By: Renée Marino, Professional Communication Coach & Author of “Becoming a Master Communicator: Balancing New School Technology with Ol’ School Simplicity”
The holidays can often bring along with them a variety of emotions. We can feel excitement, joy, and love for cozying up with family and friends while enjoying delicious treats and drinks that we may not indulge in daily. But, on the flip side, other less than desirable feelings can also make their presence known, such as stress, anxiety, and agitation. Research by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows that “More people are inclined to feel that their stress increases, rather than decreases, around the holidays (38 percent increase versus 8 percent decrease). Various reasons can cause these feelings, such as exhaustion from all of the planning and extra time behind the blue lights of our screens as we order presents, groceries, and book travel.
In addition, we immerse ourselves in the different personalities of family and friends that we’re not used to being around all simultaneously, besides on the holidays.
I want you to know that you are not alone in any emotion that you may experience, but I would love for you to be able to lean more into the happiness and peace of the season. The way to do that is through communication because I believe that everything starts with communication, and when we learn to master our communication skills, we become limitless. Therefore, I am sharing with you, “5 Communication Hacks for Happy and Healthy Holidays.”
- Communicating with Self.
Self-Care is not selfish, and the way you can take part in self-care is by communicating within. With the busyness of the holiday season, it can become very easy to ignore your own needs. Healthy eating habits, exercise, and enough sleep can quickly fall by the wayside, so we want to be conscious of having that time when we make ourselves a priority. A simple and effective way to make yourself a priority is by asking yourself this one question, “How am I feeling,” right after you wake up, use the bathroom, and come back to your quiet space. Set an alarm for five to ten minutes, take out your journal or a piece of paper, and begin writing your answers. By answering this question, you are activating your subconscious mind, which is home to all of the thoughts, feelings, and situations we don’t think about on a constant basis, and pulls them into your conscious mind, through your hand and onto the page. It is like a brain dump of your most honest feelings, that then becomes a mirror for you, reflecting back your truest self. When those five or ten minutes are up, you can read back what you wrote, and you may be surprised by what you read. Your eyes may be opened to what is really going on within, which helps you to be more in tune to what you want and need to feel your best. Communicating with yourself first thing in the morning is a beautiful way to ground yourself, and start your day with peace, before jumping into the chaos of the day and connecting with others.
- Moving your Body.
I understand that when you have so many things to check off of your to-do list, exercise can be one of the first things to go. Trust me when I say, moving your body must be at the top of your list. If we don’t counteract the cortisol from stress running through our bodies with endorphins through movement, we are doing ourselves and anyone around us a disservice. Exercise, in any form, whether through dancing, running, or even choosing the stairs over the elevator, can help shift any stagnant energy in your body into fuel. This fuel will help you focus better, sleep better, and handle your tasks with more ease.
We are constantly connected in this day and age of digital technology, and it can become taxing on our minds and bodies. Take time each day to consciously disconnect, by shutting your computer, and putting your phone in airplane mode. A great practice in the morning is to leave your phone off for the first hour you’re awake. On Brendon Burchard’s podcast, “The Brendon Show,” Burchard talks about why picking up our phones right when we wake up is one of the worst things we can do. “It is training your brain first thing in the morning to check out of your life, and check into other people’s lives.” You can use those moments of disconnection to reconnect with your center by meditation, taking a nap, or even reading a book that makes you feel good. As a result, you will invite more presence into your day, leading you to more joy.
- Writing a letter.
Handwritten letters are personally one of my favorite “Ol’ School Simplicity” ways to connect with another person. During the holidays, we can get caught up in the materialistic side of presents, and can spend hours looking at this year’s “top gift trends of the season.” Offering a testament, though, of your thoughts and feelings through the personal touch of your handwriting in a letter, is a beautiful touch that cannot be replicated. Gifting a handwritten letter does two things. First, it shows that you care enough to take the time to express yourself and communicate authentically through each letter of your words. Second, it allows you to slow your mind and body down by stepping away from the acceleration of artificial intelligence to sit and think about what you want to share.
- Listening to Hear.
If you dread talking to that family member during the holidays who constantly makes your blood boil in conversation with their opposing views, I’d like to encourage you this year to challenge yourself to FULLY LISTEN when they speak. Unfortunately, with so many things to pull our focus nowadays, like our apple watches buzzing on our wrists or notifications going off on our phones, we’re often guilty of what I call “half-listening.” We treat listening as a time to pause until the other person stops talking, so we can start. Instead, please take a deep breath when that family member is speaking, ground yourself with your feet on the ground, or bottom in the chair, and open yourself up to hear them. When you do, you’re giving them a gift by providing an open forum for them to speak and also giving yourself a gift. The gift of possibly learning something new, shifting your perspective, or realizing you are more alike than different. Remember: Everything starts with communication, and when we learn to master our communication skills, we become limitless. Here’s to Happier and Healthier Holidays through Communication!
PS. A Bonus Hack for you (which will provide many more hacks) is to pre-order my new book, “Becoming a Master Communicator.” This guidebook is full of simple and easy-to-implement tools to help you have clear and honest communication in your personal and professional lives. When you pre-order my book, you receive 2 FREE, incredible bonuses right away: “21 Ways to Use Communication to Increase Business Opportunities,” and “An Introspective Video Journaling Tool!”
I look forward to hearing how these hacks are working for you, so shoot me a message through Instagram @iamreneemarino or LinkedIn @ReneeMarino.
ABOUT RENÉE MARINO
Renée Marino is a professional communication coach named by Yahoo Finance as one of the “Top 10 Communication Coaches to Follow in 2021!” She was the co-host of Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi’s first-ever virtual “World Summit” and has spoken, performed, and been interviewed on thousands of live and virtual stages, including Dean Graziosi’s podcast The Dean Graziosi Show.
Renée helps people who want more confidence and success learn to communicate effectively to live the life of their dreams! She also uses her well-rounded experience of communicating through various mediums to train companies, organizations, schools, and universities in strengthening their communication skills.
Renée can be seen as the female lead, Mary Delgado, in the film, “Jersey Boys,” directed by Clint Eastwood. She has been featured in People.com’s “Ones to Watch,” Variety, and The Huffington Post, which stated: “The Broadway star—who is basically Tina Fey’s celebrity doppelganger— is a scene-stealer. ‘Jersey Boys’ pops whenever she’s onscreen.” Renée wrote and performed her solo show, I Am Me, Because of Three, to sold-out venues in NYC and LA and received rave reviews. Her Broadway credits include Pretty Woman: The Musical (dance captain/assistant to the choreographer), West Side Story (Rosalia), Jersey Boys (Mary Delgado), Chaplin, and Wonderland (ensemble). She has toured North America with Cats, Disney’s High School Musical, and Jersey Boys. Her television credits include Regina on Fox’s Weird Loners and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
As a coach, keynote speaker, and longtime performer, Renée Marino has inspired people worldwide with her energy, relatability, and authentic spirit.
Renée’s book “Becoming a Master Communicator: Balancing New School Technology with Ol’ School Simplicity” releases Jan. 2022 and is now available for pre-order by visiting BecomingaMasterCommunicator.com. For more communication hacks, please visit ReneeMarino.com or follow Renee on social media. She’s @CoachReneeMarino on Facebook, @iamreneemarino on Instagram, and @Reneemarino on Twitter.