Holiday Coping

Using Lists to Get Organized and Actually De-stress During the Holidays

Every year the holidays seem to sneak up on us, don’t they? Come December many of us are surprised – and overwhelmed – by the extra responsibilities, extra tasks and extra events. We start to panic and wonder how the heck everything is going to get done. And all this stress only takes away from the meaning and beauty of the holidays.

The reality is that a lot of our stress is self-afflicted, said Paula Rizzo, a senior health producer and author of the book
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Psychology Around the Net: November 21, 2015

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we're in the throes of the holiday season here in America; unfortunately, this isn't a happy time for all. However, psychologists have a few tips and tricks to keep your holiday blues in check.

Of course, we've also got the latest on sex and happiness, how a mother's age could affect her daughter's mental health, whether your child's ADHD medication puts him or her at risk for bullying, and more.

Have a happy Saturday!

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12 Habits for Developing Greater Self-Love

Self-love is often something we find quite challenging. It can seem self-centered or indulgent, especially for those who are mothers or partners. How often do you put others' needs before your own? As a mother, I often took the burned bits of toast, let my son have the last chocolate, or went without the ice cream because we couldn't quite afford one for everyone.

But developing and nurturing loving kindness toward ourselves is an important part of health, healing and happiness. So to kick-start us on that journey, here are some helpful tips:

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The Perfectionist’s Guide to Making Decisions: The Art of Satisficing

You’re awesome at your job. You know it, feedback from colleagues and clients has affirmed it, and you consistently deliver results that are above and beyond what’s been asked of you. You repeat this pattern enough times and it becomes the norm -- which, frankly, can be exhausting.

High achievers are prone to this pattern of behavior, which is usually completely unsustainable. Eventually, you realize that no matter how many cups of coffee you drink, after-work happy hours and gym sessions you cancel, or calls from your parents you send to voicemail, there’s no possible way to create what you really need:
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4 More Pointers for New Parents for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage

Having kids can be hard on a marriage. As relationship therapist Rebecca Wong, LCSW, said, kids absorb much of your attention and energy. There are a whole lot more responsibilities and tasks, and your schedule suddenly becomes very limited. Suddenly, there are new challenges to work through -- and you’re running on little, very little, sleep.

So how do you maintain a healthy marriage amid all that?

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The Mindful Pause

I am really feeling the benefit of peppering my day with mini-meditations right now and the first one I want to share with you is this: the mindful pause.

It's particularly useful for mothers. As a mother, your daily experience is of the craziness of multiple simultaneous demands on your attention, frequent interruptions, on-the-spot decision making, settling squabbles, switching tasks frequently and knowing what you do shapes the lives of your children.

Taking regular “mini-breaks” or moments to pause is necessary to regroup, recharge and restore the relaxation response in your body. It’s like a system reboot.
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3 Ways to Navigate Family Issues as a Couple During the Holidays

One of the biggest challenges couples can run into during the holidays is family. This may be everything from too many familial commitments and traditions to a whole lot of unresolved conflict. Depending on your specific situation, it can take a toll on you personally, your partner and your relationship.

You might even dread the holidays. You might even think there are no solutions or alternatives. But there’s always something you can do. Below, two relationship experts shared different strategies that can help. If these strategies don’t make sense for your situation or ring true for you, consider working with a couples therapist to help you navigate your specific situation.

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We Never Spoke of It

My father’s nicknames defined him. Bones, for his length, and “Glue Tips,” for his good reach and sure hands as a tight end on the football team. He won a football scholarship at BYU. It wasn’t until Dad returned home from the Korean War that he set about wooing my mother. She wasn’t easily convinced, and in hindsight, she said if it weren’t for his good genes and long legs, he might never have had a chance with her.

My mother was in her early 20s when she married, and she started having children faster and easier than either of them wished. We were all beloved, and my mother recounts those early years, with five children under the age of seven, as her favorites. I was the middle child, squeezed between two standout older siblings and two mischievous younger ones.
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Coping with Common Challenges as a Couple During the Holidays

Holidays can be hard on couples because you’re trying to navigate family commitments and extra tasks and responsibilities. And that’s while you’re taking care of your regular schedule of work, household duties and (possibly) parenting, among other things.

But these things don’t have to overwhelm us or overshadow the joy of the holidays. Below, two relationship experts share the common issues that come up during the holidays and how you can overcome them -- and actually enjoy the holidays together.

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6 Tips to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Has anyone ever accused you of being a people-pleaser at work? You might have felt put off, thinking, “Yeah, I like making sure everyone in the office is happy. What’s wrong with that?”

The answer? Nothing. It’s admirable to be a pleasant co-worker and a leader who helps others be successful. In fact, individuals labeled as “people-pleasers” are often kind and have honorable intentions. They usually accept heavier workloads, expend time and energy to enhance team morale, and care deeply for their company and co-workers. These are all positive attributes, so it might be difficult to see how looking out for others’ happiness could possibly have a negative impact on your career and professional happiness -- but it can.

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Brain and Behavior

Old-School Interventions for Today’s Stresses

We are so busy being busy we approach the day with a vengeance. Today is not a marathon; it’s an Ironman triathlon. To stay ahead we cut corners: skip breakfast; work through lunch; eat frozen dinner while glued to a digital screen. And we wonder why we are tired (but can’t sleep), sickly (yet can’t quite pinpoint the malady), and unfulfilled (in spite of the sacrifices, things are still not coming together).

There are a few old-school interventions that can help to get your head back in the game:

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