How to Survive Christmas

Christmas is an exciting time, but it can also be super stressful. Fortunately, it’s possible to thrive this Christmas and make some great memories! You can survive Christmas with your family by setting boundaries and focusing on fun. If you’re spending Christmas alone, attend holiday events, volunteer, and enjoy your favorite traditions. Finally, take good care of yourself.

Schedule time to see everyone if you’re part of a blended family. Being part of a blended family can make Christmas feel overwhelming, but it’s possible to spend time with everyone you love. Reach out to all of your family members to find out what they’re planning for the holidays. Then, make arrangements to attend as many holiday celebrations as possible.
For instance, you might have your kids for Christmas while your ex has your kids for Christmas Eve. Similarly, you could spend the weekend before Christmas with your dad’s family and Christmas Day with your mom’s family.
Talk to your spouse about possibly switching off on which family you spend Christmas Day with every year.
If everyone gets along, consider hosting a big Christmas celebration for all of your family members.


Set boundaries with family members who cause problems. Most families have drama that pops up around the holidays. However, you don’t have to let that ruin your Christmas. Create a set of expectations for family members you don’t get along with. Then, tell everyone these boundaries and the consequences for crossing them.

  • For instance, tell a family member who gets drunk and yells, that booze isn’t allowed at Christmas dinner. Similarly, tell a relative who shows up late that you’ll start dinner without them if they aren’t on time.


Practice planned responses to annoying questions that always come up. Spending time with family often means answering questions that you wish were never asked. While this is frustrating, preparing a response might be the best way to handle it. Consider the types of questions you normally get, then practice responding to them.

  • As an example, you might get asked if you’re dating anyone. You might practice saying, “Right now I’m focusing on my career and having fun with my friends.” Similarly, you might get asked if you’re having another baby. You might plan to respond, “Our family feels complete.”


Ask your family members to agree to only discuss neutral topics. Some topics are like kryptonite to holiday meals, so talk to your family members about creating a list of “safe” topics. Avoid topics that are controversial, like politics and religion. Instead, focus on pop culture, hobbies, and favorite holiday memories. 

  • For instance, you might all agree to avoid current events, politics, religion, dating, and family planning. Instead, you might discuss movies, vacations, and favorite memories together.


Watch a holiday movie to spend time together without fighting. Create a list of holiday favorites that each family member enjoys. Pop in a movie to create 90 minutes of calm during the holiday season. Then, sit back and relax.

  • Most people will watch the classics, like A Christmas Story or Home Alone.


Honor lost loved ones if you’re dealing with grief. The holidays can be a difficult time if you’ve recently experienced a loss. Do something special to remember your loved one during this time. This could be a tradition that you shared with them or a way of honoring their memory. This may help you handle your grief during this sensitive time.

  • For instance, let’s say you have a family tradition of looking at Christmas lights. If you lost your grandmother during the previous year, you might invite your family members to walk down her favorite streets for light displays.
  • For a simple option, you might hang their stocking in a special spot and surround it with photos from past Christmases.
  • If you’re religious, you might light a candle for them during the Christmas Eve services.


7 Natural Ways To Beat Anxiety Without Meds 

They actually work!

Over 40 million people in the United States alone, aged 18 and older, suffer from anxiety (roughly 18 percent of the total population). That’s nearly one out of every five adults. How ridiculous is that?

At what point do we allow ourselves to recognize that something is slightly off with the system that has raised us? 

Photo: wehearit©

Today, I’m going to give you those seven tools for how to deal with anxiety naturally. I wish that I had known about these 20 years ago, and so I’m passing them on to you, hoping that they will have a noticeable positive effect on your life (regardless of whether or not you are currently suffering from anxiety). Here we go.

1. Walk more.

When anxiety takes over, it’s often because we’ve been spending too much time in our head, and not enough time living in connection with our bodies. Even if this sounds somewhat like hippy-dippy woo-woo stuff, you know that there’s some truth to this.

If you spend all of your days by yourself, staring at screens, with too much time to ruminate on your life and all that you perceive to be wrong with it, it will inevitably make you feel anxious. Our bodies are made to move, and we were made to connect with others. This is why solitary confinement is one of the highest forms of punishment in prison (don’t move, don’t socialize, zero time spent in nature).

