his metaphysical talents to advise clients on their natural strengths, talents and abilities. Luke helps release what is holding you back, so growth can occur and your life’s plan can unfold naturally.

 

Featured image via Flickr creative commons

How to reveal your true self

How to reveal your true self

I’ve observed that in today’s somewhat shallow world, many of my clients are afraid (or don’t know how) to take off the masks that they wear in fear that their true self will be revealed.

We wear a mask because it covers up feelings of unworthiness or insecurity. People also wear masks because it’s easier to conform to the expectations of loved ones, work colleagues and strangers. We don’t want to offend or be seen as different or unusual. We want to fit in with others and be accepted and liked. Wearing a mask stops us from being our true self and being genuine.

Here are some strategies I use with my clients – how to reveal your true self

Feel vulnerable. Unfortunately, it’s only the rare individuals I come across now and again that refuse to limit their true selves by being honest, direct and authentic.

We are afraid of letting people see our true selves as it makes us feel vulnerable and out of our safe zone. Courage and vulnerability work hand-in-hand. To overcome our fear we have to be honest and expect there might be failure and criticism and acknowledge that we will feel vulnerable, but that’s ok. We all had to learn how to crawl before we could walk. It’s the same principle.

When you feel vulnerable and embrace it, what people think of you and their expectations of you will be become less intimidating. In time you will no longer fear what people think. Being authentic will greatly improve your life.

Live in the now. To develop courage and to let go of the fears that hold you back, you need to start living in the now. In our fast-pasted lives, we are always ten steps ahead thinking about tomorrow rather than living for today. When you start to live in the now, you’ll free up a lot of your energy. Focus in the moment and prioritise your time on you, to build a better future for tomorrow.

Face your fears. Courage is the ability to act in the face of your fears. Don’t let fear control or paralyse you. One of the most effective ways to diminish fear is to head towards it and face up to what you’re afraid of.  The more times your put yourself in a position to take action against your fears, the easier it will be for you to live courageously. Tolerating and becoming familiar with the pain that fear represents is the quickest way to move forward in your life and move toward a greater version of yourself.

Perform courageous acts. These were Aristotle’s words. He was one of the ancient philosophers who believed in being courageous to reach your full potential.

When was the last time you were courageous? When was the last time you stood up for yourself, or someone in trouble? Did you turn a blind eye, listen to gossip and believe it or avoid confrontation fearing you may have a target placed on your back?

By masking your true persona, you are only a limited version of yourself. You remain safe, limiting your growth and stunting your true potential. There’s no fun in being a smaller version of yourself.

Perform a courageous act and you’ll soon let go of the fear of disapproval. You will reveal yourself and embrace who you truly are, a unique gifted soul.

And according to Aristotle, practicing courage could make all the difference in life. As he wrote, “You will never do anything in this world without courage.”

This is about being courageous, you’re not being discouraged from becoming the person you’re meant to be. The possibilities for your life are endless. Though to write the next chapter of your life you’re going to have to become courageous. Courage is not something you have, it’s something you choose.

 

“Ships in habour are safe, but that’s not what ships are built for” –John A. Shedd

 

About the writer
Luke Sheedy is a gifted life advisor, motivator and free thinker. He combines his metaphysical talents to advise clients on their natural strengths, talents and abilities. Luke helps release what is holding you back, so growth can occur and your life’s plan can unfold naturally.

Feature image via Ricardo Liberato, Flickr creative commons

Your life is like a garden – 4 steps to achieve abundance

Your life is like a garden – 4 steps to achieve abundance

Abundance garden

In my clinical practice, I treat many clients that have walked a difficult path and are weighed down by life. Here is a simple way I encourage my clients to take steps to live a fulfilled life, just like you would care for an abundant garden.

Your life can be seen just like a garden. To get the harvest you deserve, and achieve abundance, the appropriate care needs to be invested, otherwise you will reap only the amount of effort and action you’ve put into it.

Achieve abundance

Watch out for weeds

To get the best out of your garden you have to remove the weeds (problems). These weeds can been seen like the negative thoughts which get sown into our minds. They can also be the excuses and the barriers that hold us back. Monitor any thoughts that are faulty or rigid in the garden beds of our minds as they can cause damage. Also avoid gossip and bad news where possible, as they only weigh us down.

