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Out Of Sync
Written By: Mark Smith

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The holidays really kicked my butt this year. I don't know if very many other people suffer from getting out of sync during the holidays and then just never ever being able to regain your balance again? I find that if I am in a routine of eating right, exercising, sleeping well and attending to my emotional life and relationships that I function efficiently, happily, productively and in harmony with those around me. However, if I lose out of a lot of sleep, start eating holiday treats, get more than a little tipsy at the holiday party, get out of my treasured P90X routine, have my house wrecked by hordes of family members and co-workers, not have time to organize my life because I'm Christmas shopping then my holiday joy quickly turns to Ba Hum Bug. I am looking forward to long dull days in January and February when not much is going on for me outside of watching the NFL playoffs.

I preach really being in touch with your internal compass, indulging in loads of self-care, having life balance and being emotionally and physically healthy. All that stuff works like a charm. But it doesn't work unless you work it. Unhealthy people are frequently in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. They spend too much time, energy and money trying to please other people rather than taking good and appropriate care of themselves. Many times the people that they are catering to don't even ultimately appreciate their efforts anyway.

When I am out of balance like this I tend to be more than a little grumpy, really stressed and full of dread about most of the proceedings. Once a holiday event is on I do enjoy myself, but the preparation time, shopping and clean up are a real pain in the butt! Does anyone out there know what I'm talking about?

The holidays take time if they are going to be enjoyed. My mistake this year was not allocating much time for them. I crammed them in around travel, work and other commitments, desperately shopping on Christmas Eve, getting the last gift wrapped 10 minutes before guests arrive, not planning ahead and generally rushing through the process as if it were a chore rather than a joy. I will do better next year. Somehow with both holidays falling on the weekend this year it kept me too focused on work verses mid-week holidays that wreck full weeks no matter what. I congratulate those of you who took time off, rested, have quality family time and were able to savoir every minute of the holidays this year.

Now on to 2012. I am going to be writing a lot about huge, healthy goals, vision and balance for the New Year. I am going to be inviting you to join me in 'Being a Beast in 2012'! That is as soon as I gather myself from this funky holiday drubbing. Can you believe it is really already 2012? Make it the most awesome year of your life!

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Mark E. Smith, LCSW
Family Tree Counseling Associates
11350 North Meridian, suite 110
Carmel, IN 46032

Mark Smith, LCSW founded Family Tree Counseling Associates in Carmel in 1989. He holds a Master's Degree In Clinical Social Work from Michigan State University. You can also learn more by listening to his dynamic free 24-hour recorded TeleWorkshops at 524-1650, by visiting his website at, by calling 844-2442 or e-mailing him at

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This article was authored by Family Tree Counseling Associates, a marriage, individual and family counseling center serving the Indianapolis, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville communities in Indiana. If you would like to contact us, please fill out a contact us form or call us at 317-844-2442.
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