The simplest way to get into your body is to start making daily walks a priority. Go out walking for 15 minutes, or 30, or 60. Do this every day for a week and see how much better you begin to feel. If you really don’t feel like moving or exercising at all, another good couple of ways to get into your body are taking hot Epsom salt baths, or getting massages done.

Whatever it is that connects you to your body (walking, dancing, lifting weights, exercising, taking long hot baths, etc.), make it a priority. Your mental health depends on it.

2. Spend more time with friends.

As touched on above, having too much time to ruminate in isolation isn’t good for anyone. We are a social species and we are literally hardwired to connect with other people. Spend more time with your close friends or family members.

If you don’t currently have a thriving social life, then combine tips #1 and #2 by getting yourself out to group activities like dance classes, weight training classes, or walking groups. If you just did these two things (walk for an hour, and spend quality time with other people) every day for a week, you would already feel a noticeable difference in your anxiety.

3. Eat clean, and avoid all stimulants.

Do you drink coffee or soda? Do you eat a lot of processed sugar and junk food? Do you drink alcohol or smoke? As resilient as we are, if you put junk into your body, you’ll eventually feel like junk.

Eat a balanced diet of whole, nutrient-dense foods with a focus on fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates, and cut out any and all stimulants that give you insulin spikes.

4. Supplement intelligently.

Certain micro-nutrients are especially helpful to consume when it comes to combatting anxiety and/or depression. I’ve done a ton of research (that I won’t bore you with), but anxiety and depression are largely caused by inflammation in the body (along with other genetic/traumatic factors).

If I were hard pressed, I would say that these three are the highest leverage things you should consume on a daily basis to combat your anxiety.

  • Omega 3 + DHA
  • Vitamin D3
  • Curcumin (aka turmeric)

5. Avoid screens as much as possible.

Excessive screen time has been scientifically linked to depression and anxiety. If you roll over in the morning and immediately check your phone, and are checking your phone/email/computer throughout the day, you could literally be damaging your brain.

Go on a screen diet to chip away at your anxiety. If you need to use your computer, set a timer to make sure that you don’t over indulge in staring at the blue light.

6. Spend more time in nature.

Nature sucks out the toxicity of daily life. Make a point to spend as much time near fresh water or in a forest as possible. Don’t have access to much clean nature in the place that you live in? Maybe it’s time to go camping or go on a vacation somewhere beautiful and less inhabited.

7. Talk to someone and realize that you’re not going crazy after all.

A lot of the power that anxiety has over us is linked to how much time we allow ourselves to sit alone in rumination, feeling anxious about the fact that we have anxiety. Externalize your thoughts to a safe, trusted, non-shaming friend, family member, coach, or therapist, and gift yourself with the sense of knowing that you are not alone.

During the most anxious periods of my life, I had thoughts like “I’m losing my mind,” “what if I have a panic attack?” and “will this anxiety ever stop?” Just like no weather pattern stays forever, no emotional state stays forever. You can get through what you’re going through by learning how to beat anxiety naturally, and you can speed up your process by doing some of the things mentioned above.

Anxiety is never fun, but it is surmountable. Allow yourself to be supported by others, talk to someone about your fears, and prioritize play, time outdoors, and bodily movement.

Article by Jordan Gray for

Sudoku Puzzle #2 – Easy

Sudoku puzzles are solved with logic and don’t require you to have any math skills (well, besides being able to count to 9). All of the sudoku puzzles are 9×9 grids. To solve them you have to fill in the empty cells. Each column, row, and region must contain the numbers 1 to 9 exactly once.

Ready, set…Go!©

Some Good News for a Change

There’s still a lot of good in the world — and a lot of reasons to be hopeful. (Even when it doesn’t always feel that way.) Here is some good news for you.

Article by Best Life

Inspirational Thanksgiving Quotes to Share 

Even though it goes against the meaning of the holiday, Thanksgiving can be stressful. Amid the bustle of preparing the Thanksgiving menu, decorating the house, and cleaning before guests arrive, it can be difficult to take a moment to breathe and reflect on just what the holiday is about. Sometimes we need a little inspiration to show our gratitude for all of our blessings, and these Thanksgiving quotes will help you do just that.

