How to Make your Family Holiday Travel Joyful instead of Woeful

Extended families want to be together during the holiday season. This inevitably means that some part of the family will need to travel to spend the season with their loved ones. As an adult, preparing for the holidays, planning the meals, planning the trip, packing and getting to your destination can be stressful. What parents sometimes overlook is the impact that this travel can have on their children.  Whether it is a reaction to your additional stress, the change in their schedule or diet, the holidays are ripe with opportunities for children to exhibit bad behavior. Here are some tips to help get you through you trip in one piece and still speaking to each other: Be realistic – As a parent, you need to realize that the trip is not going to be perfect. There will be some bumps either minor or major along the way. Try and stay calm when these occur so that your emotions aren’t transferred over to your children. Make light of the situation if possible. Try and turn it into a game or an opportunity for the family to offer solutions to the issue. Set expectations – Prior to your trip, talk to your child about what you will be doing. Go into detail about the trip, where you will be staying, as well as any special dinners or events that they will be participating in. Make sure that they also know what you are expecting of them. Whether it is to wear fancy clothes, eat with “the good china”, or go out to an event, let them know how they should behave.  If time allows, practice their behavior in specific situations. When children are placed into an unknown [...]

5 Tips for Handling Holiday Stress

  From Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, this time of year can be stressful.  During this time, most if not all stress is caused by these three things; money, people (family and friends alike) or time. This year, you can make the holiday season less stressful by following these 5 tips: 1)    Plan Ahead: Put together a schedule for shopping, baking, decorating, parties and visiting. By putting it in writing, you can see any areas of overlap or times when you have overcommitted yourself and can move items prior to them occurring. If you are going to be cooking, baking and wrapping gifts, use a shopping list to make sure you have all ingredients and materials on hand. That will help alleviate the late night shopping trip for forgotten items. 2)    Set and Stick to a Budget: During this time of year, we have a tendency to want to do all things for all people. By putting together a budget, you can identify how much you will be spending on gifts, food, travel and other items. 3)    Be Realistic: Let’s face it; your holiday is not going to be perfect. Striving to make everything just so, just like last year or just like your neighbor’s holiday is only going to make you stressed out. Take joy in the quirks or mishaps that will occur to make this holiday season unique for you, your family and friends. 4)    Just Say “No”: It is okay to say no to additional holiday commitments. While you may think that saying yes is expected or the “right thing to do”, it can end up making you feel overwhelmed and in some cases downright resentful.  By [...]

By |December 7th, 2012|Categories: Anxiety, Blog, Stress|Tags: , , |0 Comments

6 Tips To Reboot Your Weight Loss Program

The New Year is in motion and how are you doing with your new year’s resolution weight loss goals?  Did you do well for a few weeks and now you are feeling depressed because you haven’t been able to stick with the plan? We have seen the amazing weight loss success of the singer and actress Jennifer Hudson.  Her amazing transformation was so impressive that it is even hard to recognize her.  But how did she do it?  Through the adversities in life, the brutal murder of her dear mom, brother and young nephew, Hudson has been able to find internal motivation to make healthy changes in her life.   You also have experienced adversities in your life; financial problems, a loss of a loved one, a break-up, disappointments, frustrations, and changes in your schedule, making it very difficult to focus on dieting.  Jennifer Hudson speaks about the love for her son and husband as a source of energy she used to stay focused.  What are some of the positive things that have helped you stay focused on your wellness plan?  Maybe your family, children, friends and workout buddies have helped you stay focused in the past.  Select key people in your life to hold you accountable and to get you back on track. First of all, before starting a diet or exercise program, make sure you have consulted your doctor.  If you have started your program but have not been able to stick with the plan, here are some tips to reboot your weight loss program. Learn the Oh, Well technique: when you start to feel deprived about restricting your food, work toward acceptance:  If I want to lose weight, be healthier, I have to [...]

Are You Considering Divorce? Here are 6 New Attitudes You Can Adopt To Improve Your Marriage

Are you thinking about getting a divorce?  Have you tried different things to improve your marriage but nothing seems to work?  In the beginning you were extremely happy before marriage and expected that the marriage would only enhance your relationship with your partner.  For some couples, their marriage did not live up to the dreams they had about how life would be after marriage.  Some couples experienced joy for a while, however, now they are living in a valley of pain, emptiness and frustration. You don’t want to divorce so you tried counseling, but somewhere along the way both of you gave up, you read books about marriage by yourself, and even tried to confront your partner in a gentle manner and your partner responded with silence making you react in negatively towards your spouse. In every marriage, both partners can take positive steps that have the potential for changing the emotional climate in a marriage. Here are six new attitudes described by Chapman (2008) you can adopt to start making positive changes in your marriage.  Focus on reality by telling yourself: You are responsible for own your attitude: the reality is that you can’t control the environment. Some situations are inevitable; however, you can choose to focus on what is positive in your life. Attitude has to do with the way you choose to look at a certain situation. Your attitude affects your behavior: if you have a negative attitude, you will express it in negative words and actions. Chapman (2008) explained in his book Desperate Marriages that you may not be able to control your environment; however, you can control your attitude toward your environment. Your attitude and behaviors will greatly influence others. [...]

12 Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism, known as “alcohol dependence syndrome” is a disease that is characterized by craving, loss of control and physical dependence. Alcoholics, as well as being victims themselves, have an adverse impact on those with whom they associate. Research has shown that children of alcoholics develop some personalities traits that may impact their lives as an adult. Here are 12 characteristics of adult children of alcoholics described by Woitiz (1988): 1.Adult children of alcoholics guess what normal behavior is. 2.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end. 3.Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth. 4.Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy. 5.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun. 6.Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships. 7.Adult children of alcoholics over-react to changes over which they have no control. 8.Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation. 9.Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people. 10.Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible. 11.Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even if in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved. 12.Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. Research shows that adult children of alcoholics are at risk at becoming alcoholics, abusing drugs, attempting or committing suicide.  Also, they may develop patterns of compulsive behavior such as overeating and other eating disorders. And adult children of alcoholics tend to marry alcoholics partners. If you are an adult child of an alcoholic remember that you are not alone. Millions of people have grown up in families with alcohol-related problems. Because of the environment you grew up in, you had to develop [...]

5 Tips For Coping With Anxiety

Do you know what anxiety feels like? Anxiety can manifests in many different forms and it varies from person to person. A friend described her anxiety as an inability to breathe and chest tightness. Others may have anxiety symptoms such as muscle achiness, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and accelerated heart rate. We can experience anxiety almost everyday of our lives. We worry about a speech we have to give in front of an audience, we stress about our deadlines at work and school, and we get scared when we have to face a difficult situation. Anxiety is our body’s automatic response to danger; it’s like an alarm that goes off every time we feel threatened. According to Shallcross (2009) anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the nation, affecting 40 million adults or 18 percent of the adult population. Some of the well-known anxiety disorders are panic disorder, social disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobia. When we experience anxiety on a daily basis, it can have a negative impact on our relationships and activities, ultimately causing even more anxiety. Robert L. Leahy, author of Anxiety Free explains that our life-style today is very demanding, which is leading to the increase of anxiety in our society. We have to have the latest gadgets, we are driven by unrealistic ideas about our relationships and appearance and we demand more and more of ourselves. Also, the news from TV and newspapers are bombarding us with messages that say that we are in danger. However, it’s not about what the people or the news say that counts, but it’s about what we think that really counts. Change your perception and you will change the way that you feel. Here are [...]