These days anything that is anything has an acronym. IMO, SMH, TTYL, WFH, IDK, YOLO, and the list goes on. So, I created my own. It’s CTFO. That’s right.  CHILL THE *F* OUT.

A constant reminder to myself to CTFO.

Many of us go through life so tightly wound. We are pulled in so many directions. Our home life doesn’t look like we imagined it would. The kitchen is messy, the laundry is still in the basket waiting to be folded, unopened mail has sat for weeks, we are angry with our partner. Work never seems to ease up. Just when you clear one hoop, there’s another fire to put out and a new project that you are already behind on. There just isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done. You want so badly for everything to be in order and to be able to let loose a bit on the grind.

That everyday chaos we all feel is then compounded by the approaching holidays. Traveling, cooking, wrapping gifts, parties to attend and host, school events, work events, projects to finish up…it becomes overwhelming quickly! The anxiety and stress of it all gets projected onto our kids or other loved ones. It’s not the right place for it and we know that, but that stress must come out somewhere. That’s where CTFO comes in. Sometimes you must tell yourself to just CTFO.

Unless it’s life or death, and 99.9% of the time it is not, then CTFO.

Running late in the morning? Yelling to hurry up. Screaming to get shoes on. Chasing the kids so they don’t forget their water bottle or backpack….simply does not do anyone any good. All that does is increase the anxiety and set everyone up for a day aiming in the wrong direction.

Quietly think to yourself CTFO.

How does that look? Just be quiet. Opposite action. Pause and allow yourself to CTFO. Turn down the energy in the room. You might be five minutes late, but truly what is the big deal in that? Is it life or death? No. Chilling the *F* out will only improve your inner peace and set you and your family up for a better day and a better holiday season.

There will always be stress in our lives, especially around the holidays, but does our mindset make it better or worse? Are you adding to that stress or are you actively dissipating it by CTFO? Look inward. You may realize you simply need to CTFO. We are all human, but I’m guessing if I need to CTFO, some of you do too! Cheers to a “chill” and joyous holiday season!

*Originally published on

Joanna Hakimi is a proud entrepreneur and can often be found singing in the car with her two kids. Starting her first successful business when she was 17 and being president of the Young Entrepreneur’s Society at the University of Georgia, she never closed the door on opportunity. She then went on to Northwestern University and attained her Masters in Science, becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. After being a successful LMFT in the northern suburbs of Chicago for more than 15 years while simultaneously running a mindful goods boutique for 5 years and accomplishing a 200 hour yoga teaching certification, Joanna was itching for a new adventure. After a phone conversation with a friend in California discussing ways to grow her Life Coaching business, the idea came about that independent professionals, such as Life Coaches, Health and Wellness Coaches and other similar people in the life changing business, needed a resource to connect potential clients with the LifeChanger they were seeking. That’s how her newest venture, LifeChangers.Info was born. LifeChangers has a mission to connect professionals with a new client base using a simple and inclusive site. When she’s not seeing clients or working to grow LifeChangers.Info, you can find Joanna hiking, making terrariums or, well, singing in the car with her kids…likely to Billy Joel or Indigo Girls. You can follow Joanna on Instagram.


Image courtesy of Elina Fairytale.