How to get through the holidays …


How to get through the holidays with out getting bogged down….with sad emotions, with too much to do, with too much to buy, and not enough money. The days are getting shorter and the colors are changing, so to must we change. As the season hype hits….try these tips:

1) Get Outside! Walks, even in the rain are refreshing. Try to go out side in the day light, take the kids to the park. They may get muddy and dirty, but follow the trip with soup, crackers, a hot bath and stories!

2) Fill the house with interesting smells: branches of a bay tree, vanilla, or lavender.  The sense of smell has a direct connection with the brain and can calm and sooth in an amazing way. Light real candles at dinner time. Try to sit down and eat together at least once  a week. Guard this time as sacred!

3) Try to prepare some comfort foods that are healthy. Potato soup, pumpkin pudding (just like pie but no fatty crust), tapioca pudding, bread (you can buy it frozen ready to pop in the oven)

4) Turn off the TV, electronics, facebook, for a day, or more. Have your family do the same. Limiting TV at this time of the year helps you as a parent. The commercials are made to make your child want that item, those clothes, and to be that person. Numerous studies have associated depression and negative behaviors in children (and adults) with excessive computer/electronic time.

5) Practice focusing on your thoughts and body for a few minutes a day. You can do yoga, meditation, prayer, read poetry. What ever helps you to slow down for a few minutes each day, breath deeply and focus on relaxing.

6) Show gratitude and give thanks both in your heart and verbally. This helps you to improve your mood to actually feel more positive. Rather than gifts, think of ways you can help others. Cards (even ones made by the kids), art work, simple hand made items, “coupons” good for a service you can do….back rubs, making a dinner, helping with yard work of family or friends, walks, dog or child care. These are gifts of the heart and have value beyond the surface.

7) Keep busy, but try to get enough sleep. Staying up all night to get something done may backfire and leave you more tired, more cranky and difficult to live with.

8) Limit your junk food and alcohol consumption. Both can lead to depressing weight gain, depressed immune systems (you are more likely to get sick) and make the holiday even more stressful. If you are prone to depression, seek a trusted friend or therapist in which to confide. Those feelings are real and should not be ignored.

The Holiday Season is exciting and fun….when it is under control!

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