Holiday Stress Test

December 6, 2009

Do you find yourself increasingly dreading the holidays? Do you find the shopping amongst hoards of desperate shoppers, the selecting of just the right gifts, the cooking of wonderful holiday treats and many get togethers of family and friends to be really less than joyful?

How do you know if you are managing your extra work–and the inevitable anxiety that comes with having more to do and more excitement–or if you are suffering from so much holiday stress that you need to do something to handle your holiday time differently (or risk a true holiday melt down)!

Answer these few holiday stress questions to help you assess how stressed you are this holiday season:

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Holiday Drinking

December 3, 2009

Many people increase their alcohol consumption during this holiday time. There are a number of reasons for this. Certainly there are more social gatherings, parties and celebrations with friends and family and alcohol is often part of that celebration. In addition, however, some people trying to go to those parties are struggling with social anxiety, shyness or worry about how to handle themselves or the people who will be there. This is often when they turn to alcohol to decrease their anxiety and help them tolerate the situation. They may even feel they interact better with a few drinks.

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Missing Your Loved One During the Holidays

December 2, 2009

The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time surrounded by family and loving feelings. But what happens when someone you loved that was always part of your holiday is gone? Grieving is difficult enough, but the holidays tend to make the absence feel worse. In addition, the disparity between the happy holiday feelings others are having and the mourning you are feeling can make you feel really removed from the whole holiday spirit. Read the rest of this entry »


Holiday Reconciliations – Tips on Mending Family Bonds

November 30, 2009

The holidays are centered around being together with family—sharing time and a meal together. Because it is the family day of the year, when there are estranged family members involved, you tend to feel the hurt and the loss more acutely. Similarly, when there is family for whom you have tremendous anger and hostility, coming together for the holiday can be excruciatingly stressful. Read the rest of this entry »


The Monday After

November 30, 2009

It is the day after the Thanksgiving weekend and many of you are basking in the glow of having been with close family and friends. Also many of you are breathing for the first day in the last 4 or 5 after a marathon of cooking, hostessing, cleaning and dealing with family politics of the highest order.

Some may even be dealing with dread as they ponder the upcoming December holidays because there was personal tension, criticism and perhaps even a fight at Thanksgiving. When a lot of family comes together with high expectations, you can be sure there will be some tension and arguing. Read the rest of this entry »


Managing Holiday Expectations

November 22, 2009

This will no doubt be a very emotionally difficult holiday season, and most everyone will not be able to afford to buy whatever they did  in better financial times.

Holidays are often felt as celebrations requiring plenty of food, decorations and presents to make it special and fun. From Thanksgiving through Christmas stores will be providing tons of temptations with sales and kids doing their usual “PLEASE, can I have that?” The guilt from whatever you feel you have not gotten for your child (time with you, having more fun with them, past items you couldn’t buy) may propel you further to desire buying more than you can afford. Read the rest of this entry »


Handling Holiday House Guests

November 22, 2009

Holidays seem synonymous with spending time with family. But oftentimes, staying together with family can drive you nuts. Family relationships can be really wonderful but they can also be loaded with all kinds of issues from the past. Read the rest of this entry »