Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Posts tagged ‘holiday season’

December Message

Merry xmasBlack Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday… the holiday season has officially started! Like it or not, holiday commercialism is the norm in our country. While it’s easy to be pulled into the buying frenzy, don’t lose sight of the relationships in your life that are important-treat them with care, spend time improving them and celebrate the relationships that make you feel good. Remember, you can’t buy a healthy relationship, or use a “discount” code at checkout. Happy Holidays!

Book of the Month

Holiday Blues: Rediscovering the Art of Celebration; A 12-Month Guide to Getting Everything You Want Out of Holidays and Family Gatherings

-Herbert Rappaport

Holiday BluesFew people may admit it, but many of us dread holidays, a time when expectations and obligations run high — and so do stress and depression. Even those who think they have no conflicts may suffer from post-holiday letdown. The insight in this wise, realistic self-help book resonates at all times of the year, not just during the major religious and secular events. Providing valuable suggestions for surviving and enjoying holidays, it also addresses birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, and other special occasions that occur on a regular basis; even Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Fascinating case studies put a human face on this condition shared by so many, helping to illustrate a variety of classic seasonal conflicts in a sympathetic and result-oriented manner. A guide to specific personality types, such as the Juggler, the Perfectionist, the Merrymaker, and the Loner, helps the reader identify and understand personal sources of holiday anxiety, and suggests ways to resolve them.


December Message

Well I don’t know about you, but I have NO idea where this year has gone- I swear I was just writing the New Year’s message just yesterday. The holidays aMerry Christmasre here (like it or not!) and the next 4 weeks will be full of rushing around, spending too much money, bickering with loved ones and stressing out. Do I sound like a Scrooge? I’m really not- but the holidays can bring out either the best or worst in all of us, depending on how you handle things. In this month’s issue of Healthy Relationships, I try and give you some ideas of how to really enjoy the holidays again- bring back the feeling of magic that a holiday should be. Remember, you are in control of what you do, think and feel- and that includes the right to say “No” when needed. Don’t forget that the idea of a “traditional” family has changed for many of us- and with it the old routines and expectations that we had. Read here  for my latest interview with the Albuquerque Journal on what makes the holidays great in blended families. Above all- try and take care of yourself and the New Year will be here soon!

Book of The Month

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating

by Harold Ivan Smith

Suffering the loss of a loved one at any time of the year is difficult, yet during the holidays or special occasions, those grieving experience a more intense sense of loss. The world is moving forward and celebrating life and all its blessings, yet for grievers, a darkness pervades the holiday. This book is an invitation to Christmas and its companion holidays of the season which compose a grueling triathlon which begins on Thanksgiving and continues unabated for forty-five days until the last of the bowl games on New Year’s Day. Through quotes, prayers, Scriptures and the words of the author, A Decembered Grief is designed to guide the reader on the journey to healing.


Holiday Tips for Blended Families

The holidays are stressful for many people, but can be especially so for blended families. Unique families require unique solutions to their problems, so here are some tips to help navigate the holiday season and still have some good cheer.

  • Communication and planning- think of the entire holiday season, not just a couple of days. That will give you the opportunity to spread out the events so that all family members can participate. Consider that the days leading up to and after the holiday can be a part of the festivities.
  • Communicate with all family members well before the holiday, to try and avoid any last minute changes. Families and children get along better when they know what to expect, as much as possible. Be flexible on time but strict on communications.
  • Start your own traditions and rituals, blending some of the old with new. Have each child bring one idea that was meaningful to them, into the new family. Make time for all the children’s ideas to be a part of the new family tradition.
  • Put aside your ill feelings towards your ex and model some good behavior for your own children- adhere to the custody agreements, help your children with picking out gifts for their other parents and decorations for the other house. This will help them feel more in control of the situation, and give them a sense of belonging.
  • Do something different from the usual- try having appetizers and finger food instead of a full sit down dinner, open presents three days before Christmas, plan a craft or game instead of the usual movie. Being different will create a sense of fun and energy.

And if things seem to be falling apart, remember two things:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuff- life is not perfect and the holiday won’t be either, so try and relax
  • It will get easier with time- as the years pass you will have more traditions that you can count on.

Have a good Christmas!

Kelly Chicas 2011

How Many Days Until Spring?

It is common for the month of January and the start of a New Year to stir up a multitude of emotions.   Do you ever:

  • Think “thank goodness” when realizing the holiday season is over?
  • Feel sluggish about returning to work?
  • Experience an emotional “let-down” after the holiday season?
  • Find it hard to “get back into a routine” after January 1st?
  • Count the days until the next 3-day weekend?

If so, you are not alone. Many individuals (of all ages) experience a post-holiday slump.  Consider these possibilities (or brainstorm additional ideas):

  • Continue support to service organizations that provide care to individuals or families who are having a rough time makings ends meet.  The act of sharing feels good at any time of year.
  • Increase “movement.” Many local gyms offer specials or trial-periods.
  • If you miss the holiday social-circuit:  invite a friend to coffee, meet friends at a café for lunch (no clean up), e-invite neighbors to a potluck.
  • If you are already physically active, try something new:  indoor rock-climbing, bowling, hike the foothills, yoga, Nia, or Zumba!
  • For non-football fans:  go to the movie theater when the Super bowl airs, grocery shop after the game has started, take a nap.  Enjoy the quiet!
  • Schedule an annual physical and review health concerns with your doctor.
  • Give Your Permission to not make a New Year’s resolution.  Just “be” in the moment.
  • Affirm each one of the 31 days in January as part of your unfolding year.

Happy New Year

Whew! We made it through the holiday season. The New Year is here, ready or not. I know many of my clients are happy to have 2009 in the past. How do you feel about the New Year? Are you someone who enjoys making new resolutions and goals each year? For many people, January represents a time of new beginnings, new goals, and a renewal of hope that they can change things for the better. For others, they remember the resolutions that they made last year that were not fulfilled. Whichever side you agree with, January is still a time to regroup and decide what your wants and needs are for this coming year.

This month, we give you several ideas on how to have better self care, re-evaluate your life course and slooow down a bit after the chaotic holiday season.

Check back next week for the first idea!

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