Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for December, 2013

Give Yourself the Gift of a Better 2014

Did Santa leave everything you wanted underneath the Christmas Tree?

If you were lucky, he may have. Santa’s a good guy. This year, he brought our family plenty of bookmarks – and if you check out the picture of our tree, you might even be able to guess why!

But sometimes Santa doesn’t bring what we want for Christmas. It’s not his fault: a lot of the time, we don’t do a great job of asking for what we want. We’re vague. We know we want to feel better. We know we want to have more energy – and more joy! – in our day to day life. We know we want to feel inspired and empowered and excited about our lives again.

If Santa could just bring us whatever it would take to make that happen, life would be wonderful.

But there are some gifts Santa can’t bring you. Some gifts you can only give yourself. If you’d like 2014 to be the best year you’ve ever had – if you’d like to start feeling better about yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually – if you’d like to be able to connect with the joy of life once again – you’re going to want to come to Vibrantly You.

Vibrantly You is an amazing one day Women’s Wellness Symposium being held in sunny San Diego. The nation’s most highly regarded experts – a crew that includes Dr. Daniel Amen (you’ve seen him on the Dr. Oz show!), Dr. Diana Hoppe (she wrote Healthy Sex Drive Healthy You – sounds good to me!) and Dr. Heidi Hanna (one of Forbes Magazine’s Most Powerful Women) – will be joining me on stage to give you the tools, tips, and techniques you need to transform the existence you have into the life you want.

Space is limited, so you’ll want to register now. We can’t wait to see you!

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Two DaysTo Christmas: Past the Point Where Panic Helps You

48 hours out is when the freakouts start. There are two types of holiday freakouts.

The first one is exhibited by the Type A personality who started shopping way back in June, put up their decorations two minutes after Thanksgiving was officially done, and STILL haven’t gotten everything they need to get to  make this holiday absolutely perfect…do you know how hard it is to find purple sequined Santa hats in this world, people?

The second type of holiday freakout is exhibited by people who haven’t started yet. Even though retailers have been pushing the message that Christmas is coming pretty well continually for 6 months now, these folks completely failed to get it. Christmas sneaks up on them, surprising them all at once with its imminent arrival.

Whichever type of holiday freakout you’re currently experiencing, you can get over it faster with laughter. Smiles and laughs can diminish muscle tension.  They’re also contagious.  Practice wearing a smile to share with others and notice how their responses make you feel better, too.

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Three Days Until Christmas: Get Sleep When You Can

One of our best tools for beating holiday stress is simply getting enough sleep. Don’t fill every minute trying to cram in 101 more things. Take a power nap so that you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

When you sleep, you have more energy and are likely to be in a better mood than if you’re overtired. This makes you a lot more fun for everyone around you. Be creative in searching out opportunities to grab a few ZZZZ’s: even an extra ten minutes in the morning can be a tremendous boost to your holiday spirits!

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4 Days Until Christmas: Embrace the Power of Play!

Kids realize something that we have forgotten as adults: The power of play. Don’t take the holidays so seriously that you have no time to sing, dance, play—even jump on your bed! Make time to play everyday, even if it’s only for 30 minutes.

If you have kids around, grab them and head outside. If there’s snow. make a snowman! If there’s no snow, choose a more active game. Expending the excess energy the kids have stored up means they’ll sleep better at night – great for your stress!

Play invigorates the body, challenges the mind, and lifts the spirit. If there’s one gift you absolutely need to give yourself this holiday season, it’s PLAYTIME!

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Five Days Until Christmas: Handling Holiday Traffic

The holidays mean gathering with our family and friends – and that means that unless you’ve recently purchased a teleporter, you’re going to spend some time on the highway with lots of other people who have all promised that they’ll be home for Christmas.

Talk about stressful!  If you get stuck in traffic, take this as an opportunity to reframe. Take a deep breath and visualize the person behind you – the guy compulsively honking his horn —  driving in his underwear.  Imagine the look on his face when he unwraps a sack full of coal and rocks.  At all costs, keep your sense of humor!

Airports can be stressful as well. Bear in mind that while humor can make the hassles of travel easier to bear, you want to exercise some judgement about when and where it’s appropriate to joke. TSA agents, for example, are not well known for their sense of humor. This fact is not likely to change during the busiest travel days of the year!

Many of the frustrations of travel are caused by events that are totally beyond our control. A few inches of snow halfway across the country can leave you stranded for hours. Knowing this, it’s best to prepare yourself with some diversions in case you get stuck. A funny movie already ready to watch or a card game can do a lot to keep you  – and anyone you’re traveling with – entertained during the delays!

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Six Days Until Christmas: Holidays Parties Got Your Pooped?

I’ll be the first to admit it: while I have many great skills, present wrapping really isn’t one of them. There’s the paper, there’s the present, there’s the bow, there’s the tape, there’s the tag, there’s me: that’s at least one too many moving parts for this to end well.

The situation gets even worse when I rush. And it seems like at this time of year, I’m always rushing. One of the reasons I’m rushing is it seems like every night, there’s a holiday party.

(I know: first world problems!)

I love parties, and I love my friends, and so when my friends have a party, I want to go. However, if I’m trying to keep stress levels manageable, sometimes I have to be realistic and say “As much as I’d love to, I just can’t tonight.”

Holiday parties tend to descend all at once. Don’t feel obligated. Go to those you really want to attend and regret the rest.Can’t think of a good excuse? Don’t give one.If it’s a true friend, she won’t need one and if it’s not a good friend, he’s not going to believe you anyway!

