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Tips for returning your family to a routine after the holidays

The last day of 2010 delivered sunny skies and unseasonably warmer temps. It was a wonderful day to catch our breath and regroup after a busy end to the calendar year. The winter holidays offer various opportunities to celebrate, with so many of us enjoying work and school vacations, family visits and parties.

As I returned to the office earlier this week, I felt both sad and happy. While I’m disappointed that December travels to visit extended family and extra time to spend with my children and grandchildren have ended, I also am eager to meet with staff and the community to talk about the numerous ways JF&CS can reach and help even more people in the New Year.

After speaking to Barbara Wollman, a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapy supervisor with JF&CS’s Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, I realize I’m not alone in my feelings. Many people experience both post-holiday letdown and excitement to start anew.

According to Barbara, it is good for the whole family to get back into the a routine after all of the festivities and cheer. Here Barbara shares some tips to find joy once again in your day-to-day schedule:

1. Get busy. As for anyone, a good New Year’s resolution is to be more active. If temperatures are too chilly to venture outside, finding an activity to do around the house, such as puzzles or art projects, will help keep our bodies and minds busy.

2. Go somewhere new. One may be tempted during this time of year to curl up on the couch, but getting out of the house and visiting somewhere you’ve never been before also helps to improve your mood. This creates a perfect opportunity to explore local museums or science centers. Sometimes a trip to the library makes for a nice outing.

3. Make plans. Without something other than spring to look forward to, the winter months can be quite dreary. Even if it’s planning a family night to eat at a favorite restaurant or watch a movie, having something special in the near future can inspire the same feelings of anticipation that disappeared when the holiday excitement ended.

4. Relive the memories. It can be hard for young children to keep things in perspective, but reassure them that this time of year will come again. Sharing favorite stories from the holiday season will help your child to remember all the fun they had. Playing with toys that were given as gifts also concretely shows your child that, just because that time of year is over, memories still live on. Looking at pictures from years past also reminds them that they have many more holiday seasons to come!

Our compassionate, experienced staff at Squirrel Hill Psychological Services work with women and men individually, and with couples and families together, to help them understand their relationships better, strengthen bonds and work through specific issues and concerns. To learn more call us for a confidential consultation at 412.521.3800. We’re here to help.