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Hints for Handling the Holidays (part 2)

Holidays can be a stressful time for any number of reasons. We may have (unrealistically) high expectations for a "perfect" celebration. The loss of a loved one, a job or a significant relationship may leave us feeling down, not really wanting to celebrate at all. Lack of resources, loneliness or clinical depression may also interfere with our enjoyment of the season. Here are some suggestions and resources for surviving and finding joy in the holiday season.

Feeling Lonely This Year?

  • Reach out and connect or reconnect with someone special to you

  • Try volunteering to help others (,,,

  • Seek out someone to share your thoughts and feelings with

  • Create community (Play a game with others online, share a meal outdoors)

  • Get a pet if you are prepared to care for one, or offer to pet sit for someone

  • Telephone supportive people - family or friends

  • Send some personal notes/cards

  • Spend some time with nature and in the sunshine when there is some!

10 Tips for Dealing with Holiday Blue for the divorced (

  1. Start planning your holiday now

  2. Don't withdraw from key relationships

  3. Connect to the spirit of the holiday

  4. Be good to yourself

  5. Don't call your ex on impulse

  6. Serve and help others

  7. Savor instead of overeating

  8. Get out in nature

  9. Don't allow yourself one-night stands

  10. Call an old friend as a surprise

Do you have other suggestions on ways to handle the holidays?

Additional Resources:

Caplan, M. When Holidays are Hell!: A Guide to Surviving Family Gatherings. (Hohm Press, 1997

Dummer, Lucinda A. Christmas Makes me Crazy: A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Enjoying the Holidays (New Ideas for Happier Holidays). (DTS Press, 1992)

Gatuskin, Z. L., Miller, M., and Willson, H. (Eds.). Christmas Blues: Behind the Holiday Mask, An Anthology. (Amador Publishers 1995)

Robinson, J. & Staeheli, J. Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love & Joy Back Into the Season. (wm. Morrow and Co., 1991)

Dr. Anita L. Hauenstein is a licensed psychologist, ordained minister and energy worker. In a private practice setting, Dr. Hauenstein blends her skills and experience to assist clients with transitions through all kinds of life circumstances - grief and loss, relationship issues, career changes and soul questions or crises, to name a few. More about Anita can be found at

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