So often we cause ourselves unnecessary distress because of the way we interpret what others have said or done. We may become anxious, sad, angry, resentful, or insecure because of someone else's words or actions, or even their silence and inaction.
My Martha Stewart holiday plans were wildly unrealistic. As a new parent, hosting new grandparents, I felt an overwhelming responsibility to create Norman Rockwell holidays. Since we don't live in oil paintings, this was never going to actually happen.
No matter what is causing our "winter blues," it is important to stay on our own side and have faith that these moods can and will pass. To fight these battles, we must believe in our own resilience, in our ability to tolerate pain and to overcome the inevitable hurdles life brings.
Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's -- these are supposed to be times of celebration, togetherness, and happiness. Yet, they can bring challenges to our physical and emotional health. Here are eight tips for staying healthy and happy during this season of joy.
While this is traditionally called "the most wonderful time of the year," it is also traditionally the most stressful time of year -- at least for many (if not most) of us. Here's a little something to relieve some of that stress and hopefully put a little more jolly in your holiday.
Chances are, the holidays are going to include some stress -- especially if you're dealing with illness, grief, or other serious life challenge. However, if you go into them by taking responsibility for what you can control, there's a good chance they will be more joy-filled.
Working as a professional, being a mother with lots of friends and family, and carrying the local reputation of social doyenne meant that the busyness of shopping, wrapping, and party-throwing ran my elf legs ragged. For years, the days between Thanksgiving and mid-January were a battle.
I no longer can spare the time, money, desire or hopefulness to cram a lifetime of high expectations into two 24-hour days from Dec. 24 through Dec. 25. So I am stepping back from the false notion of nostalgia and admitting my addiction to the holiday crazies.
Ebenezer Scrooge understood one needs to take care of oneself before it's even possible to take care of anyone else. His problem was that he didn't take the step of investing in his own joy, nourishing his body or his soul, and therefore couldn't be bothered to take care of anyone else.
Sugar plums aren't the only things that dance through our heads during the holiday season. For those among us whose holidays have been shaken up by loss or family rupture, addiction or illness, the holidays can remind us not only of what we have, but of what feels missing.
This time of the year I get a barrage of patients who feel terribly stressed due to the holidays. I tell my patients they have a choice: participate in the frenzy of the season, or reduce stress by changing their view and celebrating in a way that is unique to them and truly theirs.
In real life, unless you have a personal event planner or live in the Land of Oz, it's difficult, stressful and maybe even impossible to pull off the perfect holiday. Here are a few ways to calm your nerves and your expectations during the "most wonderful time of the year."
"How am I going to make it through the holidays?" It's a common cry. But wait. What if it doesn't have to be like this at all? What if you could have the holiday season be a time of ease, satisfaction, and fun? Does this sound too good to be true?
Have you thought of what you need to do to get through the holidays? No, I'm not talking about gift lists. I am talking about you. Have you thought about what you need so you don't go crazy at some point before the New Year?
As opposed to a family scapegoat -- an immediate family member at whom we direct unprocessed anxiety or anger -- a "safe-goat" is a person far enough outside our immediate family system at whom we can direct unprocessed anxiety or anger without inflaming conflicts between present members.
You do yoga, drink green tea, and read every self-improvement book that comes out. You have it together, you are evolved, and you've got the whole emotional intelligence thing under control. And then the fourth Thursday of November approaches. Yup, it's time to go home for the holidays.
Once you've made the decision of how you're going to handle the holidays, with either all the delight or burden it can bring, go about systematically making decisions that are in line with that result.
There are many reasons why we suffer from holiday stress, but one of the reasons is we unknowingly put undue pressure on ourselves with unrealistic expectations that generally revolve around family, friends, time management and spending.