Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tip of the Week, December 26, 2010

This is the time for resolutions. As you think about ways to improve your relationships, consider some of these possibilities:


Resolve to spend 20 minutes a day … every day … with each other just talking about your life and your day.

Resolve to visit your children’s rooms, go into their space, for 10 minutes every day and ask about their music, their friends, subjects of interest to them as people, not to you as a parent.

Those going through divorce or death of a spouse:
Resolve to build your friendship network with people of the same sex rather than rushing to find a new partner.


Practice random acts of kindness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Strategy Number 6: Beat the Holiday Blues by Honoring Rituals

Honor important old rituals and develop new ones. Rituals help promote a sense of well-being. Old ones can provide a sense of continuity through times of transition while developing new ones aids in accommodating to new situations.

Evaluate which rituals you want to keep and consider developing any new ones that might mark the positive things about you or your life right now.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Begin a holiday gratitude journal. Every night record just 3 things that have happened that day or in your life in general that you are grateful for and really appreciate.

Focus on what is good in your life right now rather than what is missing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tip of the Week, December 20, 2010

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...

~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strategy Number 4: Beat the Holiday Blues by Joining Others

Find a way to be around other people.
Look for groups through your community, neighborhood, church, synagogue or volunteer organization.

You don’t have to be with crowds and, unless you have family, probably not around others with family.

Look for opportunities to connect with others who might be in a situation similar to your own rather than with people who are bonded with others.

Look for others who emphasize the goodness about you rather than what is missing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Strategy Number 3: Beat the Holiday Blues by Doing for Others

Do something for others. Putting your life’s situation in perspective can be helped by recognizing what others are experiencing. While their situation may not even be as difficult as your own, focusing on someone else and taking the focus off of yourself can be an important mental health antidote for the holiday blues. Besides, it feels good to help someone else and lift their own burden.

Bake cookies for neighbors. Adopt a family from an angel tree. Make some crafts and visit a nursing home. Invite a niece or nephew to a holiday program. Consider inviting those without family connections to your home for a holiday meal.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Strategy Number 2: Beat the Holiday Blues by Setting Realistic Expectations

Have realistic expectations for yourself and your family.

Remember holidays of the past and do not expect this year to be much different.

Remember, you can work yourself into a pretzel trying to make them special, but you have no control over others in your family and they may never appreciate what you do for them.

You may fantasize about your hopes and dreams for the holidays, however, it may only BE hopes and dreams.

Be realistic about yourself and your family as you move into the holidays. Look for small positive things and focus on them rather than what is missing.

Find ways to create meaning in these holidays for yourself but know that it may not mean the same for others.

Counseling Relationships Online

Couples Counseling of Louisville
Healing from Affairs

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tip of the Week, December 5, 2010

The way that you think about your relationships and your life affects the way that you feel about yourself, your life and others. When you are able to think positively about life, you will feel better.

Try an experiment for today. Choose one relationship that is troublesome to you … and find a way to look for a positive in that situation or that person.

If your boss is difficult, think of one thing about her/him that is positive such as “He does have a good smile” or “She did say that she likes the way that I handle customers.” If that is not possible, think of a positive thing about the situation such as “I am only at this job 40 hours a week and have many other things in my life that are fulfilling such as my spouse, children, home, etc. … and I can put this all in perspective.”

One woman recently told me that she was surprised by how much better she felt after she changed one habit. She no longer spent time with co-workers who were unhappy with the job and constantly complaining. Instead, she tried to only talk with others about neutral or positive things about the job … or about her life. Her job and the problems did not change but they were no longer so overwhelming for her and she no longer found herself thinking so much about them.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Strategy Number 1: Beat the Holiday Blues by Shaking Hands with Them

Shake hands with your loneliness or sadness. Recognize that this is just something that affects you. It is NOT you; however, just something that you are experiencing and may have experienced before.

This may be a familiar feeling or may be new due to a change in your life or circumstances. Acknowledge its presence. Take some time to think about it and then look for ways to focus on other things.

Talk out loud about it. Write about it. Cry about it, if that helps. Do a little work to understand the meaning of it in your life and then find ways to let it go, at least for awhile.

You may need to allow yourself time to think or grieve throughout the holidays but look for ways to let it go the rest of the time.

Counseling Relationships Online

Healing from Affairs
Couples Counseling of Louisville

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

6 Strategies for Easing the Holiday Blues

Are you alone and lonely over the Christmas Holidays?
Do you look with sadness on those who seem to be happy with their lives and feel that yours is empty?
Do you dread the looming, empty New Years Eve?
Do the holiday blues seem stronger than ever before?

Holidays can produce a time of loneliness and sadness for many people who regularly experience the holiday blues.

What causes the holiday blues?

The causes of holiday blues are varied. Sometimes they are caused by childhood experiences which seem to always bring a pall of sadness over the season. No matter how you try to shake it, memories, smells, sights and sounds seem to bring on sadness.

Jean could not understand why, but every time she smelt a cinnamon candle, she found herself feeling sad. She remembered that her mother always burned a candle over the holidays and they were not happy times for her.

Tom hated Christmas Eve. His father would always begin his celebration by drinking heavily and the family pretty much expected him to become abusive and angry for the rest of the holiday.


At other times, holiday blues are brought on by a change in life. Divorce or death of a spouse impacts in so many ways. Death of a parent or close friend can also be hard to handle at any time but especially over the holidays.

Moves from home, living alone, a change in health or friendships can also impact happiness and bring on the holiday blues.

Is the best strategy to beat the holiday blues to just keep your head down and plunge through?

Usually, that is not the best approach. There is no one right answer for how to handle the holiday blues but there are some strategies that can have an impact. We will be sharing them over the next few days. We would also be interested in your experiences so please share them here with all of us.