Most of these sayings will help you express your love and appreciation for all the good things in your life: family, friends, colleagues, health. While others are more on the funny side because making someone laugh is often the best way to show them how much you value you them and the time they are spending with you on November 24.

Wishing you all the best.

Follow the link below to view over 70 more wonderful quotes of the season.

Article by KATIE BOWLBY for Country Living©


You Can Get TSA Pre-Check at Staples—Here’s How

With the holidays rapidly approaching—along with long airport security lines—enrolling in TSA Pre-Check can save travelers time and headaches this holiday season. Staples TSA Pre-Check enrollment process offers an easy “lifehack” for travelers.


Here’s how Staples made your next trip through airport security a breeze.

What is TSA Pre-Check?

No one likes waiting in long security lines at the airport. It can be a hassle to take off shoes and layers and rummage through bags. That’s where TSA Pre-Check comes in.

TSA Pre-Check offers an accelerated security process for travelers. The option allows travelers to keep their “shoes, jacket and belt on… laptop in its case; 3-1-1 compliant liquids in your bag; and enjoy a better overall travel experience,” according to the Staples website.

For frequent travelers, those flying with kids or anyone who simply wants a stress-free travel experience, TSA Pre-Check can be a lifesaver for both domestic and international travel.

How can I enroll in TSA Pre-Check at Staples?

Typically, enrolling in TSA Pre-Check requires travelers to go to designated locations like the airport. But as Mackenzie says, “If you’re looking to get TSA and you’re like ‘I don’t want to go to the airport,’ all you have to do is sign up on Staples the night before and go to your local Staples.”

On the TSA Pre-Check enrollment process, Mackenzie says “they took our fingerprints, took a mug shot, we confirmed our address, typed in our social security number, and we were out of there” with the entire process taking around “three minutes.”

According to Staples website, it really is that simple. All travelers need is to follow these easy steps:

  • Search for the closest participating Staples to your location by typing in your zip code on the Staples TSA services website
  • Head to the government website to begin the enrollment process
  • Once on the government website, look for a “located inside Staples” option to confirm you are enrolling at the store that is closest and works best for you

With those three easy steps, you’re ready to head to Staples for a process that takes less than five minutes. Talk about our new favorite travel hack.

What are the benefits of TSA Pre-Check?

TSA Pre-Check costs $78 dollars to enroll in. However, the upgraded security screening lasts five years! Bonus: according to the TSA website, in October 2022, 91% of TSA Pre-Check travelers waited less than five minutes in line going through security. With lines like that, we’re planning our next trip already.

Article by Jessica Kaplan, the Assistant Editor of Trends, writing for Readers Digest©


Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering

As the cost-of-living rises, so do our work loads and stress levels, which in turn can drastically affect our mental health.

With many focusing on increasing their workload to keep up with the growing demands and pressures of the economy, there has been a significant rise in concerning health issues.

Healthista spoke to Jess Hillard, Nutritionist from leading sports nutrition brand Warrior, who reveals the surprising signs that could be contributing to poor mental health.

#1 Longer Working Hours

To compensate for the rise in the cost of living, many are taking on extra jobs and working longer hours. These long working hours can massively aggravate anxiety, depression, and eventual burnout.

Symptoms of overworking can be seen through weight fluctuations, constant fatigue, lack of sleep and frequently feeling run down which all in turn lead towards a weakened immune system.

The health issues that coincide with overworking are extensive and can escalate into serious problems rapidly. Studies have shown that those who work 55 to 65+ hours per week have considerably worse mental health when compared to those who work less than 40 hours per week.

Studies also found that those who overwork, are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure). This is mostly due to eating habits, stress, relying on alcohol, lack of sleep and physical activity, all of which can be triggered by the stress of overworking.

To help keep our overall health in check and avoid an eventual burnout we really should be limiting our working hours to around 40 hours per week.

#2 Poor Diet Choices

As well as over doing it when it comes to work, there is a strong link between what we eat and our mental health. Our diet plays a huge role in our mental wellbeing. This is due to our eating times, habits, as well as micro and macro nutrients that come with diet.

