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Printed with permission from CBeyondFractals

Beating the Holiday Blues – Jill Raiguel, MFT

Do you dread the holidays?  Are you afraid of slipping into negative habits: Do you feel pressured to spend time with people you don’t like?  Do you feel out of control?

            Applying some holiday Life Skills lessons, you can begin to create a meaningful, fun and nurturing holiday for you and your family whatever holiday you celebrate.

Susan told me last year, I wish it were over; I just want to fast-forward to January 1st and be done with the holidays.” This powerful businesswoman already felt overwhelmed and disappointed before Thanksgiving. Susan and her children were going to the obligatory dinner with relations who drank too much.  She disliked their negative attitude about life and the bad example they set for her kids. And, she certainly didn’t feel like buying them presents.

Then I offered, “What if you didn’t go?  Or, what if you went for 30 minutes and then created just what you and your kids wanted to do? What would that be?  What would be nurturing and festive for each person?  Listen to everyone and create a plan together. Make your own family tradition that meets your needs.”

Susan did just that.  She didn’t want to cook, her son wanted to see a new movie, and her daughter wanted to do a puzzle. She and her kids stopped by the relatives and left quickly, then had their own holiday.  Susan told me it was the best holiday they’d had in years.  Susan took back her power, set her boundaries, and created what she needed.  And, she modeled all that for her kids.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What do I need?
  2. What’s meaningful to me?
  3. What fun for me?
  4. Am I overextending?

Jill Raiguel, MFT, is author of Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery. Beating the Holiday Blues is taken from her book.  She is formerly an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona, Calif, and formerly psychotherapist at Kohut Psychiatric Medical Group. She has a private practice and trains people in her work.



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