Give unwanted pests the flick

The all too common pests in our lives that can cause failure and destruction to anyone’s garden are the draining and negative people you have in your life. Just like pests in your garden, they will stop you from growing and expanding. Reaching for the sunlight of your potential, don’t let them drain you of your energy sources, nor your creativity or imagination. Don’t let them attach to you, otherwise you will pick up on their negative thoughts, behaviours and actions. They will influence you and possibly change your character which, day by day will destroy your focus, vision and ultimately your destiny. Give them the flick, before they become infested and toxic in your garden. Always surround yourself with positive people.

Nourish the soil and sow seeds

It’s important to nourish your soil and sow seeds for the future (positive beliefs, thoughts and behaviours). Make sure every thought you sow into your mind will be a positive one. By sowing the seeds of positivity, your behaviours and effort will produce a wonderful garden of opportunity and happiness. Positive affirmations are a great way to plant positive seeds of growth. Creating the right thoughts which are positive influence our behaviours and actions giving rise to the right circumstances and opportunities that will bare wonderful results to harvest.

Cultivate your garden

Cultivate your garden through action and effort. Take responsibility for your life and you will be amazed at the positive changes. Take responsibility by taking action, just small steps each day will help you get closer to the life you want to live.

By taking responsibility for your garden you can create the life you so much desire. You have a major influence on how your garden is growing and how abundant it is. It’s your duty to look after it.

With added vision and focus, your garden will start bearing a plentiful bounty. Let your life be a labour of love, it’s time to get your hands dirty and cherish your garden because you only have one. Remember, you reap what you sow.

About the writer
Luke Sheedy is a gifted life advisor, motivator and free thinker. He combines his metaphysical talents to advise clients on their natural strengths, talents and abilities. Luke helps release what is holding you back, so growth can occur and your life’s plan can unfold naturally.

 

Feature image via UK Garden Photos, Flickr creative commons

5 easy ways to spring clean your life

5 easy ways to spring clean your life

Spring Clean Your Life - travellivelearn.com

There’s no better time to look towards a fresh start than spring time. It’s the perfect opportunity to spring clean your house, mind and life. Whether it is spring where you live or not however, you can take action with these five easy ways to spring clean your life, starting now!

De-clutter your home

Let’s start this journey by focusing on the space that you wake up to each morning – your home. A household that is messy and in disarray can cause added stress to your life.

Clear out your wardrobes and cupboards. Wash blinds and curtains, wipe the dust from walls and surfaces. Clean out the pantry, removing winter comfort food and stocking it with healthy choices.

Make your space beautiful – a new rug, cushions, candle or even fresh flowers can dramatically change the energy of a room. The chi (energy) within your home will flow better. Create an environment that uplifts your spirits.

Clear your mind

Your mental health is boosted when you de-clutter. This involves dealing with anxiety, stress, worry and other negative emotions.

Many of us hold onto negative emotions such as jealousy, anger, hatred, worry or fear. These emotions don’t add anything to your life and are detrimental to your health and wellbeing. Stop giving your energy away to someone else and focus on giving it back to you.

Clear your schedule

It’s time to clear your diary and make time for priorities. To follow your dreams and live the life you want, you need to make time for things that are important to you.

Push beyond your comfort zone, the easier path isn’t always the right way for our higher learning and growth. Maybe it’s time to take the road less travelled. Engage in activities you’ve never done before, are passionate or curious about, or that fulfil a purpose or dream.

Time is precious and valuable, make every minute count by making time work for you. Plant the seeds today for a better tomorrow.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

With our busy lifestyles, we are too stressed to deal with the things that make us feel stressed! It could be our overwhelming to-do list, or the constant mind chatter that preoccupies our thoughts.

A calmer presence can be found when you stop over-analysing everything, become less rigid and ‘go with the flow’.

Smile yourself out of a bad mood. Your brain cannot tell the difference between a posed smile and a genuine one – they have the same result.

Detox your relationships

Moods are infectious, and are not only affected by our own emotions and inner conflicts, but also by those whose company we keep.

Toxic relationships zap your energy (in my clinic, the term I use is energy vampires). Don’t underestimate how much energy vampires can affect not only your mood, but your self-esteem.

By embracing change and letting go of the stagnant energy in your life, you create space and invite possibility, fulfilment, adventure and the opportunity to follow your dreams. Make the all-important decision to detoxify and de-clutter in all aspects of your life. There’s no better time than spring time.

 

About the writer
Luke Sheedy is a gifted life advisor, motivator and free thinker. He combines his metaphysical talents to advise clients on their natural strengths, talents and abilities. Luke helps release what is holding you back, so growth can occur and your life’s plan can unfold naturally.