The Holidays, Family, and Depression: A Survival Guide

There is no good time of the year to have mild to moderate depression. Once the end of the year holiday season rolls around, it isn’t a matter of dealing with the same routine day in and day out. Now there are holiday parties to attend, relatives to see, and other expectations that are either of your own making or imposed by others. While it may not seem possible, you can survive the holidays, including time that you feel must be spent with relatives you would rather avoid. Here are some tips that will help. 
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Children and Teens

When Yours Is the Home Adult Kids Come Home To

In a report of research about the holidays released by the American Psychological Association, 44% of Americans list family gatherings as one of the stressful aspects of the holidays. None the less, the same report states that people generally do love the holidays with 53% of those surveyed mentioning that getting together with family and friends as being their favorite part of this time of year; 36% specifically mentioning spending more time with family.
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12 Ways to Unlock Your Inner Happiness During the Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner. You are running around for everyone else, having trouble saying no to your commitments, and your energy has already depleted. Before you realize it, you have put the relationship you have with yourself, your most important relationship on the back burner.

The holidays are a time to decompress, reevaluate where you are in life, and cultivate your inner happiness. Read on and discover some ways you could be sabotaging your own happiness without even realizing it, and take the necessary steps to put your own sanity and mental well being first before taking care of others.
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7 Ways to Deal With Difficult People

Difficult people are like the termites of the human spirit. They can be eating away at the tender parts of you for months on end before you notice, and then, suddenly, at a work meeting or a family dinner, you lose it. You might scream something unkind or have a temper tantrum much like the two-year-old on "Nanny 911", or even do something drastic like start binge drinking again after a few years of sobriety. Unfortunately, living on earth as a homo sapien requires dealing with other homo sapiens -- unless you want to isolate yourself and watch Dr. Phil all day long. So having some techniques in mind, especially during the holidays and other times of vulnerability, can help you arrest their damage before your structure crumbles.
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5 Reasons the Christmas Season Is the Worst Time for Workplace Incivility

We’re rapidly approaching the worst time workplace incivility. What is that time? I believe it’s the Christmas season -- but why? Here are my 5 main reasons:

1) Social activity ramps up during December. There are work Christmas parties to contend with (oftentimes more than one) and difficult people are even more difficult with an increased blood alcohol level. Harassment, gossip, “walking on eggshells” and “making nice” can all place you under such increased strain that the temptation to drink and “make it all go away” is powerful.
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Holiday Coping

9 Steps for Reducing Stress this Holiday Season

December is officially upon us. With the holiday season in full swing, we are more likely to encounter the unforeseen travel delays, frustratingly long lines, and triggering interpersonal interactions that tend to be commonplace this time of year. These situations can push our buttons and test our limits. Here are some strategies to use when you feel like your patience is running low.
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6 Tips to a Joyous and Peaceful Interfaith Holiday Season

The holiday season is one of the most joyful times of the year; unfortunately, it can also be one of the most stressful times, and in an interfaith relationship, many conflicts may arise.

Consider that approximately 40% of Americans wed outside of their faith, and less than half of those couples discuss which faith they plan to follow. Because of the confusion and high stress levels, two weeks before Christmas and the month of January are the highest break up period for couples.
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Family Matters Even More During the Holiday Season

“I love my family -- but from a distance,” I chuckle.

For many of us, the holidays can be emotionally harrowing. We confront our past -- strained relationships with siblings, an uneasy coexistence with our parents. As festive lights glimmer, we stew over petty grievances and simmering resentments.

Flying into Minneapolis for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was anxious about seeing my immediate family. Since my mother’s passing, my brothers and I have slowly drifted apart. Four years following her passing, there is a coolness -- even chilliness -- rivaling a Minneapolis winter. Greeting my siblings for the first time in a year, I questioned how, and whether, I could contain the bubbling emotions.
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Ethics & Morality

Expressing Gratitude Throughout the Year

Now that Thanksgiving is over, and everyone has expressed lots of gratitude to their family, friends, co-workers, over Facebook, and through other social media outlets, does this mean we are done with expressing gratitude? It shouldn’t mean that, but often it does.

Gratitude is a practice that should be expressed on a daily basis. Studies have shown that expressing gratitude can increase your level of happiness. Our brain often has a negativity bias, meaning...
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6 Ways to Stay Busy to Avoid Sadness

"Active natures are rarely melancholy. Activity and sadness are incompatible." – Christian Bovee
Sometimes, you’re just sad. Whether it’s the holiday season, your birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, you can inexplicably feel sadness. It may be that the occasion itself reminds you of a loss, especially if the loss was recent, painful or protracted. You might be sad because you know you didn’t behave with the best of intentions. You could also be sad because you did nothing when you knew you should have done something.
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