Ah, the holidays. A time to enjoy family, tell stories and eat too much. But it can also be a time of worries and stress: how long are my children and grandchildren going to stay; what presents do my grandkids want; and what do I talk about that won’t offend anyone?
Reducing the stress in your life whether during the holidays or for the rest of the year, can be described as “Down Shifting”, the third lesson from the Blue Zones - the name given to the five “longevity hotspots” discovered by Dan Buettner. If you recall, the first two lessons for living longer, healthier, and happier lives are to “move naturally” and have a “purpose”.
Reducing stress is important because stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. To cope with everyday stress, the inhabitants of the Blue Zones have built into their daily routines ways to reduce stress: praying, enjoying happy hour, or my favorite - taking a short “power” nap.
Here are some additional tips that can help manage stress particularly during the holidays.
1. Reach out. If you need help, ask for it. Friends can provide support and companionship during stressful times. 2. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect. At our age who are we trying to impress? And I always figure someone has to lower the bar, so others can raise it later. 3. Set aside differences. Holidays are a time to come together - not to be pulled apart. If you hear irritating opinions, just listen this time. You will be better prepared for when you can tell them later how nuts they are. 4. Plan ahead. To avoid the last-minute panic, plan your shopping, cooking and visiting. It can give you a feeling of control – even though control may just be an illusion.
5. Take care of yourself. Learn to say no. Eat well, get enough sleep, and keep moving.
The holidays are to be enjoyed - not a time to worry. Benjamin Franklin had the right attitude when he said “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
The Center still has a few seats available for the matinee performance of the Singing Christmas Tree in Portland on Sunday, November 26th. The cost is only $75 which includes transportation. Call the Center to purchase your tickets.
The Holiday Bazaar season has started and this Saturday, you can shop for your Christmas gifts at the St. Peter’s 39th Annual Holiday Bazaar at St. Mary’s Academy and across 10th street at the Center’s Annual Holiday Bazaar. I can almost guarantee you will find something you like.
It is exciting to hear that the first phase of the Civic Auditorium’s theater renovation has been completed including updating the ceiling and walls, installing the HVAC systems, and re-installing seating for approximately 400 people.
The next phase is restoring the lobby. Towards that end, the Civic has received a significant pledge from an anonymous donor but is looking for donations to match it. This season consider giving to the Civic Auditorium - the place “Where It Happens”.
And speaking of happenings, the Trail Band will be returning to the Civic Auditorium for their annual Christmas concert on Monday, December 11th. Tickets are $25 which can be purchased at Klindt’s Booksellers, the Civic or online at www.thedallescivicauditorium.org.
The name of the television spy series starring Robert Vaughan as Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Illya Kuryakin was the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement). (I received correct answers from Diana Weston, Jerry Phillips, Jim Ayers, Sandy Haechrel, Don McAllister and this week’s winner of a free quilt raffle ticket Tiiu Vahtel.)
Throughout the history of pop music there have been “novelty” songs - from Ray Steven’s “Gitarzan” to Weird Al" Yankovic’s “Eat It”. This week’s “Remember When” question is about a 1958 novelty song. When a young man couldn’t get a woman to return his love for her, who taught him to say the magic words “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang, walla walla bang bang”? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or drop it off with a recording by the Chipmunks.
Well, it’s been another week, preparing for the coming holidays. Until we meet again, as Helen Lynch recently told me, “Keep your feet and mind going”.
“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” Doug Larson