Tag Archives: holidays

Calm

Looking for an oasis of calm in a hectic holiday season? How about a way to jump-start a meditation practice in advance of the New Year? Maybe you’re just looking for a little peace in your busy day-to-day schedule. Regardless of your reason, it’s always easy to find a little calm at calm.com.

Choose from an assortment of music and image combinations, select guided or timed meditation, and relax.

Not sure why you should meditate? Check out the Lifehacker article What Happens to the Brain When You Meditate (And How  it Benefits You).

Weekly Prep Round-Up

I’ve decided to change up my Saturday blog-topic routine. Yes, I will still be posting prep advice. It just won’t be all mine anymore. Consider it a weekly prepper’s round-up of all the great things I’ve discovered in the blogosphere. And because it’s the holidays, today’s post is holiday-themed.

Good Advice for Holiday Travel

Stocking Stuffers

Did I miss any other great posts? Share them in the comments.

Remembering James Kim

I didn’t know James Kim. In fact, I didn’t know anything about him until a few days after Thanksgiving, 2006, when he and his family, a wife and two daughters, were reported missing somewhere between Portland, OR and their home in San Francisco.

It was everywhere on the news in the Bay Area, and especially around Silicon Valley tech companies back in the days when I still worked in tech. He was local. He worked as a technology analyst. He was one of us. And he had disappeared.

All it took was one missed turn and a bad decision to continue on a secondary route. And then, when the weather continued to get worse, they made another, landing them on an unpaved logging road in a blizzard.

They stopped because they were exhausted, and because the snow prevented them from continuing forward. Four days later, on November 30th, the search began. On December 2nd, Kim set out to look for help. On December 4th, a helicopter pilot found Mrs. Kim and the girls thanks to a cell tower ping from Kim’s phone. On December 6th, they finally found Kim, dead of hypothermia, likely the same day his wife and daughters were rescued–8 years ago today.

James Kim was well educated, young (35 at his death), and healthy. His car was new and had won the highest safety awards. And yet…

At the time and after people talked about what he could have done differently. He could have waited in Seattle or Portland unit the bad weather passed. He could have turned the car around to get back on the main road. He could have stayed with the vehicle instead of venturing out into the snow. But for how long?

That year, that holiday season was when, for me, the importance of preparedness really hit home. A few weeks later, my brother and his family travelled from Seattle to San Francisco for Christmas like they do every year. And with James Kim in mind, I created car kits stocked with emergency supplies–flares and food and space blankets and more–for everyone in my immediate family.

This year, with the weather as unpredictable as it is, it may be time to give a few more. Here are some of my favorite winter prep articles to inspire your own holiday giving.

 

Practice Gratitude

On this last day of the long Thanksgiving weekend, it seems only appropriate for today’s spiritual prep to be gratitude.

With the big meal behind us, it’s likely that most of us have already put the giving of thanks on hold until next November and slipped easily back into our regularly scheduled program of plowing through our days, especially with the insanity of holiday planning, shopping, preparing, the making of reservations and appointments, and everything else that has to be done looming large ahead. Which is why now, more than ever, it’s important to hold onto the spirit of Thanksgiving just a little bit longer. And then a little more. Until you no longer have to hold on because it’s become a part of you.

Why? Because gratitude practice–the habit of counting our blessings–can change our attitudes, our health, and our lives for the better. Just a few of the benefits, according to researchers Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, include:

  • Feeling better about our lives as a whole
  • Being more optimistic
  • Making more progress toward goals
  • Getting more regular exercise
  • Getting sick less

And there’s nothing quite like being healthy, optimistic, and goal-oriented to help you weather just about any storm.

Probably the simplest way to cultivate gratitude is to take a few minutes at the beginning or end of a day, grab a notebook, and write down 3 things you’re grateful for–be it sunny skies, hanging out with your friends, getting an A on a test, or a raise at work. You can chooe anything that made your life happier, more comfortable, or made you feel more inspired.

Personally I like to write down my three things at night before bed because focusing on the good things from my day helps dissipate the stress of everything I didn’t get done. But writing them in the morning works just as well and helps you start your day on a positive note.

Learn more about the benefits of gratitude and additional ways to practice.