Use the time you save to practice your present wrapping skills, do errands, or my favorite option, unwind a little bit in the peace & privacy of your own home. You’ll be glad you did!

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7 Days Till Christmas! What Are We Going To Do?

At this point in the Christmas Countdown, I’d like to stop and say “AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! One week until Christmas! What are we going to do?”

There’s a reason for that. And the reason is that no matter how good your stress management skills may be, there is going to be a time where they just going to work. We fight stress, and frankly, sometimes stress wins.

Have you ever had the experience of knowing you were just stressed out to the max? That you knew, with absolute certainty, that while you could easily handle everything that was going on in life right that minute, the addition of any additional  bit of pressure to your life would push you right over the edge?

That is the moment your child will discover he is virulently allergic to fruitcake – having ‘sampled’ some he found in the box of last year’s holiday decorations. You can imagine the mess. We’re talking ho-ho-oh no vomit here – a sight which sends your Very Helpful Mother-in-Law into overdrive, with ginger ale in one hand, a big wad of paper towels in the other, all while reminding you that her son at least had more sense than to eat old fruitcake. “Don’t your children understand that food’s not supposed to be dusty?”

You know, it’s okay to fall apart sometimes. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to lose it.  Nobody has it together all of the time, and if they tell you they do, they’re lying. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a moment, step back, and let Very Helpful Mother in Law have all the glory that comes with cleaning up the sick child.

The world will keep on spinning. Every second of every minute of every day on this planet, someone, somewhere, is having a meltdown. It hasn’t stopped the world yet.  The fact is, the fact that you reach your stress point of no return is not the important part of this story. The important part is what happens next.

Post-meltdown, you have two choices. You can spend time and energy feeling guilty about getting overwhelmed, or you can spend that same time and energy into making the situations that are stressing you out a little more manageable.

That starts with letting humor in. Laughter is critical to emotional resilience: we can even laugh involuntarily when our bodies experience extreme physical or emotional stress. At those times when you know you’re near – or that you’ve gone right past! – that point where you’re just too stressed out, seek out something that will make you laugh. It doesn’t matter what it is. You could watch your favorite comedy, check out the silly memes on Facebook, call your funniest friend: do whatever it takes.

When you do, you’ll feel those stress levels dropping right down. Inside your body, your blood pressure begins to calm down a bit. Your circulation improves, which means you feel more energetic – very important for countering the effects of stress. There are dozens of ways that laughter improves your physical well-being at the same time it lifts your mood.

We may be up against a world full of deadlines with absolutely no flex built in, gastrointestinal distress, and challenging people. These things we can not change. What we can change is the way we choose to face all of this stuff down. We can cry, most certainly. But we can also laugh.

Yes. There’s one week until Christmas.

That’s the traditional day to give yourself the gift of laughter. I hope you do, and I hope you truly enjoy it.

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8 Days Until Christmas: What Happens When You’re Out of Money?

Spending money can be exhilarating. Paying the credit cards can be devastating. Think through what you’re spending on holiday gifts before you spend it. What feels great in December can feel really not so great in January…and February…and March.

The fact is that sometimes we just can’t afford to buy everything we want to buy. Accepting that is actually much less stress inducing than spending ourselves into incredible debt. Spending big is not your only holiday option.

Try providing gifts of service instead the traditional wrapped present. The price is right, you won’t have to wait in line, and the giver and receiver will both enjoy it more. Examples of service gifts: an evening of babysitting – the parents you know will love a night out (or a chance for some serious napping!) Shovel somebody’s snow, or play chauffeur for a day for someone who doesn’t drive.

Try providing gifts of sentiment. A heart-felt note telling someone how much you appreciate them will be more meaningful than the latest best-seller or doodad that needs dusting. Flex your talents: bake some cookies, paint a picture, or frame a print of one of your best photos.

The holidays aren’t about how much money you spend. Once you come to peace with that, you’ll feel your stress levels drop off exponentially. Keep the focus on letting the people around you know they’re important to you. It’s something you can do without spending a dime!


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9 Days Until Christmas: Do You Really Have To Decorate the Doghouse?

The holiday police will not arrest you for not having all your decorations up. Remember less can be more. If you spend less time putting decorations up you’ll have more time to sit back and enjoy.

I know, I know. This goes counter to all of the conventional wisdom you’ve heard. We’re supposed to Decorate All The Things. There are even TV shows now like The Great Christmas Light Fight, where families compete to see who can create the brightest decorations – and the biggest light bill!

But I’m here to suggest to you that maybe what we need this holiday season is not more fighting – even good natured fights! – but less. Let someone else have the victory. You can opt out, conserving your energy and focusing on those things that you find more meaningful.

Besides, think about it this way: the fewer decorations you put up, the fewer you have to take down after the holidays. Pick your very, very favorites and display them. You’ll find you get all of the joy -and a lot less holiday stress!

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10 Days Until Christmas: Beat the Holiday Card Stress Tip

Do you really need to send all those holiday cards? Be honest. Many folks on your list are too busy to read your card and won’t remember a week later if you sent one or not. Clean out your holiday database by at least 25%. Here’s a tip to make it simple: if when looking at your list of names, you have no idea who the person actually is, chances are you don’t need to send them a card.

Struggling with the fact you haven’t sent a card to Aunt Rhoda? Here’s a nifty fact: Aunt Rhoda will (we all hope!) still be here after the holidays. A card from you – with or without Santa but definitely featuring a hand-written note about how you’re thinking of her! – will still be welcome in January, February, or at any time of year. There’s no time that people *dislike* being cherished and thought about!


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