Holiday Coping Articles

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014In America, we celebrate a day of thanks today, so Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (no matter where you might live)! This is our 19th year celebrating a Thanksgiving with you, and for that we are extremely thankful.

Like many, I too like to spend this time of the year reflecting on my gratitude and appreciation for all of the good things I have in my life. I am especially appreciative and grateful for the non-materialistic things — things like my family (all of whom are in good health and spirits), my friends, my online buddies, and my colleagues from around the world.

I am also grateful for all of the good that so many people have done to help change the message about mental health… From one of shame and embarrassment, to one of hope, science and illumination.

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression For people with depression, the holidays can be a challenging time. People with the illness “tend to have a negative view of themselves and their lives,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md.

“If they have overly idealized beliefs about what the holidays should look like, the resulting discrepancy can be very difficult.”

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude

Monday, November 24th, 2014

7 Genuine Ways to Practice Gratitude Some people avoid practicing gratitude because doing so feels fake. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to Susan Orenstein, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

That’s because any time we try something new, it’s going to feel awkward and unnatural, she said. In fact, such reactions can be good, because it means you’re noticing and paying attention, she said. “If you can lean into the experience, you’ll be more likely to let go of your self-consciousness and take in the experience.”

5 Ways Autumn Boosts Our Spirits

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Five Ways Autumn Boosts Our SpiritsIn autumn we can succumb to transformation. We can be fickle like the temperatures outside; we can embrace uncertainty and welcome transition, the unknown.

“I think fall evokes feelings of coziness and warmth and is such a multifunctional season,” says Anna Solo, a wellness blogger for freshtheblog.com.

I recently wrote about summer activities that can boost our mental health, and in light of the new season, here are some of autumn’s charms that are good for the soul as well.

Valentine’s Day: Love When You Are Feeling Blue

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Valentine's Day: Love When You Are Feeling BlueTomorrow, it’s Valentine’s Day again, and maybe you are not feeling so lovey-dovey. Maybe you are feeling low or lonely.

Maybe you are feeling the cold emptiness of loss of those who should still be here but are not here anymore. Maybe you are feeling the defeat of making ends meet when no matter how hard you work, the numbers are not adding up. Maybe your plan is not going as planned. Maybe the weather just seems so wrong.

And since Valentine’s Day is about love, and you are deep in the darkness, maybe you feel like Valentine’s Day is not for you this year. Maybe you feel completely left out, watching people around you exchange kisses and love while you stand alone in your pain.

A New Type of New Year’s Resolution

Monday, December 30th, 2013

A New Type of New Year's ResolutionNew Year’s Eve is traditionally a time that we attend to the tick of the clock. As we do so, we reflect on the previous year, resolving to do better this coming year.

Most resolutions people make are repetitive, year after year. We’re going to lose those extra pounds, exercise more, drink less, save money, be better organized, be more patient and spend more time with family and friends.

Wonderful ideas. So how come it takes you (if you’re like most folks) about 7 to 10 days to fall off the wagon?

Setting Yourself Up for Failure: 5 New Year’s Resolutions to Avoid Making

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Setting Yourself Up for Failure: 5 New Year's Resolutions to Avoid MakingAh, New Year’s. The time to make resolutions… and then throw them out the window a month later, as we fail to stick even just one of them. I mean, why do we even bother making resolutions in the first place?

To complement all the great things that have been written about how to make and keep good New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d also share some of the absolute worst New Year’s resolutions you can make.

You should avoid making these kinds of resolutions, because most people simply won’t keep them.

3 Traits of Failed Resolutions

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

3 Traits of Failed Resolutions As the New Year approaches, many of us will be sitting down to reflect on 2013 and create resolutions for 2014.

Of course, many of us also have gotten cynical about setting goals. We’ve read the stories about failure rates. And we probably have first-hand experience of our personal resolutions not working out.

But there’s usually a good reason — several of them, in fact — behind unsuccessful resolutions. And it’s not because you lack willpower, self-control or discipline. (Who wants to follow such punitive goals, anyway?)

And it’s not because you aren’t strong enough or smart enough or capable enough or whatever enough.

Here are three traits of resolutions that rarely work — along with some expert insight into what does.

7 Ways to Survive the Holidays

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

7 Ways to Survive the HolidaysBy the time Christmas carols play on three radio stations and the windows of department stores are dressed with red and green glitter, a majority of the human race will have elevated cortisol levels. (It’s the stress hormone that does a good job of preserving us from life-threatening events, but can disrupt almost all of the body’s processes if it’s not stopped.)

Our job in December is to keep our stress-response system from getting stuck on autopilot, communicating false threats to most of our biological systems. Here are a few strategies.

Beat Holiday Stress with These 2 Easy Meditation Techniques

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Beat Holiday Stress with These 2 Easy Meditation TechniquesHolidays can be stressful. The hustle and bustle of work, parenting, in-laws, guests, shopping, traveling, and cooking can seem pretty hectic this time of year.

When I am feeling overwhelmed, I take a timeout to relax and do short meditation exercises. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Deep breathing.

Begin in a quiet, comfortable area with no distractions. Remember, your goal is to quiet your mind and to remain in the moment. Don’t get discouraged if you are not able to do this the first time.

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

4 More Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part two of a two-part article (part one is here).

4. Celebrate your truth.

I have a friend named Wayne who had an awful life. He was maybe 12 years old when, looking around the dinner table, he finally did the math that estranged him from his family.

You see, Wayne had four older brothers, each a year apart, and Wayne was born four years after the last. He knew immediately that he wasn’t supposed to be there; he knew immediately that he was an accident. Even worse, he knew that everyone in that household hated and resented his existence.

Interfaith Relationships During The Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Interfaith Relationships During The HolidaysNavigating though religious faith differences can be tricky in the best of times. However, keeping the holidays stress-free may require extra effort and compromise.

Ideally, planning ahead and discussing potential problem areas would begin before a couple’s relationship is solidified, in premarital counseling. One of the biggest oversights a couple can make is denying that differences even exist, or believing conflicts will not occur.

Discussing all possible scenarios ahead of time can help prevent future troubles from developing — or becoming worse.

Recent Comments
  • Iris: We’ve been married 8 ys (16 yrs together). My husband was a high flying executive who lost his job during...
  • psychlover: Because mom KNOWS her son and all his flaws BUT he thinks he can impress total strangers. He needs to...
  • Pam: I disagree that it’s ok to have a crummy holiday experience. I lived in a small town after a divorce and...
  • Ann: I lose everything! I know the joy of finding things. However, I am tired, very tired. I wish I was not what I...
  • Josh: Great article, I could really use active conditioning on learning to control my emotions (I am known as a...
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