Each of us has a child inside of us that loves the holiday season…the lights, the wonder of plays, spiritual traditions, our favorite foods, seeing frriends and family. As adults we can experience joy in spite of the fact that our lives may be very different. Come find a way to celebrate that fits your life now. In spite of changes like divorce, relocation, grief and loss, you can find a way or new ways to have meaning and peace during this season. Learn how to cope with family gatherings and dynamics. Fight self defeating physical and mental habits that stress you during the holidays. Stress and depression typically go up right after the new year. Prevent issues in the New Year with new strategies that beat the holiday blues!
From Beating the Holiday Blues Seminar
Ways To Beat Holiday Stress
Caring for Yourself
• Avoid self-defeating physical and mental habits that stress people during the holidays. (caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, sugar and not exercising)
• Consider your attitude, it can make a difference. Ask yourself: Is your situation a small, medium or large problem? How upset do you want to get over it, and for how long? Look at the possibilities around you, not the restrictions.
• Take time to walk and enjoy the holiday decorations. The first Christmas was marked with a long walk by the Holy Family to register with the census in Bethlehem. Don't turn your holiday into an ordeal, but mark it with simple traditions and lots of love and smiles.
• Use the cycle of Intention, Holiday Joy, Realize back to Intention
• Laugh! You can't be depressed or anxious and laugh at the same time. Daydream, make up stories, used your imagination.
• Losses and family issues often complicate holiday joy. Take control where you can and accept that it may take time to make changes. There is no right or wrong way to handle a holiday.
• If you are in a "transition" with a former partner and not with your children this holiday, make sure you spend the day with supportive family and/or friends. Avoid friends who speak negatively. Spend time with those that love you and want to help you move on by giving you new and better things to talk about.

Caring for/with Others
• Discuss with your family or friends, their values, wishes and choices. List the activities enjoyed in the past and star the ones they want to do again this year. Start to work on these intentions e.g., donate money to time to a cause
• Family gatherings have several concerns: not gathering, alcohol use, etc. Express yourself to others, accept what you cannot change.
• Change what you can: the day of a celebration, how much you do, what you expect of others.
• Write your children a special Thanksgiving or Christmas letter to read on that special day. The Thanksgiving letter could be a list of all the things you are thankful for, including the children.

Just remember, for the holidays and beyond...Practice Safe Stress!