the holidays you’ll never forget

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The Holidays You’ll Never Forget. Balancing Work & Life Stress. Preparing for a Holiday Season that We’ll Never Forget by reframing our stress Breaking the Chains Forged in Life Reawakening the Joy Inherent in the Holidays Valuing Relationships Writing a Good Ending to our “Christmas Carol” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Balancing Work & Life StressThe Holidays Youll Never ForgetEvery once and a while a story comes along that speaks truth and touches our hearts in such a way that becomes a classic.

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is a story that is filled with such truths. We will be using this story to help us experience a Christmas or Holiday season that we will never forget, one with reduced Holiday stress that balances work and life.

1Preparing for a Holiday Season that Well Never Forget by reframing our stressBreaking the Chains Forged in LifeReawakening the Joy Inherent in the HolidaysValuing RelationshipsWriting a Good Ending to our Christmas CarolCelebrating a Holiday Time of Miracle TransformationHonoring the Holidays in our Hearts All Year LongWell be exploring these themes As you know, A Christmas Carol is about a miserly, old business man named Ebeneezer Scrooge who is once again confronted with the festivities of Christmas.

He bitterly resents how the holiday gets in the way of whats really important to him making money. His response to Christmas: Bah Humbug!

What things get in the way of your enjoying the Holidays? What are you not looking forward to this Christmas?

These things are stressful. Stress is the bodys reaction to demands placed upon it. Are there demands at home and work at Christmas that are specific to only this time of the year?

To Scrooge, Christmas is a financial and an emotional stressor. He says its just a time for finding yourself another year older and not an hour richer. He does a lot of negative self-talk that is stressful

As the story begins, Scrooges nephew, Fred, full of Christmas cheer, walks into Scrooges office. Notice what Fred says, You dont keep Christmas, you give it away. Christmas is a time for forgiveness, a time of charity, a time when people open their closed hearts to others. And therefore, Uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good, and will do me good, and I say, God bless it. Scrooge is not convinced.

That evening, as Scrooge prepares for bed , the spirit of his former partner, Marley, appears to him to warn him of the consequences of his self-centered life. (Video)

Marley comes back to offer his friend, Scrooge, a chance to look at what hes doing with his life and the consequences. Right now hes living for himself and to make as much money as possible, disregarding the people around him and their needs.

Marley wants him to know that living to make money and ignore the needs of people forged chains that bound him to an eternal distress where he could see peoples needs but couldnt do anything about it. He wants his friend to wake up to the fact that people are really everyones business and to begin living that mission before its too late.

2Stressful Distorted Thinking/Self-TalkAll-or-Nothing ThinkingOvergeneralizationsMental FilterDiscounting the PositiveJumping to Conclusions (Mind Reading, Fortune Telling)Magnification or MinimizationEmotional ReasoningShould StatementsLabelingBlaming

As the story begins, Scrooges nephew, Fred, full of Christmas cheer, walks into Scrooges office. Fred confronts his uncles distorted thinking. You dont keep Christmas, you give it away. Christmas is a time for forgiveness, a time of charity, a time when people open their closed hearts to others. And therefore, Uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe it has done me good, and will do me good, and I say God bless it.

One way to reduce the amount of stress in our lives is to change our minds about how we relate to people and situations. Fred was trying to help his uncle change is mind about Christmas and people. In order for us to do that and reduce our stress, we too need to look at our distorted thinking.

Insert Distorted thinking.

4

Back to Scrooge. That evening, as he prepared for bed, the spirit of his former partner, Marley appears to him, trying to get him to think differently about people and his priorities. Wake up! People are everyones business. Wake up before its too late. I didnt and now I am in eternal disstress because I didnt make helping people my priority.

Scrooge dismissed the whole scary encounter as a bit of indigestion. First Fred tried to get him to see, then Marley comes back from the grave but he wasnt about to change.

What kinds of things try to get our attention that something needs to change in our life? Lets look at My Body Under Stress. Lets take a minute to mark where our bodies are talking to us about stress.

Our family stress level also can be talking to us about something that needs to be attended to. Lets take a few minutes to do The Family Stress Test.

Our we open to looking at what our body and familys stress might be saying to us or are we needing more convincing like Scrooge?

