The holiday season often invites unwanted guests into our lives, stress and depression.  It is not surprising.  The holidays bring with them a multitude of things to do… shop, parties, baking, cleaning, entertaining…just to name a few!

Stress levels go up during the holiday season.  This holiday may be especially challenging for you.  What are you facing that is causing you stress?  Is it the economy?  Less money to spend this year?  Did you go through a divorce?  Did you suffer a job loss?  Maybe it’s not financial.  The family parties, the ones we all like to in theory look forward to because it will be great to see Mom and Dad, our Aunts & Uncles, cousins…even sisters and brothers.  Then, we walk through the front door and remember.  Dad and Uncle John are arguing over politics, Mom and Cousin Sue are discussing religion and how you “should’ve gone more to church”.  Your sister’s kids are at your feet screaming “where are the gifts”, and you haven’t even taken your coat off yet!

As tiring as all that may be to think about, there are some practical tips to help you stay focused and calm throughout the holiday season.

  1. PLAN AHEAD.  Try and schedule your shopping, baking, and entertaining in advance.
  2. STAY FOCUSED.  This is the time to really focus on what you CAN do!  Your attention should be on the things that are truly important and that you can control.
  3. BE REALISTIC.  There is no need to impress anyone!  Stop believing everything has to be perfect, or just like last year.  If life’s circumstances have created a new way of life for you this year, embrace the change!
  4. TAKE A DEEP BREATH.  Challenge yourself to find that inner strength.  Give yourself a pep talk every morning and make an image of yourself and take a deep breath and bring that picture inside!
  5. REMEMBER WHAT IS WORKING IN YOUR LIFE.  This will lighten you up and allow you to step back and look at the issues from a different perspective.  You may be surprised at how different you see things!
  6. LEARN TO SAY NO!  Taking on more than you can handle will only leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.

Don’t let the holiday season become something you dread.  Instead, take steps to help prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays.  Learn to recognize your holiday triggers, such as financial demands or personal issues, so you can combat them before they overwhelm you. With a little planning, and some positive thinking, you can find peace and joy this holiday season.


If you don’t have the relationship you dreamed of you can change it.  The question is whether you are willing to do what it takes to have a loving, lasting relationship.

The fact that the divorce rate is over 50% tells us that most people enter a relationship without the necessary tools.  People that embark on this new journey focus on being in love with the big wedding day and leave the rest to chance and hope for the best.  After the honeymoon is over they settle into their familiar habits, and some of these could be annoying to the other person. One of the partners does or says something that the other partner does not agree with and it sparks a debate that may not end well for either partner.  This may be the beginning of stacking negative feelings towards each other.

Let’s face it, when people are angry or aggravated they raise their voice and the person speaking is not even aware of how they sound.  Over time the walls go up. One partner is waiting for the other to do something giving them a reason to criticize. Things get worse until they realize that if they don’t get help they won’t be together much longer.

How is it possible that a relationship which begins so wonderfully gradually deteriorates instead of continuing to get better?

The good news is they can learn new skills to obtain tangible results and create a loving and rewarding relationship. They can begin to share joy and happiness with their partner.

It takes two to make a relationship work.  There has to be give and take.  We are responsible for the results that we get! I coached a couple that was like many other couples that were experiencing difficulty in their relationship.  The wife used to think that if her husband changed everything would be fine.  I said I bet your husband thinks the same thing about you and they both laughed and said absolutely.  This couple had different values and some issues with themselves.  What I mean is, he thought if he shared what he wanted to do with his wife that would mean he would lose his worth as a man.  He would just announce what he was going to do (buying a house or selling his business).  These are decision that would affect the future of the whole family.  By not including his wife in the decision making, she felt she didn’t count.

The wife stayed at home doing a great job taking care of the house and three children.  The husband provided a good income.  I suggested, first of all, they look at the similarities and differences in their marriage.  When we do that we usually realize what makes the relationship work (or not).  We can gain better understanding of what needs improvement.  Then we can begin to identify which behaviors and beliefs provide strengths and weaknesses in the marriage.

Both of them valued family, vacations and relationships. It was important to them that their children would grow up having respect, a good education and a good family life.  The difference was that the husband did not share his thoughts because he feared losing his man power.  After all, his father was the same way with his mother.  That was the model he saw growing up.  His wife measured her self-worth based on his behavior.  She grew up in a family where they shared ideas, and decisions were made by both Mom and Dad.  I asked when you go on a family vacation do you have fun?  The answer was yes.  Do you trust and enjoy each other?  Again the answer was yes.  I anchored the feelings of fun and trust from that place so that they could see each other differently.  They rediscovered the many things they had in common and started to appreciate it. 

They both agreed that they needed to clean up the programming from childhood.  Each had a few separate sessions where we did change history and time lines.  They both recovered many resourceful states which resulted in a deeper sense of self and gave them the choice to act like they are valuable adults, having more fun sharing and leaving with more fulfillment and meaning.  The love for each other is now growing and they feel safe sharing ideas and decisions.

Relationships are created moment to moment by what we are doing right now.  I hope you can bring more joy and fulfillment to your relationship. Creating a relationship that works is not rocket science.  The most important influence on the quality of your life is the relationship that you have with yourself.  When people learn to honor and respect who they are they have a good sense of self, and they can treat others with the same love and respect.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call us at 248-528-0753, or email us at .


Success Strategies LLC

Anna Russo, NLP Master Trainer, Life Coach, Author




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