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Laura J. Lieff

Specializing in Expert Service

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How to Reduce the Stress of the Holiday Season

Posted on December 5, 2014 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (82)
I don't know anyone who doesn't get stressed out during the holiday season. Do you?

Some of the causes of our stress at this time of year are as follows:  all the gift-buying that we need to do, all the money that we will be spending, all the parties to which we get invited, all the holiday cards or e-mails that we have to send, all the things that we have to remember to do, etc.

Everyone I know either has a cold, has just gotten over a cold, or is on his way to catching a cold.

I don't have all the answers as to how to cope with holiday stress as I, too, experience it, however, I can offer some suggestions.  They are as follows, in no special order:

1.   Make a to-do list and keep it handy at all times.
2.   Purchase your gifts in advance, not at the last minute. The few dollars         that you might save aren't worth the havoc wreaked on your body by the       stress of having too much to do in too little time.
3.   Plan ahead regarding everything involving the holidays.
4.   Fill out your holiday cards or e-mails in more than one sitting,                     otherwise it becomes a burdensome task.
5.   If you're hosting a holiday party, book the venue, the caterer, and               whatever other service providers you need well in advance so that               they're available.  Don't expect the party to be "perfect".  Perfectionism       causes additional stress.
6.   Wrap your gifts, as needed, not all at once.
7.   Skip some parties.  You don't have to attend every single party to which       you've been invited.
8.   Spend only what you can comfortably afford to spend on gifts.  If you're       a good shopper, you can get some lovely gifts that will be appreciated         without going bankrupt.  You can also bake cookies or cakes or make           things, at home, to give as gifts.
9.   Make sure the phone number of your shrink is handy at all times.
10. Don't assume that everyone is having more fun than you.  They're not:  
      they're just drinking more than you.
11. If you're single, don't assume that you'd be having a better time if you 
      were married.  The grass is always greener...some of those married
      folks are wishing that they had the guts or money to leave their spouses       or are fantasizing about the adorable woman or man they met recently.
12. Just as things can, usually, be better, things can, usually, be worse.  

You'll get through this holiday season as you do every year although you'll, probably, curse your fate if you don't heed my suggestions.

Caveat:  If the idea of handling another holiday season without any help from a loved one is freaking you out-- get help! -- call us at 212.688.6506. Truth be told, you don't have to be "freaking out" to get assistance from us. Having us assist you will prevent you from that out-of-control feeling.

The sooner you contact us, the better you'll feel and the better we'll feel as we, too, are a bit frazzled by everything that we have, yet, to do and we'll be able to plan our schedule, in advance, to ensure that we aren't too busy to assist you.

Happy Holidays!  

Are YOU the New Superwoman?

Posted on April 5, 2014 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (112)
Not all that many years ago, many women subscribed to the theory that they could have it all and do it all and they expected to do it all well.

Most of the women who tried to have and do it all, without help, failed because it's a fantasy.  It's certainly true that many women are capable of having and doing it all, however, most of these women don't have and do it all concurrently.  In other words, they start out developing their careers, become successful in their careers, marry, and earn enough money to hire people to assist them with their "to-do" lists while they are raising their children.

If you want or need to be Superwoman, that's the best way to do it.  Nobody is capable of giving 100% of herself all of the time, but aspiring Superwomen attempt to do just that.  It's really difficult to be a loving mother, when your child is acting out in order to get your attention, when you're home putting the finishing touches on an important presentation that you're giving the next day.  Women put a terrible burden on themselves by thinking that they can do it all, and do it all well, without help.

It is true that, these days, men are picking up some of the slack for their wives, but men never do enough; they rarely do it right, i.e., the way their wives do it and, to be fair, men are stressed out too!

So, what is the solution?  The solution is to (1) stop running this crazy race that your friends are running to be the most successful professional or executive, to be the best mother, to have the most beautiful and tidy home and to have better and more possessions than their neighbors and (2) be kinder to yourself by getting assistance so that you can enjoy your children and your career more because you're present and not thinking about the laundry list of things that you have to do before you go to sleep.

There is absolutely no shame in admitting that it's impossible to have or do it all without assistance.  Some of our mothers didn't work, so they were able to devote their time to their children, cooking, and homemaking. Their lives were less complicated, less demanding, and less stressful. Today's women are expected to be good at everything.  We're expected to be successful career women; good, if not great, mothers; good homemakers; sports enthusiasts and participants; cultured; well-dressed; well-groomed; slim and sexy ALL THE TIME! I don't know about you, but just thinking about all of these expectations exhausts me.  I'm not even saying that our husbands or boyfriends expect us to be all of these things. We often have these expectations of ourselves.

I don't know whether Superwoman is dead, dying, should be dead, or whether she's alive and well and living in metropolitan New York.  I strongly suspect that, in fact, there's a new Superwoman in town.  That woman is the woman who admits that she's only human and that she needs some downtime.  The new Superwoman wants to have it all, but she doesn't need to do it all herself.  She's willing to spend money to have the freedom to stop worrying about the next item on her "to-do" list.

Are YOU the new Superwoman?



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