Category Archives: family connection

How to Maintain Balance During the Holiday Season

How to Maintain Balance During the Holiday Season

A pattern that I have observed within my clients and myself is using the holidays as an excuse for overindulgence. However, behaviors such as overeating, binge drinking, excessive spending, and failing to maintain interpersonal boundaries can lead to us feeling fatigued and out of balance as we enter the new year. Here are some self-care tips to help you and your family have relaxing and rejuvenating holiday season!

Listen to your body!

So many of our favorite holiday traditions are centered on large hearty meals and decadent sweet treats. While these foods cause temporary happiness, they often leave you feeling sluggish and unmotivated. These feelings make it difficult to engage in self-care activities such as exercise and spending time in nature. Although I am not suggesting that you deprive yourself this holiday season, I am suggesting that you notice how specific foods and beverages alter your mood! Simple modifications, such as drinking plenty of water and eating smaller portions may allow you to be more present with yourself and your family.

Create Space for Self-Reflection

Are you and your partner having arguments about excessive spending during the holidays? Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells around your family members to avoid conflict? Is this your first holiday season after losing a loved one? The holidays bring up more emotions than just joyfulness and gratitude. Many people choose to numb painful emotions with food or alcohol. Although this may work temporarily, these emotions will eventually return or even intensify. Instead, try creating space to feel your feelings through mindfulness, journaling, or confiding in a trusted other!

It is okay to say no!

A lot of holiday stress stems from trying to please everyone. Remember, it is okay for you to say no to travel plans or holiday events if they become overwhelming. Try sitting down with your family and prioritizing the events and traditions that are the most meaningful to you and create a plan! If saying no results in feelings of guilt, try reminding yourself how much more present you will be with your family when you are not thinking about the next five events you have to attend!

Stop Competing!

In a world in which everyone is posting their “highlight reel” on Social Media, it is easy to compare your holiday experiences to those of friends, family members, and even strangers. Doing so can leave you feeling like inadequate or like you missed out on something better. Remember that you are comparing the highlights of someone else’s holidays to the entire experience of your own. It may be helpful to take a break from Social Media (or at least limit your exposure) this holiday season. Doing so will not only eliminate pressure, but it will also allow space for you to be grateful for the many blessings of 2019.

Happy Holidays!

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author

Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old.

 

Presence over Presents – Living this December Intentionally without Going Crazy

Presence over Presents – Living this December Intentionally without Going Crazy

  December can be an amazing and busy time of year. Filled with fun activities, this time of year can also come with party invitations, special events, and out of the ordinary obligations. Add to that the stress of shopping for the perfect gift, cleaning your house for your in-laws, and coming up with new… Continue Reading

Anxiety and Your Teen – Black and White Thinking

Anxiety and Your Teen – Black and White Thinking

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. Anxiety can be feelings of uneasiness, worry, nervousness, or even dread. It’s natural and healthy for your teen to experience some anxiety at different times. Sometimes, anxiety can even be motivating; like if it encourages your teen to study for that science test! But teens can also experience unhealthy and troublesome… Continue Reading

Can You Hear Me?? The Importance of Validation

Can You Hear Me?? The Importance of Validation

Validation can be the difference between happy and unhappy relationships but is sometimes one of the toughest things for families to show and communicate to each other. One of the most common things I hear as a counselor is “they don’t hear me!” Couples come in and describe wanting to be heard by their partner,… Continue Reading

Mental Health and Your Child Part 2: Questions to Ask Your Future Therapist

Mental Health and Your Child Part 2: Questions to Ask Your Future Therapist

Making the decision to take your child to counseling can be overwhelming. In part 1 of this series, we talked about how and where to find a good therapist. Now, let’s narrow it down to finding a good fit for you, your child, and your family. When starting out on your search one of the… Continue Reading

Five Family Therapy Exercises You Don’t Need Therapy to Do

The first couple sessions of family counseling can be difficult as you navigate a new relationship with a counselor and share your families’ struggles. Once in family counseling all of that hard work clears a path for new ways of communicating and re-building those relationships that you have missed. But as a family counselor, I… Continue Reading

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Family

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Your Family

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday for couples to celebrate all of the things you love about each other. There’s nothing funner than to celebrate the love you share between one another and all the great things you share in your relationship. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be for lovers. Valentine’s Day is… Continue Reading

MENU