T H I S
is a picture that needs no caption
especially TIME of the year
when our already hectic lives go in to
C H A O S
m o d e
CRAZY ON STEROIDS. . .
where calm feels like just a word
but not a feeling
or another WAY. . .
which is why I dug deep into my files
and with the help of the
GREATER GOOD Editors
have provided some much needed
r e s p i t e
(IF YOU’LL TAKE IT TO HAVE IT)
Good Resources for Thriving Over the Holidays
Here are some articles that explore holiday stress management, managing conflict, picking gifts, making resolutions, and more. . .
The holidays can be rough—really rough at times; so here are literally dozens of articles and that try to help readers navigate the issues that arise when far-flung family members gather, everyone expects a present, and they all have an opinion. There are also some collected articles on making sense of this quickly-almost-gone-previous year and looking ahead to the new one. However you celebrate or are celebrated, here’s wishing you some severely-well-deserved-happy holidays!
Click to jump to a section:
Holiday stress management
- Six Simple Practices to Handle Holiday Stress: James Baraz explains how you can really enjoy the holidays.
- How to Survive the Holiday Shmear: Do you take shame and fear with you to family gatherings? Eve Ekman has some tips to help you get a grip.
- How to Set Boundaries When You’ve Never Been Taught How: What if your family’s cultural values don’t embrace the concept of boundaries? Here are 14 tips for boundary setting this holiday season.
- For Hard Conversations, Families Fall Into Four Categories: Holidays can involve family conflict, especially after a divisive election. The solution is empathy, for yourself and others.
- Three Easy Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Relatives: How does your family know how to push your buttons? Because they installed them. Here’s how to take stress out of the holidays.
- Two Surprising Ways to Make Your Holidays Less Stressful: We can find joy even if the holiday season doesn’t live up to our expectations.
- A Few Small Ways to Fight the Holiday Blues: While many of us look forward to the winter holidays, they sometimes make us feel down. Here are ways to lift your mood.
New ways to think about gifting and celebration
- 13 Simple, Non-Materialistic Ways to Find Joy Around the Holidays: Here are some ideas for cost-free activities and traditions that can bring you delight, connection, and happiness this time of year.
- How Psychology Can Help You Choose a Great Gift: New research offers some guidance for giving the perfect gift—one that will strengthen your relationships.
- How to Overcome the Biggest Obstacle to Gratitude: We all take good things for granted, but we can take steps to keep gratitude alive.
- Four Tips for Mindful Eating Over the Holidays: It’s easy to overindulge during the holiday season. Here’s how to enjoy your food—without going too far!
- How Gratitude Beats Materialism: New studies reveal how to deliberately cultivate gratitude in ways that counter materialism and its negative effects.
- Eight Movies That Can Make Your Holiday More Meaningful: Here are movies that tackle some of the tough stuff behind the holidays with intelligence and wit.
- Why Seeing Beauty Matters, Even in the Midst of War: When people find themselves displaced from their homes, finding or creating beauty is a human impulse that brings hope and resilience.
- What Santa Can Teach Us About Children’s Brains: Yes, kids believe in Santa Claus—but they aren’t as gullible as you think.
The psychology of generosity and gratitude
- What Motivates You to Be Generous?: Recent research helps illuminate what’s going on in our heads when we choose to give or to hold back.
- How Our Brains Make Us Generous: A recent series of ground-breaking neuroscience studies suggest that empathy and altruism are deeply rooted in human nature.
- Why a Grateful Brain Is a Giving One: The neural connection between gratitude and altruism is very deep, suggests new research.
- Five Ways Giving Is Good for You: Here are some added incentives to get into the holiday spirit.
- How to Make Giving Feel Good: Studies show giving makes people happy, and happiness makes people give—but not always. Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton offer three ways to help people feel good about giving.
- Seven Tips for Fostering Generosity: It’s a time of giving. But can we make giving a way of life, all year round?
- How We Judge Other People’s Generosity—And Why It Matters: When we see a kind act, it might inspire us to be kind—depending on the emotions and judgments we have about it.
- Five Limits Your Brain Puts on Generosity: Research suggests that our brains may be wired for altruism, but there’s a catch—well, five of them, actually.
- Why We Need to Set Boundaries on Our Generosity: Generosity often begets fulfillment. But the best-intended giving mission can turn perilous if it undermines your well-being.
- The Science of Generosity: A white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation by the Greater Good Science Center.
Raising generous, grateful kids
- How to Inspire Your Kids to Be Generous: Parents can help their kids embrace the spirit of giving year-round, research suggests.
- How Generosity Shows Up in the Nervous System: New research explores how parenting and children’s physiology may influence how much they share.
- Why Are Some Children More Giving Than Others?: A new study finds the answer may lie with family income.
- Seven Ways to Foster Gratitude in Kids: Many parents and educators worry that today’s children are ungrateful. But new research suggests ways to turn the tide.
- Three Ways to Help Students Give Meaningful Gifts: Research has identified what makes some gifts more meaningful than others. Here’s how teachers can help their students get beyond elbow macaroni and glue.
Looking ahead to the new year
- How Thinking About the Future Makes Life More Meaningful: Research suggests that thinking about the future—a process known as prospection—can help us lead more generous and fulfilled lives.
- How to Make Your Year More Meaningful: Here are some steps you can take to find meaning in the previous year—and purpose in the next one.
- What Will the Theme of Your Life Be in the Next Year?: As you set goals for the new year, take a moment to consider your larger life narrative.
- Should You Let Go of Any Goals in the New Year?: Here’s how to predict which of your goals will feel meaningful and achievable.
- Make Self-Compassion One of Your New Year’s Resolutions: Many of us instinctively beat ourselves up for failing to meet our goals, but there is an alternative.
- How to Choose Goals That Make You Come Alive: Research on the components of well-being can help us choose goals that we’ll stick to.
- How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Feel Good: Christine Carter offers three steps to success in keeping your New Year’s resolutions.
- How to Use Your Unconscious Mind to Achieve Your Goals: The most effective way to change your behavior for the better is to work in tandem with your unconscious mind.
- To Change Yourself, Change Your World: If you want to keep a New Year’s resolution, says the research, start by changing your environment.
- How Habits Can Get in the Way of Your Goals: Habits are key to achieving your goals—but only if you don’t get tired of them, research suggests.
- How to Avoid Slipping Back into Bad Habits: Making New Year’s resolutions? New research suggests you should prize the journey, not the destination.
It’s enough to just not get your wires crossed but to literally,
BLOW A CIRCUIT. . .
and here’s the biggest kicker of all,
it’s not that we don’t have the
R E S O U R C E S
WHAT TO DO’S
(uhhhhhhhhhhhh did you see how long this blog post is, already)
so much as utilizing them
plugging some of them in
and unplugging a few others
B U T
will you. . .
It just may be all of the difference between a really good or a really bad
h o l i d a y
(AND YOU GET TO CHOOSE. . .or let it CHOOSE FOR YOU)