Holiday Coping Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

How to Stay Mentally Healthy During the Holidays

December 18th, 2014
Do the holidays stress you out? You’re not alone. It’s a hectic time of year for many people, maybe even most people. Nothing about our usual daily life goes away. The holidays add a layer of activities and responsibilities, both ...

Teaching Children Gift Etiquette

christmas tree bigstJocey, one of the parents in my parent group, was mortified. Her mother-in-law had given her 8-year-old son a toy fire truck. Instead of saying “thank you,” the boy looked at it and said something like, “That’s for babies. I don’t like trucks” and ...

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful For

Therapists Spill: What I’m Grateful ForIn our regular monthly series therapists spill all sorts of secrets, including how they deal with difficult times, their biggest mistakes and key lessons they’ve learned from their clients. This month, in the spirit of the holiday season, we asked clinicians to share ...

In Recovery and Surviving the Holidays

empty-chair-holiday-tableHere come the holidays. In American cultural myth, it’s a time for good food, good company, and good times. If you are struggling with recovery from alcoholism, it’s also a time of stress and challenges. Alcoholic beverages often make an occasion feel celebratory. How do you ...

The Season of the Have-To’s

bigstock Christmas sad womanSmall talk turned to intense talk when I spoke with the members of a local women’s group. When I asked about holiday planning, what came back was a flood of anxiety. “No sooner is Halloween over, and I have to start getting ready ...

Mother’s Day is Family Day

Mother's Day is Family DayIt’s May and Mother’s Day is around the corner. However we may feel about the holiday, the greeting card and floral industries make it impossible to ignore. Mothers are supposed to be treated with breakfast in bed, a bouquet of roses, time ...

The Trauma of Everyday Life

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times have you heard someone say, That was the straw that broke the camel’s back? We can try to rally to face big obstacles, but sometimes the day-to-day “little things” add up until, finally, one of those small things overcomes us. Then, it turns out, they were not such “little things” after all. In ...

The Pressure of Valentine’s Day

The Pressure of Valentine's DayIt started as soon as the Christmas decorations came down. Valentines and those heart-shaped boxes of chocolates appeared in stores, and ads for jewelry began running on TV. The pressure is on. If you are partnered, you’re supposed to make a big deal ...

Rethink Those Failed New Year’s Resolutions

Rethink Those Failed New Year's ResolutionsIt’s not even the middle of January and those New Year’s resolutions are already history. You’ve fallen off the diet, started smoking again or given up on the exercise routine. You feel bad about yourself for not being able to put your good intentions into action for even two weeks. Two weeks! You scold yourself for having no willpower or for failing yet once again. You sigh and give up, perhaps rationalizing away the project. You can always claim no time, too much stress, or peer pressure, right? Wrong. You know you’re rationalizing but oh well. You can take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Almost 90 percent of New Year’s resolutions dissolve within a month. The enthusiasm about a new year and a new beginning quickly fades. Life takes over. All the reasons you developed whatever bad habit you wanted to fix are still there. But all is not lost. You can still make that important change, whatever it was. You may just have to rethink how to go about it.

5 Tips on How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

5 Tips on How to Keep New Year's ResolutionsWhy bother to make resolutions and then feel disappointed or guilty for breaking them? Do you get excited and resolve to change, but within days or weeks lose interest and can’t motivate yourself? Wonder why you get sidetracked ...

A New Year’s Resolution for Generosity

A New Year’s Resolution for Generosity Isn’t it wonderful? Every January 1, we get to have a fresh start. Ring out the old. Ring in the new. We can change something significant about our lives. New Year’s resolutions are a statement of hope. We make them, not to scold ourselves, but to hold out the possibility that we can change something. So we swear we’ll finally lose that 10 (or more) pounds, that we’ll quit bad habits we enjoy, or we’ll hit the gym more often. Never mind that studies show that almost 90 percent of such resolutions are broken within two weeks of New Year’s. Our intentions were good. Oh well. I think we break those self-promises almost as soon as they’re made because they are too ambitious. We ask ourselves to take on something that has been a long-term issue and then feel too discouraged or overwhelmed by the idea to really take it on. Then we feel even worse about ourselves because once again, we didn’t do it. So we have another piece of chocolate or another cigarette and promise that maybe we’ll go the gym tomorrow.

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas Blues

Understanding & Coping with the Christmas BluesThe stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing or ...

Making Happy Changes in Your Holidays

Making Happy Changes in Your HolidaysThe holiday season has started and I’m often reminded of an elderly friend of mine. Whenever someone said “Have a happy holiday!” she always replied, “No, make it one.” She was right, of course. Happy holidays don’t just happen. Holidays are ...

OCD & the Holiday Season

OCD & the Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are firmly entrenched in the excitement, anticipation, and busyness of this time of year. Maybe we will visit friends or relatives. Perhaps a small army of loved ones will descend upon us in ...

Meet the Parents: Navigating the Holiday Dinner without the Stress

Meet the Parents: Navigating Holiday Dinner without the StressWith holidays approaching, my son-in-law reminisced about the first time he came for a holiday meal. He and my daughter had only been dating for awhile. They each weren’t sure if they had met “The One” but were ...

9 Tips to Cope with Holiday Depression

9 Tips to Cope with Holiday DepressionThe stress of the holidays triggers sadness and depression for many people. This time of year is especially difficult because there’s an expectation of feeling merry and generous. People compare their emotions to what they assume others are experiencing ...

How to Manage Post-Holiday Depression

How to Manage Post-Holiday DepressionIt’s a let-down for many. After weeks, maybe even months, of decorating, shopping and wrapping, baking, visiting and being visited, the whole thing is over in a day or two. Suddenly, the display that seemed so essential to get ...

5 Tips on How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

5 Tips on How to Keep New Year's ResolutionsWhy bother to make resolutions and then feel disappointed or guilty for breaking them? Do you get excited and resolve to change, but within days or weeks lose interest and can’t motivate yourself? Wonder why you ...

Re-Gifting or Re-Giving?

Re-gifting or Re-giving?General wisdom these days declares that passing along a gift is tacky. Reasonable people get unreasonably offended when they even suspect that the puce scarf, the mug that says “It is All about Me,” or a silver-plated triple bonbon dish was first given to ...

Parents Gone Wild at Easter Egg Hunt

Parents Gone Wild at Easter Egg HuntThe headline on our local paper reads, “A few rotten eggs spoil Easter Hunt.” Parents, who were supposed to stay behind the ropes at an egg hunt event for young children, leapt into the kid fray, scooping up eggs ...

Valentine’s Day & Parental LOVE

Valentines Day & Parental LOVEDid you know that about 40 percent of the 180 million Valentine's cards purchased this year will be bought by parents? It makes sense if you think about it. Our little ones, even when not so little anymore, live in our ...

It’s January: Have You Started Your Christmas Shopping?

Its January: Have You Started Your Christmas Shopping? Believe it or not, I’ve already started Christmas shopping for next year. With a big family and a small budget, it’s the best way I’ve found to make Christmas special. Quite apart from practical considerations, I love ...

A Special New Year’s Resolution for Procrastinators

A Special New Years Resolution for Procrastinators Procrastinators rejoice! The coming of the New Year is a fantastic opportunity for you to energize yourself toward achieving your goals. If you are a big procrastinator, you may be skeptical of resolutions; for you, resolutions might be ...