Holiday Coping Articles

4 Singular, Sensational Gifts for This Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

4 Singular, Sensational Gifts for This Holiday Season Are you tired of trying to figure out what gifts might delight your loved ones? Are you turned off by the shopping frenzy that has become ‘de rigueur’ for the holiday season?

If so, then try doing things differently. Instead of buying what the marketers insist is the ‘perfect gift,’ give your loved ones (especially your kids) something entirely different.

Here are my top four suggestions.

The gift of listening.

Take the time to listen to your loved ones. Be curious. Be there in mind and spirit.

Listen to what is going on inside your loved one’s mind. Avoid preaching. Avoid teaching. Thank your loved one for sharing. Communicate without judgment.

Parenting with Presence During the Holidays

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Parenting with Presence During the HolidaysOne day last year, we were driving to the airport; my daughter Lucy was excited to see the airplanes. As we drove along the interstate, I could see her face in the rearview mirror peering out the window.

“I saw one!” she exclaimed. “See mama, when you pay attention, on purpose, you might see something exciting like an airplane,” she announced.

Her words reminded me of a mindful parenting class I took when she was 2 years old. I’ve always had a hard time turning off my mind and “paying attention on purpose.” As a mother, I can think of 101 things to distract myself at any given moment.

During the holiday season this feeling is tenfold. With all of the distractions and opportunities to tune out instead of tune in, the stress of the holidays can be downright dizzying. As the holidays approach, I want to make a conscious effort to parent with presence, incorporating the mindfulness tools I learned years ago.

Coping With Loneliness During the Holidays

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Coping With Loneliness During the HolidaysLoneliness is common during the holidays.

Empty nesters, the elderly and individuals who are grieving — the loss of a loved one or a relationship — may be particularly vulnerable to feelings of loneliness, according to psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC.

Expectations are high, and comparisons run rampant. “Many people feel tremendous pressure to be happy and socially connected.” There’s a prevailing sense that everyone is living a Hallmark movie with the ideal family and perfect celebrations, she said.

That is, everyone but you. And this can trigger feelings of isolation.

Using the Yes/No Method to Reduce Your Holiday Stress

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Using the Yes/No Method to Reduce Your Holiday StressThe holidays can be a glorious time for family togetherness, great food, beautiful decorations, and spiritual and religious growth. It can also be prime time for the dreaded emotions of resentment and guilt.

What is it about the holiday season that summons up annoyance and aggravation to the point of seasonal dread? And more importantly, what can be done about it?

Over the last couple of years I’ve developed a highly effective way of coping: the yes/no method for my clients. I prescribe it year round, but find that it’s particularly effective during the holidays.

8 Ways to Enrich Your Holidays with More Comfort & Joy

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

8 Ways to Enrich Your Holidays with More Comfort & JoyThis time of year, we’re used to reading about holiday blues and holiday stress. Contrary to popular belief, however, anxiety, depression, and suicide rates do not rise during the holidays. The CDC, Mayo Clinic, and other research institutions have found no link between holidays and increased depression and suicide. (Read more here.)

Nevertheless, holidays do knock some of us off balance. Between family gatherings, pressure to spend money, kids coming back from college, work disruption, and other holiday-related events, we may forget that holidays are supposed to be about comfort and joy.

Here are eight ways to embrace the true meaning of the season and focus on increasing joy, love, and peace.

Immunizing Yourself Against the Holiday Blues & Depression

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Immunizing Yourself Against the Holiday Blues & DepressionIt’s that time of year again — time to do the holidays and all the parties and preparations that go with them. And while the season can bring joy and happiness to many, there are some who don’t feel it’s “the most wonderful time of the year.”

We’ve all seen the stories and heard about studies showing the holidays can actually increase depression or anxiety levels in some people. And these individuals may quietly “suffer” as the rest of us enjoy all the trimmings. To these folks, this season and what it represents can all seem like a burden, an unrealistic and unreachable ideal.

No one is immune to feeling sad or irritable. We’re all capable of reaching the “bah, humbug” stage. However, there’s nothing inevitable about the holiday blues creeping into your life — and there are little things we can do to help shake off those feelings.

Here are a few ideas to help you with the holiday blues.

Holiday Gift Guide: 11 More Powerful Psychology Books to Give

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: 11 More Powerful Psychology Books to Give Some psychology books are filled with valuable insights we can apply to our own lives. Others are uplifting. And still others make engrossing explorations into the human mind. Really, I’m not sure you can get a more meaningful or fascinating gift under $20.

Books are windows into new worlds and new wisdom. So whether you’re looking for an interesting read for a psychology buff or grad student or an inspiring book for someone going through a tough time, this gift guide may help.

This is Part 2 of a two-part holiday gift guide of books we recommend. Read Part 1 here.

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Powerful Psychology Books to Give

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Powerful Psychology Books to Give Some psychology books are filled with valuable insights we can apply to our own lives. Others are uplifting. And still others make engrossing explorations into the human mind. Really, I’m not sure you can get a more meaningful or fascinating gift under $20.

Books are windows into new worlds and new wisdom. So whether you’re looking for an interesting read for a psychology buff or grad student or an inspiring book for someone going through a tough time, this gift guide may help.

This is Part 1 of a two-part holiday gift guide of books we recommend.

Inspiration for Living a Grateful Life

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Inspiration for Living a Grateful LifeIn 2011 writer and artist Anne O. Kubitsky printed out 500 invitation cards asking people to share what they’re grateful for in a postcard (and mail it back to her). She left these cards in various places, everywhere from post offices to parks to college cafeterias to libraries.

Within three weeks she received handmade postcards from all over the world – from Oregon to Alaska to Australia to Germany. Today, she’s received thousands of responses in many different forms: letters, emails and even phone calls.

People also have submitted postcards made from leather and clay. One person submitted a 12-year Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety medallion.

Time Might Not Heal All Wounds

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Time Might Not Heal All WoundsIt’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.
~ Lena Horne

Think of a painful injury such as a wound — one that’s fresh and open, bleeding. You attempt to secure a bandage and some protection.

You move onward. As time goes by, the wound starts to heal, but you’re left with a scar — a physical reminder and mark of what occurred.

In similar fashion, that’s how I view certain emotional wounds. They’re scars that will always be a part of us, regardless of time and longevity. But that’s okay, because it’s all about how you choose to carry your load, your past.

7 Tips for Managing ‘In-Law Stress’ During the Holidays

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

7 Tips for Managing 'In-Law Stress' During the HolidaysYour mother-in-law takes over the kitchen at holiday time. So what? Your father-in-law drinks too much and sulks in the corner. Big deal!

Don’t let in-laws ruin your family holiday, multiply your stress, and leave you feeling defeated or angry. There are some simple strategies you can use to get along with difficult in-laws this holiday season.

Doing so will make your holiday get-together more pleasant. But there’s an even better reason to make peace with in-laws.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013Happy Thanksgiving to all of our loyal readers! This is our 18th year celebrating a Thanksgiving with you, and for that we are extremely thankful.

I like to spend this time of the year being grateful and appreciative for all of the good things I have in my life, and not dwell on the things I don’t have. Especially non-materialistic things — things like my family (all of whom are in good health and spirits), my friends, my online buddies, my colleagues from around the world, and all of the good so many people have done to help change the message about mental health… From one of shame and hiding, to one of hope, science and illumination.

Recent Comments
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