A meta-analysis done across ten different countries showed that a diet with high intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and low-fat dairy, was associated with a decreased risk of depression.

Not only this but research has also shown that individuals with a high intake of ‘unhealthy foods’ (high in saturated fats, low fibre, little fruit and veg), with a lower nutrient-density, are associated with smaller left hippocampal volume.

This is the area of the brain that is connected to stress, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. The reasoning to why these foods decrease the size of this area of the brain are not yet clear.

#3 Deficient in Protein

Something which often gets overlooked when identifying the reasons why someone’s mental health might be suffering is their protein intake.

Protein intake has been seen to link to high levels of dopamine, which control mood regulation within the brain. Protein consists of amino acids which help the body to rebuild muscle fibres. Some amino acids cannot be produced naturally in the body, so we need to supplement them through food or vitamins.

#4 Insomnia

Despite often feeling tired throughout the day, many highly stressed people have difficulty getting off to sleep or staying asleep through the night, which can have a huge impact on mental health.

Getting a second wind of energy just as you should be going to bed is a classic sign that our adrenal glands (which control are stress response) are struggling.

Stress hormones can cause hyperarousal, upsetting the balance between sleep and wakefulness. This creates a vicious cycle, as stressful situations are much more difficult to cope with when you are tired, leading to further stress.

#5 Not Getting the Right Nutrients

A nutrient that greatly affects brain health, corresponding with mental health, is omega 3. This is found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil.

Cell signaling and structure of cell membranes within the brain are changed by omega-3 fatty acids which can act as an antidepressant.

Research within this area is growing through time and is showing positive effects with using omega-3 fatty acids to help treat depression and bipolar related depression too.

It is worth noting that if you do not eat oily fish two to three times per week or taking on high levels of plant-based sources in the form of flaxseed, olive oils etc, it may be worth supplementing or even better, trying to increase these whole food forms into your diet more often.

Source: Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering (

The Tom Hanks Rule

When Hanks got his first taste of success and offers became streaming in, that the actor says he learned an important lesson- one that can benefit entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other small business owners, as their work and reputations start to grow. He was speaking about how he got to a place where he could make the movies he really wanted to make. To do that, says Hanks, he needed to learn to say a very difficult word to people.

That word was “no.”

© Photo: Getty Images Tom Hanks

“The odd lesson for that is I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do,” said Hanks in an interview. “Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in these words. When it comes to my own work, they’ve helped teach me to set my own priorities and create a business that helps me to achieve my own personal goals.

I like to call this lesson, the “Tom Hanks Rule.”

Getting more out of work and life means learning to say no

The Tom Hanks rule helps you to develop self-management, a key facet of emotional intelligence. It states simply:

Every time you say yes to something you don’t really want, you’re actually saying no to the things you do.

It’s important to remember this, because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You might get in the habit of saying yes to everyone’s request for a favor, just because you want to be helpful. Or, you might accept whatever work comes your way-even if it prevents you from reaching your goals.

When you remember the Tom Hanks rule, you remind yourself that every decision has consequences, and that there is only a certain amount of hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year.

This is especially important to remember as your business becomes more successful. As an owner, you might chafe at the idea of turning down sure work. But part of the beauty of running a successful business is that you can get more picky with how you choose to spend your time.

You don’t have to work with every client; you can focus on the clients you enjoy working with.

You don’t have to spend time on tasks you hate; you can hire others to care for these, and focus on aspects of the business that leverage your strengths.

You don’t have to work sixty or seventy hour weeks if you don’t want to; you can build your work schedule around other things that are just as important to you, if not more so.

Of course, you shouldn’t say no to everything. Part of relationship-building, and likely what helped you build a successful business in the first place, was helping when you can.

But every day, you will be faced with tough choices, about how you’re going to spend your time and energy. When you do, remember the Tom Hanks rule: Keep your emotions in check, and just say “no” to the things that aren’t important to you…so you have more time for the things that are.

Written by Justin Bariso for INC.©

Source: How Emotionally Intelligent People Use the “Tom Hanks Rule” to Get More Out of Work and Life (

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