Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Twelve Angry Days of Christmas

The twelve days of Christmas are upon us! As the days grow shorter and the Holiday "to do" list grows longer, emotions often get out of control taking the joy of Christmas with them. Below are twelve tips to support the healthy management of anger, frustration, and other emotions to help keep your family's Christmas experience happy and filled with joy:

On the first day of Christmas: Reduce stress by managing your time carefully and not over-scheduling yourself. Take time for yourself!

On the second day of Christmas:  Adjust your expectations of family members. No, Uncle Bill hasn't changed since last year. Tell yourself that you only have to see her once a year- you can cope with it.

On the third day of Christmas: Limit the amount of time you spend with stressful family members. Remember the "spirit" of the season can be shared just as well with brief quality time.

On the fourth day of Christmas: Work on increasing your forgiveness skills. Let old resentments go. Holding grudges hurts you more than your relatives.

On the fifth day of Christmas: Develop better empathy skills. Try to see the world from the viewpoint of irritating family members and you may be shocked at how your anger dissipates.

On the sixth day of Christmas: Limit the amount of time you spend shopping and going to parties. Too many Holiday rounds only adds necessary expense and stress. Christmas isn't about buying gifts and going to parties. Remember the "spirit" of the season is about sharing love and quality time with family and friends.

On the seventh day of Christmas: Watch carefully the amount of alcohol you consume. Many anger management students confess that excessive drinking definitely contributed to family conflict and aggression.

On the eighth day of Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays doesn't have to be expensive. You can keep Christmas alive and well without going broke. Reconnect with the meaning of Christmas through religious or cultural practices.

On the ninth day of Christmas: When you feel frustrated and your temper starts to rise, try counting to 10 slowly. Time out isn't just for kids! Before saying things you might regret, take a few moments to breathe deeply and count to 10.

On the tenth day of Christmas: When Holiday spirits are flowing and your in the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything by counting to 20 backwards.

On the eleventh day of Christmas: Forgive and forget! Don't allow anger and other negative feelings to get in the way of positive feelings that come with the season. You can do it!

On the twelfth day of Christmas:  Relax, breath and enjoy your family, friends and celebrate the Holiday! If your temper flares, use your relaxation skills. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, "Tomorrow is Christmas." You can do it!

For more tips on how to deal with angry feelings, Holiday stress, or the angry behavior of others, call us at 1-888-992-6479 or visit our website at

Happy Holidays from North Valley Anger Management Consultants!

Anger Management Classes: Sunday Group

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