Scrooge dismisses the whole encounter as a bit of indigestion and goes to bed. Its not long though, until his sleep is disturbed by three Spirits who forever change his attitude about Christmas and all of life.

5Preparing for a Holiday that We Never ForgetRelax with Mind Gems

Encourage sleep with I See(5x), I Hear(5x), I Feel(5x) I See(4x), I Hear(4x), I Feel(4x) I See(3x), I Hear(3x), I Feel(3x) I See(2x), I Hear(2x), I Feel(2x) I See(1x), I Hear(1x), I Feel(1x) Repeat as neededWhen were stressed, often our sleep gets disturbed. What are some things we can do when our sleep gets disturbed because of stress.

I find I that taking time to relax before sleep and doing Mind Gems is very helpful. It seems to do something with clearing the effects of negativity out of the bodys energy system and lets people relax. (DO)

Then to help my mind to stay at peace (and not go back solving all my days and tomorrows problems) I find it helpful to do what I call:I See(5x), I Hear(5x), I Feel (5x)

Going back to Marley and Scrooge, the story continues with Marley informing Scrooge that he will be visited by 3 Spirits and that hed better learn from them or suffer the consequences.

Scrooge dismisses the whole encounter as a bit of indigestion and goes to bed. Its not long though, until his sleep is disturbed by the forewarned Spirits who forever change his attitude about Christmas and all of life.

The first spirit, Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge why he is so hard-hearted. He reminds him of some very sad childhood experiences. His mother died when he was a boy and he was rejected by his father who sent him away to boarding school. 6

He had some very happy times as a young adult life but those happinesses were dimmed because he lost sight of what life is about when he began to focus on acquiring wealth. His fiance, Belle, releases him from their engagement and he is crushed. He pours himself even more into his work and quest for riches to deal with the pain.

7Breaking Chains Forged in Life: The Ghost of Christmas PastSome Humbugs that chain us include:1. Past, unprocessed or unforgiven hurts 2. Loneliness 3. Unrealistic expectations fueled by commercialism, especially from our children, leading to financial pressures.4. Overcrowded schedules that lead to family and work tensions.The Ghost of Christmas past began to show Scrooge that he was dealing with chains that were forged in his life that made him bitter and resentful: Past, unprocessed or unforgiven hurts;Loneliness; Unrealistic expectations: financial goals and pressures; overcrowded schedules that led to Scrooge losing the love of his life.

Which of these four issues speak loudest to you? When you think of your life, what grief's and regrets come to mind? Take a second to write down one or two All of these were forging chains that bound him. Slide 58Breaking the Chains that Bind Us1. Examine expectations: What do our actions tell us is really our business? What are we expecting in life? How do we meet our needs and still be in service to others?2. Explore ways to grieve losses and regrets, forgive and reconcile hurts, and meet needs in healthy ways.a. Name what happenedb. Feel the feelingsc. Given the reality of what happened, how can I make life work now?d. Given the reality of what happened, whats the bigger picture?e. How can I write a new ending to my story?Slide 5: In order to have The Holiday that We Never Forget, one with less stress, we have to find a way to break the chains that bind us.

One way to break a chain is to examine our expectations. Read questions. It is important to find a good balance in both giving and getting our needs met or we will burn out and we all know how stressful that is.

The next key in breaking the chains that bind us is to explore ways to grieve our losses and regrets, forgive and reconcile hurts and meet our needs in healthy ways. We all have been hurt. Its a universal experience. We all believe that our needs havent been met.

I learned in my exploring of how to break these chains of unmet needs and hurts that I have been the one I have been waiting for to meet those needs. I was so busy looking for others and God to meet those needs that I missed that I was the one that (My Language, God wanted to use to meet those needs. I started a long journey in learning how to do that that became very meaningful. It took me through grieving. Some of the steps of grieving include: Naming the reality of what happened.

Sometimes when I evaluate my schedule I have to look at what is important to keep, what can I let go of and what can be done later? later9Breaking the Chains that Bind Us3. Evaluate stressors, examine ways to simplify schedules & take better care of self:a. What is important to keep?b. What can be let go?c. What can be done later?

4. Ask Reality Questions to help fo

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