5 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

 

 

Small cheer and great welcome- Shakespeare

The holidays are kinda weird. For all the ‘Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ jingles, it’s also the toughest for many people. Some people over-commit to family, friends, volunteer tasks and find themselves over scheduled and unable to actually enjoy the season. Some of us dread the inevitable, obligatory socializing and the pressure of being ‘on’. Some of us are grieving.

So here are a few less-typical Holiday Survival Tips. Some of them are brilliant. Some of them are not. But maybe you’ll find a nugget in here.

Number 1: Ditch obligations
Just because you’ve always gone to Aunt Sue’s for Christmas Eve doesn’t mean you always have to. You can stop going.

Say, “I’m starting a new tradition this year, I’m really looking forward to cooking with my kids and having a quiet family night.” Then set up another time to visit Aunt Sue when you’ll actually be able to visit her, instead of just a hug between appetizers while stuffed into a small house with 30 loud relatives.

Number 2: Reframe obligations
When I hear people complain about all the ‘stuff’ they have to do, I usually say, “Dude. Stop doing it.” The typical reply is, “Oh, but I really like having 37 different types of cookies and seeing all my 3rd cousins!” Cool. I can respect that. But stop looking at (and speaking of) the tasks and events like chores.

This isn’t a martyr contest. Nobody gives a darn that Betty SUV Soccer Mom makes her bundt cake from scratch and you use a mix. Except Betty, and that’s her issue. Do stuff because you want to, because it brings you joy. And quit doing the stuff you don’t want to do.

Number 3: Stick with the people who warm your soul
Some of us are not close with our families. For many, many people, family relationships are rarely nourishing and often painful. We’ve built friendships that stand in for the sibling and parental relationships that will simply never be fulfilling.

So why feel obligated to spend a holiday with anyone other than those who bring us joy and unconditional love? Create a holiday plan with the people you most enjoy and cherish. or at the very least, an escape plan to unwind with the people who will let you vent after a stressful family interaction.

Number 4: Step back from the gift-giving (and receiving) or just change it dramatically
Do you really want another gift set of oven mitts or perfumey bath gel and body lotion? Do you really want to be giving that to someone else? Blech. Maybe it’s time to reexamine your gift-giving habits. Instead of exchanging gifts with your adult friends and family, can you decide to spend that money having a great dinner together in January?

If you feel really attached to giving a tangible object, can you simplify the process? Find one universal gft, and give it to all your people. A jar of local honey from you favorite apiary, a holiday ornament purchased from a local charity.

Number 5: Rethink your assumptions
Just because you’ve always done the holidays a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing that. It’s all a choice. Sometimes you don’t even need to change the pattern, just recognizing that it’s a choice is enough.

What changes have you made to improve your holiday season? Help a sister out and share in the comments!

Wishing you a happy, merry, joyous whatever-you-celebrate. I hope you get exactly the holiday you want (and deserve).

 

We Moved!!!

Come visit ZenGate Healing Arts at our new location, 263 N. York Street Suite 202, Elmhurst IL 60126

We’ve moved!

Come visit us at our beautiful new location, 263 N. York Street Suite 202 Elmhurst IL 60126! ZenGate Healing Arts found a cozy new spot on the second floor, take the bright & open concept staircase or roomy elevator… Restrooms are on both floors and we even have a private one in our suite as well! No more waiting in the hallway either. We have a lounge room to relax in before your session too. (Walk in, sit down and relax!) Parking is going to be easy breezy- for starters plan accordingly to get accustom to the new location and parking situation. You will be able to find a  parking space in the lot just north of the building, on the street and across at Panera along with the new parking garage! Can’t wait to be taking all appointments in the new and beautiful location!

Our ZenGoddess is finding a new place to meditate!

Moving the most important equipment to the new location! Our massage table!

5 Tips for Neck and Shoulder Care Between Massage Appointments

Self Care is not indulgence

People with neck and shoulder issues often have their pain return before their next massage appointment. Work, play and children all make demands on the body. A dull ache can quickly turn into a burning pain especially while folding laundry, doing yard work, playing on the computer or any of the other million things you do.

What can you do between professional massage appointments to take the edge off neck and shoulder pain? Here are some ideas.

1.Take a Break
Take short breaks as often as you can if you sit at a computer all day. Move your shoulders around and s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Ideally you can get up and move around a bit. But even if you’re chained to the desk, you can rock out a little Deskercise to stay loose.

2.Get the kids into it
Have a short yoga break together! There are plenty of videos made especially for kids, and the moves are just as beneficial for adults. Bonus: got a little one averse to naptime? Try the lying-down postures here and maybe you’ll get a short break.

3.Heat it
Just 10-15 minutes of heat on your shoulders can make a huge difference in how your tissue moves and feels. You don’t need a fancy heating pad, you can DIY that.


4.Self-massage
Try it, you might be surprised how much it helps! It’s not complicated, just grab a tennis ball or a red rubber ball and check out these techniques.


5.Choose the right pillow
You spend about a third of your time in bed, be sure it’s cozy for your neck. Side-sleepers have different needs than belly-sleepers. The right pillow at night can help you all day.


A few minutes of self care every day, little changes, can make a huge difference in how you feel. See you at your next appointment!

The Reboot for your Mind and Body

Let go and relax with Massage at ZenGate Healing Arts

Do you feel stretched in a hundred different directions?

Obligations, deadlines, appointments, meetings, work, housework, sports, everything. More often than not, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week for all that needs to be done. We’re on constant high alert. We’re always moving.

All this chaos can be hard on your body and mind.

When this happens, we tend to be less mindful of our eating. Or chasing sleep like it’s a lively kitten. Or we get snippy with loved ones and coworkers.

The effects of this day to day stress are cumulative for most of us. Stiff joints get stiffer. Cranky shoulders get crankier, then one rogue golf swing or one heavy laundry basket makes it worse.

Massage is the mini-vacation you probably need.

Without the sand in your shoes and having to pull your computer out of your backpack.

Massage therapy is a reboot. It’s the control-alt-delete for your body and mind.

A massage resets your thoughts, slows your pulse, regulates your breathing, and recharges your mind.

Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can request an appointment right here,  or call me at 630-935-171 to make your appointment.

Annie Van Zeyl, LMT

Annie Van Zeyl is a Licensed Massage Therapist of ZenGate Healing Arts, who loves working with the most stressed out career professionals, moms with kids of all ages and individuals with medical conditions.  Annie uses an integrated approach of massage therapy, guided meditation, chakra balancing and energy work to help reduce stress, anxiety & muscle tension in her sessions for improving the overall well-being.