Anxiety and Panic

‘Tis the Season

The joys of the holiday season: the picture-perfect weather, the dazzling holiday displays, and the ugly Christmas sweater parties. Even SantaCon is worth a couple chuckles.

But amidst the holiday cheer, there is a percolating stew of resentment and anger. Past slights, buried deep in our mental recesses, foment in our minds. Family volatility: the gift that keeps on giving.
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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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Family

7 Steps to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Congratulations! Despite the sarcastic negativity and nay-sayers, you have chosen a path of self-improvement. Here are seven simple things you can do to make sure you achieve all of your 2016 goals.

Treat yourself.
Your goals require a special type of strength from your mind and body. Acknowledge this, own this, and love yourself for deciding to improve despite the challenge it will be.

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Books

Want to Make 2016 a Happier Year? Here’s How I Did It Month by Month

If you’re looking for ways to make 2016 a happier, healthier, more productive year, may I self-promotingly suggest my book, The Happiness Project?

The first day of the new year always feels so fresh and full of promise to me -- but at the same time, it’s very discouraging to look back over the year that’s just ended, and realize that I’d never accomplished an important, happiness-boosting change that I’d hoped to make.

This feeling is one of the major reasons that I undertook my happiness project.
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General

How Do You Use Your Limited Time & Brain Cycles?

There's a meme that started way back in 2007 talking about a professor who fills up a jar full of golf balls, pebbles, and sand to demonstrate that you should fill your life with the important things first (the larger golf balls), so that the little things (the pebbles and sand) don't take up all the room in your life (the jar).

There's a reason memes become popular and get shared online -- because there is some kind of universal truth connected to them that people recognize. This clever story of a jar and golf balls is just such a meme.

You have a very short time on this planet -- much shorter than you realize when you take into account the tens of thousands of years of civilization before you were born, and the likely tens of thousands of years in the future. How are you going to spend that time? What kind of things will you spend most days focusing on -- the little, useless things, or the bigger, meaningful stuff?

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General

Be SMART and Avoid Failing at New Year’s Resolutions

Do you know people who have a hard time maintaining their big New Year's goals past February? Who are the people around you who joke, "Yeah, I made a resolution to lose weight, but then Valentine's Day came around." Or "I made a resolution to quit smoking, but then I needed a break at work."

If making and sticking to goals is hard for you, it does not mean that you are helpless, hopeless, or should give up trying. Far too many people make goals that are too big, too general, way too difficult, and without any tracking tools. People tend to create large, grandiose, long-term goals with no short-terms goals to guide the process. Follow the SMART method below to reach your resolutions for 2016.
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5 Tips for Coping with the Post-Holiday Blues

Do you hear that sound? What sound, you ask? The sound of calm after the holidays. The moment when we realize the guests have left and the errands are complete. The moment when we finally look around and notice all we have missed while immersed in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the holidays.

Personally, the days immediately following New Year's Day are mixed emotion days for me. The first couple weeks of January, I relax in the glow of Christmas and the expectation of new beginnings. Yet, mingled amid my joyous feelings, there is a feeling of sadness as I realize that the holiday season has ended and normal life has returned.

Since I was a young child, I have loved the period from Halloween to New Year's because of the festivities, the traditions, the foods, smells, and sights. Yet it seems that as soon as Halloween is upon us, in a flash, we are past New Year's Day.

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Depression

Surviving January — the Most Depressing Month of the Year

January 24 is on record as being the most depressing day of the year. It’s not hard to figure out why. The bills come in from all those generous gifts you gave back when the holiday spirit had you feeling rich. The resolutions you made on December 31 are, well, broken. And it’s cold, dark, and dreary -- the roads wear the kind of brown slush that is unbecoming.

However, my mood dips long before the 24th. It does a dive the Monday after the New Year -- the first full week of January. I call it Yuck Monday or Yuck Week.
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