Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday stress-buster: Spread the Love Challenge

Over Thanksgiving I finally had time to catch up on all the magazines that have been staring at me begging me to flip through them! One of them was my Better Home and Gardens magazine and I loved this article in the back of the December issue that was called "Peace Offering". It was about tricks we can easily do that naturally fight stress and those bad free radicals it releases! The number one item was to "do a good deed daily." Here's what it said under it:

"Researchers have long known that altruism - such as volunteering at a hospital - raises levels of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical that shields the body from stress hormones. What's interesting is that no selfless act is too small, says clinical therapist Serena Wadhwa, Psy.D., director of the TriQual Living Center in Chicago. To sustain a helper's high, aim to perform a simple act of kindness every day. Easy examples include bringing the mail to an elderly neighbor, surprising a coworker with a cup of coffee, or slowing your car on a busy street to let another driver turn. Optional: Singing "Joy to the World" as you do it."

So I have decided that I'm going to do just that. Not only do I have stress wrapping up Christmas Parties at school (my students and both my own kids) and finishing my final paper for my college class along with just the regular Christmas shopping, wrapping and mailing etc, but showing love is our mandate as Christians and we should be doing this daily anyways!

So for this entire month, yes even the few days AFTER Christmas I commit to do at least one good deed daily and I will post them all on here to help give others ideas. I challenge you to pray about doing the same, it's never too late to start.

Here is what I've done so far:

December 1st: Curled my daughter's hair. That may seem ridiculous but it was her Christmas Program and I asked her how she wanted her hair and she wanted it all curly and done up. So even though I was running VERY late to be there early for our staff photo I accepted being late and made sure her hair looked gorgeous! She was so excited and proud!

December 2nd: Made a Jingle Bell Necklace for my son. His school has the 12 days of Christmas and so every day of school in the month of December has a different theme to dress as. It was "wear a jingle bell" day and we have long lost all the necklaces and other jingle bell items so I found a lose jingle bell and put a string through the top and tied it off so he had a jingle bell to wear. Oh and to double up I cleaned his room up and gave him a freebie for the day :)

December 3rd: Complimented a girl's outfit. It said no deed is too small! My husband and I went on a double date with two of our old teenagers so yes I still call her a "girl" and she was looking all cute so I made sure I really complimented her and made her feel good!

December 4th: I bought Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce for a bridal shower! This one is bizarre and let me assure you I had a bag full of other good things for the bride-to-be, however this BBQ sauce was actually on the registry which we later found out was because the groom had the registry gun!! I know the guys always feel sort of left out when it comes to wedding gifts so I bought him the BBQ sauce to make his day!