5 Ways to Manage Stress When You’re Home for the Holidays

Commonly thought of as a joyful time of year, the holiday season is full of many wonderful events. Parties, exchanging gifts, decorating, baking, and other activities fill our calendars throughout the season. Returning home to visit family and friends is a common holiday activity that has become routine for many. Although visiting with family can bring cherished and happy moments, it can also be a source of stress.black and white photo of pensive man
If you typically face stressful situations when visiting family over the holidays, there are steps you can take to create the most positive experience possible. As you get ready for your holiday visit, review these tips to help keep calm for the duration of your stay:

Utilize Deep Breathing Exercises

In moments of intense stress, deep breathing is an exceptional way to hit the “pause button” on your body’s response to the situation. Using a breathing exercise when you are in the middle of a stressful situation will help reduce tension and ease anxiety within minutes.

Exercise Regularly

Not only is regular exercise wonderful for your physical health, but it is also essential in keeping your mind relaxed. Exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, and increase levels of endorphins in your body, which helps boost your mood (Mayo Clinic).

Avoid Discussing Controversial Subjects

Nothing can be more stressful at the dinner table (or anywhere else, for that matter) than being forced to participate in a conversation that deals with a controversial subject. Although you cannot control what subjects others bring up, you can control the conversation you introduce. Stay away from subjects that can stir up heated discussions among your family members. Keep conversations as friendly and positive as possible.

Let Go of Perfectionist Tendencies

Being a perfectionist during the holidays can create highly stressful situations. No matter how well you have planned your holiday gathering, things can (and do) go wrong. A side dish may end up being overcooked, you might forget to pack your holiday attire, or any other number of things could make your visit less-than-perfect. By learning to accept the occasional bumps, you will feel a lot more relaxed during your stay.

Plan a Relaxing Activity Each Day

The holidays can often become a flurry of activities, especially when going back home to stay with relatives. Between the cooking, cleaning, gift wrapping, and everything in between, you may not have a spare moment to decompress from it all. To help preserve your health and stress levels, plan something relaxing for each day of your visit. Take at least 30 minutes each day to engage in a favorite activity that will help you wind down. Read a book, take a warm bubble bath, do yoga, or anything else you consider to be relaxing.

from Catharine Toso’s Counseling Info http://ift.tt/2fZxGL3

5 Family Bonding Activities to Try this Holiday Season

The holiday season can get busy. With all of the hustle and bustle that surrounds holidays, sometimes the most important part gets lost in the mix. Regardless of your background, the holiday season is a perfect time to remember the most important people in our lives, our families. The holiday season provides an excellent opportunity to reconnect and bond with your special people. holiday wreath with ornaments

Build a Snowman or Watch a Holiday Movie

Depending on where you live, building a snowman with your loved ones is a great bonding activity. It’s not just for young children. Older children, adult children, and couples can enjoy the healthy and genuine fun that creating a snowman gives a family. Deck your snowman out in a holiday theme and hope the cooler temperatures guarantee your snowman will last. If you live somewhere where snow is not in the forecast, try watching a holiday movie together instead. You can watch one about a snowman, and you can use your imagination to create a unique snowman that doesn’t require snow. Let your imagination and bonding guide your ideas.

Decorate a Holiday Tree

A holiday tree shouldn’t get reserved for particular belief systems or traditions. If you live in a household where a holiday tree is a tradition, then kick off the holiday season by decorating it together. You can make your ornaments and get creative with the way you decorate the tree. Even if you are from a household where a holiday tree is not a tradition, you can start this tradition this year. A holiday tree is an excellent way to welcome the winter season. Break out a string of lights and inspire new tradition in your home.

Bake Cookies or Pies

Not much says it’s the holiday season like the scent of fresh cookies or pies. Even for the most health conscious amongst us, baking together is a great way to bond. Let young children get creative by decorating cookies or let older children get creative with ingredients. When you are finished baking, make sure you give yourself a break, and enjoy the fruits, or cookies and pies, of your labor by indulging together.

Read Holiday Stories

Reading a holiday story is a great way to start the holiday season. Take turns reading and doing voices for the characters. Reading opens up a world of creativity, and it’s a wonderful way to expand creativity and bond together.

Sing Holiday Songs

You don’t need a Billboard 100 voice to enjoy singing together. Let your guard down, and enjoy the company of your family by singing classic holiday songs. It’s a fun way to showcase your talents or showcase your humility.
During the holidays this year remember the people who give your life meaning. It’s easy to lose sight of the reason for the holiday season, but a perfect way to give thanks is by embracing your family and making time to bond.

from Catharine Toso’s: Family Counseling http://ift.tt/2gE0MAM

Dealing with Angry Children

Dealing with Angry Children

GenNxt Foundation

Radha was turned down from going out to play in the park by her mom.“You haven’t finished your homework yet Radha! You promised to do that before going out to play!”  her mom said. All of six years, Radha burst into tears, slammed down her books and ran into her room visibly angry and agitated.“That’s it!” shouted her mom. “You won’t go out till you finish your homework. And please stop throwing tantrums!!”
If you are a parent or a teacher, chances are you’ve been through this and well understand the predicament! Often we end up engaging in a shouting match with our kids—or freeze up, not knowing what to do—when an angry outburst occurs? Read on to learn the 10 rules of dealing with angry children.

1. Don’t yell or challenge your child when she’s angry:  Don’t try to tackle an anger outburst when the child is already mad. Tell…

View original post 801 more words

New Treatment May Reverse Alzheimer’s Damage.

New Treatment May Reverse Alzheimer’s Damage.

Ecle Studio

A new study that was reported in the journal Nature has challenged conventional wisdom on the effect Alzheimer’s disease has on the brain. Furthermore the technique used in the study may provide a pathway for a new form of treatment which can one day retrieve some of the memories that have already been lost.

Researchers working out of the Institute of Technology at Cambridge, and led Nobel Prize laureate Susumu Tonegawa, began by modifying genes in one group of mice that are linked to development of plaques in the brain. By doing this they induced memory loss in the mice in the same way that Alzheimer’s would.

The researchers modified another set of genes within the mice so that they would produce light sensitive proteins inside the neurons of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for creating short term memories and is usually the part…

View original post 230 more words

Does consciousness emerge from the brain?

Does consciousness emerge from the brain?

Good read on a classic question

Multisense Realism

My response to this answer on Quora:
An excellent answer which sums up the current neuroscientific perspective, and which I intend to demolish 🙂
What if we set consciousness aside for a moment and use some other examples?
A conventional camera exposes film to visible light, yet the image is not visible. The visibility of the image depends on a process of chemical development, however that process is not changing the image-related information that is constituted by the microphysical states of the photographic emulsion. We can see therefore, that the image is not emergent from film. The film is perfectly capable of recording optical information without providing any visible image. This is a huge problem of eliminativism, computationalism, functionalism, and physicalism.
A similar example: Binary math vs geometry. For instance:
This image does not exist within your computer’s RAM or CPU. There is nothing shaped like a triangle or a…

View original post 427 more words

Neurocinematics: Can it really separate us from reality?

TaazaTech

image

We are living in an age where pushing boundaries of digital innovation have become a necessity for entertainment and gadget companies, In the race to come up with groundbreaking technological advancements we are dangerously coming close to living our lives in a digital simulator.

Read this interesting article and comment if you think technology can really pull us away from reality at current pace of breakneck breakthroughs achieved in gaming, gadget and movie industry?

View original post