Hints

Holiday hints from Krissy Claus.
First the easy stuff….Do not count calories. Do not wear a watch. Try doing what other people feel like doing rather than being compelled to always make the plan. Stay in pj’s as long as possible each day. Getting coffee, bagels, donuts or tacos in pajamas is not only socially acceptable, it’s encouraged. Get down and look at your children when they talk to you. Or if they are getting taller than you these days, look up. Make eye contact. Cook someone’s favorite meal. Or cook your favorite and deliver to some friends. Sit by the fire and leave your cell phone in another room. Let the kids frost the cookies, trash the kitchen and get high on icing. Watch Christmas Vacation. Make pancakes with holiday M&M’s in them. If it’s not a hassle to make a fire in the fireplace, it’s an invitation. Pet your dog, especially right behind the ears the way they like it. When you grab your last minute stocking stuffers from the drugstore (admit it, I’ll see you there), pick up a couple scarves, socks, or fleece blankets to hand out to homeless people when you drive by – you can even let your kids do the honors and feel warm inside.
Now these are a bit more challenging but Krissy has faith in you! Put away your politics for a while and just love on people. Be kind …..especially to those “sandpaper people” in your life. The people who bug you are in your life for a reason, you may as well love them because they have something to teach you (as my friend says on the subject of judgment, “You spot it, you got it.” THAT makes you think twice). Don’t assume people know you love them, be clear. Ask questions and LISTEN to the responses. Active listening is a form of love. Accept people where THEY are right now…not where you want them to be or where you are in your comfort zone….you don’t have to step all the way out of your box but perhaps take down part of a wall. Think of someone you know (maybe not even very well) who has had a tough year this year and pick up the phone or put pen to paper and wish them a happier new year. Go for an evening walk and take in all the lights. Turn off all the lights in the house except the tree and sit there, at least once, late at night and recall what you are grateful for. Try to make peace with (instead of sense of) the things you don’t feel as grateful for. You are not too old or jaded to believe in magic. Everything you need is right here – every day, and especially at the holidays.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

Sleep

I have always been a morning person. Early bird catches the worm and all. I was never one to sleep the day away like my kids often do now. I do my best work in the morning and love to see the sunrise.
This time of year, my anxiety gets the better of my and I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia is my constant companion. I worry about so many things at the holidays, making lists in my head, replaying conversations, and catastrophizing all that can happen. It is always an issue but this time of year it gets worse.
I have worked long and hard to calm my anxious thoughts and behaviors, but sleep is one of the most difficult. For years I would lie awake waiting for my wasband to arrive home. He worked nights and often went out drinking after work. I never knew what his mood would be when he arrived home and often slept on the edge of the bed afraid to even breathe. Mornings I would tiptoe out of the room as not to wake him and incur his wrath. I would keep the kids as quiet as I could for the same reason. It was a difficult dance for all of us.
For years after I left, I still had trouble sleeping and would get out of bed feeling like I had been in a fist fight. Every muscle ached…especially my hands.
One evening, my therapist mentioned that I looked more tired than usual and asked me to talk about it. As I spoke, she watched me then she asked me to lie on the floor and show her my sleep position. I did as she asked, hopeful she could provide insight into my insomnia.
She asked me to talk about each part of my body and how I felt. What I realized was that every single part of me body was tense, my whole body was in a tight ball, my shoulders were by my ears, and my hands were in fists.
She told me that I was a resting fighter, always vigilant. That I was ready to defend myself in while I was resting. I was not, in fact, really ever sleeping. My body and brain would not allow me to let me let my guard down. Trauma is stored in the body and appears in many different forms unless it is healed.
It has taken intentional practice to release that trauma and vigilance, letting others into my life. The boundaries are firm, walls are high, guarded fiercely to protect myself and those I love. I am keenly aware of my body and its cues when it comes to sleep and other trauma responses. During the holidays, insomnia wants to not just visit but stay. So when the insomnia rears its head I can say hello and send it packing again, not allowing it to overstay its welcome.
Trauma takes many forms. With the help of others, we can identify as well as address the issues in order to find hope and healing. This is an ongoing process as healing is not linear. We are all in the process of becoming stronger humans. With some help, and some sleep, we can all find peace.
Peace.
#tutulady
#forwardisapace