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  Rhonda Rabow’s Newsletter

Rhonda Rabow, M.A.
Licensed Psychotherapist


Empowerment Quote

 communicating by Rhonda Rabow The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness. Helen Keller

It is getting close to that time of year again. Making lists, running around, looking for bargains, watching the clock, and rushing. This of course, does not include cleaning the house, decorating the tree, buying the perfect gifts, staying within budget, finding the Menorah, figuring out what to wear for yourself and the children and planning the perfect holiday.

As Dr. Phil would say, "how's that working for you?". Many people find that preparing for the holidays stresses them out so much that they are too exhausted to actually enjoy it. How sad is that? Sometimes staying focused, organized and "not sweating the small stuff" can go far towards decreasing the stress while accomplishing all the tasks. Impossible you say? Maybe not, look over these tips and see if they help.

8 Tips for a stress-free holiday

  1. Manage your expectations and realize that you can't change people. If you know some of the guests have a history of being difficult or critical, don't expect them to be different this time. Be polite but keep your distance. Don't sit next to them and don't engage in heavy conversation.
  2. Manage your time. Make a list of everything that needs to be done, than prioritize.
  3. Ask for help. You don't have to do everything yourself. Ask someone to bring in a desert, or make the salad, or bring an appetizer.
  4. Make sleep a priority. Waking up exhausted will affect your energy, motivation and focus
  5. Set limits. Don't aim for perfection, aim for "good enough". The purpose of getting together with family is to celebrate relationships and loving memories, not if the silverware is perfect or if the rug looks worn.
  6. When feeling stressed and overwhelmed, take a few minutes to do my deep breathing exercises, listen to relaxing music, take a bath or chat with a supportive friend.
  7. Prepare mentally and physically for the dinner. Make sure you slept well, don't drink too much before or during the dinner. Make sure the kids are not hungry and had a nap before leaving your home. Review your list to make sure you have accomplished most of what was needed. Don't focus on what you forgot or didn't have time to do, focus on the primary reason you are having this get-together. It is to connect and re- connect with those friends and family members who have meant a lot to you and your children. People you shared a history with and who meant a great deal to you at one time. The purpose is to remember past holiday celebrations and create new warm memories.
  8. When your mind and body feel more relaxed, organized and prepared, you will also feel more confidant, empowered and tolerant. Being in this head space is the best guarantee that you will enjoy a wonderful holiday, maybe the best you have had in years. Enjoy!
Happy holidays,

Rhonda Rabow, M.A.
Counseling Psychology, Psychotherapist
Please feel free to email me at: info@rhondarabow.com
or call me at 514-626-4609

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