Winter Solstice: An Ancient Holiday That’s Relevant Today

Winter Solstice

In ancient times, numerous beliefs and rituals were based on astronomical events. Many traditions that  started then are still celebrated today.  Tonight – the Winter Solstice – is one of those occasions.

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year.  Throughout much of history, societies were built around the amount of daylight available.  The shortest day of the year, which comes with the longest night, was immensely important.  It meant the harvest had passed, and they would live on stored goods until the spring.  During the following months there would be hardship and even starvation for some.

Continue reading

7 ways Self-Compassion Can Help Make Your Holidays Better

Self-compassion and the holidaysAt this time of year, many people are asking themselves how to make it through the holidays. One way to help yourself through the season is by practicing self-compassion.

What is self-compassion?

Kristin Neff, the most well-known self-compassion researcher at the University of Texas-Austin, calls it “a healthier way of relating to yourself.”  It is a tool to help promote psychological healing, well-being, and better relationships.

Rather than beating yourself up, you extend kindness and understanding to yourself. It is a caring attitude, where you can encourage yourself and realize that being human means things can go wrong. Continue reading

5 Ways to Cope With Holiday Drama

5 ways to cope holidaysHolidays may be a great time to see family and friends.  They are also a time when we return to old patterns and behaviors.  When we go back “home,” we revert to the relationships we had growing up, instead of acting as the grownups that we now are.  These are the same relationships and patterns that formed our views of ourselves and our outlooks on life.  Along with this, unconscious conflicts may come to the surface, which will cause us to end up in a three-sided behavior pattern.

Continue reading

Conflict During the Holidays, an Idea that will Help

Drama TriangleThe holidays bring families and friends together. Along with the joy and fun these gatherings bring, they also increase the opportunities for tension and misunderstandings. Often, these issues  can be avoided if we take time now to learn more about the reactions in ourselves that can be triggered at these events, and how they snowball in our own minds.

The Drama Triangle is a model of dysfunctional interactions, created by Steven Karpman. It happens both with internal thoughts, and with external relationships.  Each point of the triangle represents a common and ineffective way to communicate and solve problems.

Continue reading