The Who’s Crazy Now? News and Views
Published by Elly Litvak
Mental Health Coach, Consultant & Public Speaker
The Who’s Crazy Now? News and Views provides information for people recovering from a mental illness, their families, friends and mental health professionals.
November, 2008 Volume 1 Issue 10
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In this issue
1. Welcome from Elly
2. Feature Article: 10 Tips for Reducing Stress and Enjoying the Holiday Season
3. Calm Down – Breathing Your Way to Relaxation and Happiness CD
4. Now Who’s Crazy Now?
5. About Elly
6. Coaching and Mental Health Services
7. Subscription Information
1. Welcome from Elly
The holidays are just around the corner and bring with them a multitude of joyful as well as stressful times. This issue is dedicated to my 10 Tips for Reducing Stress and Enjoying the Holiday Season.
I wish you all a very happy, healthy and relaxing holiday season.
Your feedback and suggestions are always appreciated firstname.lastname@example.org
2. 10 Tips for Reducing Stress and Enjoying the Holiday Season
Here are my top 10 tips for enjoying the holidays:
Be prepared. Nothing is more stressful then doing everything at the last minute. Plan out your daily schedule including the people who you’re meeting, the parties you’ll be attending, and shopping. Planning includes budgeting. Make a holiday budget and stick to it.
Prioritize and minimize. Take a close look at what you really need to do and eliminate things that are over the top or take up all your energy. Minimize gift giving to a small select list. If you have a big family you might draw names from a hat for exchanging gifts, or set an amount to be spent on gifts. Maybe only send cards to friends and relatives who are out of town or people you won’t see over the holidays.
Abandon perfection. When’s the last time you did something absolutely perfectly? Why should Christmas be any different? Accept that everything may not go according to plan.
Remember that not everything needs to be perfect. People are happy just getting together over the holidays. Sometimes the perfect thing is the simplest thing.
Set boundaries. Choose to be with the people who mean the most to you. Stay clear of toxic people and family members. You should do things that you want to do and be with people you want to be with. Set boundaries and stick to them. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Don’t go Overboard. Enjoy everything in moderation; food, alcohol and socializing. Just because it’s the holidays is no reason to overindulge. Be reasonable. Why bake two pies when one is enough? Why cook a 20 pound turkey for 2 people? If you’re throwing a party, make it pot luck.
Know your triggers. Not all holiday memories are pleasant. Emotional triggers like the anniversary of loved ones that have passed on, relationship disagreements, and the memory of holiday season psych ward revisits can be difficult to deal with. Avoid discussing topics with friends and family that you know will start arguments and cause stress. Overtiredness is a common cause of stress so make sure you get enough sleep.
Plan coping strategies. The best way to deal with stress at any time of year is relaxation and deep breathing. Listen to your favorite CD, watch your favorite movie, go for a walk on the beach, meditate or take some quiet time. If you need to be in close contact with relatives or people that stress you out, protect yourself. Create affirmations like ‘I am a confident, loving person’. Many people volunteer over the holidays.
Take time for yourself. Buy presents for yourself. A Christmas stocking filled with some of your favourite treats is an inexpensive way to give yourself a lift if you are alone and feeling down. Stocking stuffers like chocolates, oranges, and nuts are fun and easy as are cards to yourself with affirmations like ‘I give myself the gift of confidence’ or ‘I give myself the gift of determination’. Don’t forget to throw in a lottery ticket or two, or that new CD or book you’ve been wanting.
Beware of the post holiday crash. It’s common to feel a little bit depressed after all the excitement and parties of the holidays is over. Take the time to be grateful for all the enjoyment you had over the holidays. Keep your social network active. Go to movies, out for coffee, hang out.
Have fun. Laughter is the best medicine, and it is infectious. If you’re feeling down, watch comedies or cartoons. Rent your favorites. I recommend Dr. Seuss’s ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. And don’t forget, claustrophobia is not the fear of Santa Claus, and a popular Christmas wine is ‘Do I have to eat my brussell sprouts’.
Remember this is your holiday. Your enjoyment of the holidays is your decision. It’s up to you. Taking responsibility, being prepared to deal with things that could happen makes for a happier healthier life.
3. Calm Down: Breathing Your Way to Relaxation and Happiness CD
Deep diaphragmatic breathing has been one of the most powerful, empowering tools in my recovery process. Its profound benefits help me deal with daily stress, fear and anxiety.
I am now pleased to be able to share this technique that will allow you to be in control of your emotions and enjoy the state of calmness and relaxation that you deserve. CD’s are $20 + $6 for shipping and handling. ORDER YOUR CD NOW by emailing me email@example.com
to arrange payment, shipping and delivery.
4. Now Who’s Crazy Now? One Woman Show
What is mental illness? Is it a health condition characterized by dramatic alterations in mood, thinking and behaviour? Is it a chemical imbalance? Or is it the common euphemisms we hear tossed about daily like ‘out of your mind’ or ‘nutty as a fruit cake’. What is recovery and how do we achieve this elusive goal?
In this fast paced, one-woman play ‘Now Who’s Crazy Now?’ I chronicle my experience living with and recovering from a serious mental illness. ‘Now Who’s Crazy Now?’ is highly entertaining and educational, with a message that there is hope for recovery for everyone.
Some audience feedback:
“…thank you for an uplifting, poignant, funny, sad, thought provoking and above all inspiring evening.”
” …an inspirational real life story that demonstrates Elly’s ability to turn her pain into power.”
“Brilliant, fun AND, most importantly, entertaining education.”
5. About Elly
Elly Litvak is a mental health coach, consultant and public speaker. She is driven by the passion, the knowledge, and the experience that recovery is possible for everyone. Elly is committed to supporting people in recovery, as well as the families, friends and mental health professionals of those in recovery.
6. Coaching & Mental Health Services
Who’s Crazy Now? Provides mental health coaching, consulting and public speaking services to people in recovery, their families and friends and mental health professionals.
You’re privacy will always be respected. Your name and email address will never be sold or given to anyone.
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7. Subscription Information
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Copyright Elly Litvak 2006. All Rights Reserved.
Who’s Crazy Now? Mental Health Services, 603-1949 Comox St., Vancouver, BC V6G 1R7, CANADA