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"The one concern that unites virtually all the people we've talked to is a yearning for a simpler, less commercial, more soul-satisfying celebration."Jo Robinson
and Jean Staeheli
Unplug the Christmas Machine, 1991
RELIEVING HOLIDAY STRESS
Are we having fun yet?

If this has become your family's holiday refrain, maybe it's time to STOP, BREATHE, REFLECT, and CHOSE a different avenue this year. Patricia Martin Arcari, PhD, director of the Calm Mother, Happy Child program, offers the following tips to help families reclaim the joy of holiday time:

TIPS FOR RETURNING COMFORT AND JOY TO YOUR HOLIDAYS

Spend some quiet time discussing what is important and meaningful to your family. Try to balance parties and spending with charitable endeavors.
Prioritize so you're not overloading your schedule. A handful of activities allow you to enjoy each one more fully.
Try to be mindful - in other words, focus on (and savor) the activity at hand rather than already anticipating what's next.
If the traffic or line for Santa starts your blood boiling, take deep (diaphragmatic) breaths, holding each one, and count back from 5. These "mini-relaxations" can keep you calm on even the most stressful days.
Be prepared to cancel plans if obstacles present themselves and the kids are melting down. Your vision of an old-fashioned stroll through the lighted Common should be abandoned when it's past bedtime and the wind chill is -10.
You are not Martha Stewart - enough said.
Be open to the one "close-to-perfect" moment. It may be unexpected, but it will leave you feeling warm and gratified.
More Information
Calm Mother, Happy is directed by Patricia Arcari, PhD, RN

For registration information, contact Mimi Bowie at 617.991.0102 X232 or mbowie@mbmi.org

News Clips
Relieve Holiday Stress
Herbert Benson, MD President,
Mind Body Medical Institute and
Mind Body Medical Institute Associate Professor of Medicine,
Harvard Medical School.