A Psychological Approach to a Happier Holiday Season


Don’t Let Holiday Stress Wear You Out…

The holiday season is underway…how’s it going for you?

Each year, these weeks present many opportunities for celebrations, surprises, fun and good will. Yet along with the merriment comes something less desirable: stress. All the shopping, preparing and socializing–all the expectations–can take a toll on your psychological well-being.

Fortunately, there are conscious steps each of us can take to prevent holiday stress from taking over. We’ve put together a few articles we hope might help ensure a worry-free season.

1. The Secret to a Happier Family Holiday Season

The holiday season and dysfunctional family dynamics go together like a stocking full of presents and an empty wallet. You get in a fight with your brother about how to best carve a ham or with your sister about what temperature the casserole should be cooked at. Your parents are breathing down your neck about your “lifestyle” choices, and it’s taking all of your energy not to walk out. The movies and TV shows we watch this time of year imply it’s impossible to get through the holidays without infighting between family members, but this simply is not true. You can make the decision to do things differently this year. Here’s a ten step plan to a happier family holiday season that may help.

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2. How to Defeat the Impulse Buy

What’s the our best defense against holiday shopping excesses? Willpower probably won’t cut it when it comes to avoiding the impulse buy.

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3. Surviving Holiday Small Talk

‘Tis the season for awkward gatherings. How do you get a good conversation rolling with a perfect stranger? Here’s a 5 step guide from psychology professor and expert in small talk, Bernardo Carducci…

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4. Making the Most of the Holiday Season

If you’re already experiencing stress in other areas of your life, you may be especially vulnerable to increased anxiety during the holidays. However, it is important to view the holidays as an opportunity to enhance your psychological well-being. Remember, there are conscious steps you can take to prevent holiday stress and ensure a worry-free season. Here are some tips from the American Psychological Association to help you handle holiday stress…

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Wishing you a happy, stress-free holiday season!

Barbara and Conor


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“I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. I feel that the standard of course delivery was excellent. The environment created by both Barbara and Conor was open, informative and promoted individual participation. I would fully recommend this course.” – Anne-Marie Kelly

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