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Want to Reduce Family Holiday Stress?

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  • Dr. Charlotte Reznick PhD
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      Want to Reduce Family Holiday Stress?

      Although holiday time means presents and no school for most American kids, it
      can also be a stressful time - particularly with so many families facing
      financial hardship, in families where there's a recent loss of a loved one, and
      with the challenges faced by split or blended families.

      Family stress is going up. According to the American Psychological
      Association's survey, Stress in America 2010, 73% of parents report family
      responsibilities as a top stress. 32% of parents report their stress is extreme
      (8 on a 10 scale). Most parents realize they are living with unhealthy stress
      levels: 69% know it's important to manage their stress, but only 32% say they
      are doing a very good job of it.

      Children know when their parents are having a hard time, and it does affect
      them: 47% of tweens and 33% of teens feel sad when their parents are stressed;
      36% of tweens and 43% of teens worry; and 25% of tweens and 38% of teens feel
      frustrated when experiencing their parents in such a state.

      Now is the perfect time to start turning family stress around. Here are 7
      simple holiday stress-reducing strategies that can make a difference - holiday
      time or any time.

      (1) Visualize a heart-filled holiday. You can do this one at the dinner table.
      Have everyone in the family close their eyes, focus on their heart, and imagine
      what kind of holiday will bring joy into their hearts. Then share your ideas
      around the table. This helps kids feel listened to, cared for, and included.

      (2) Give the gift of calmness. Ancient wisdom and modern research point to the
      calming effects and health benefits of slow, deep breathing. Make a regular
      practice of taking 1 to 5 minutes each day of relaxing "balloon breathing."
      Breathe in to a count of 3 about 2 inches below the navel, imagining there's a
      balloon filling up with air, and out to that same slow count. It'll center and
      rebalance every family member to face the joys and inevitable disappointments
      of the holiday season.

      (3) Offer distress a voice. If this is your child's first holiday without a
      loved one - grandpa passed away, or big sister is in Afghanistan - younger
      family members may feel a deep sense of loss. Or maybe your child is feeling
      the stress of a recent divorce. Give her paper and markers, and ask her to draw
      whatever is making her sad or mad. Then ask her what the picture wants to say
      out loud. Often, putting a face on an emotion and letting it "speak" makes a
      child feel better - and gives a parent a way to understand what's going on

      (4) Sweat is sweet. Kids (and adults) can get all pent up during holiday time.
      Surprise little ones by clearing the furniture out of the center of the room,
      turning on some fun music, and dancing vigorously for 10 minutes. Or bundle up
      the family and take a wintry walk while playing "I Spy." Exercise releases
      feel-good chemical and is one of the fastest ways to chase away holiday blahs
      and instill a sense of togetherness.

      (5) Blow out negativity, light up hope. Create a family ritual of hope. Have
      two candles for each family member: one lit, one not. Have each imagine what
      they'd like to let go of - what no longer serves them - and say, "I'm going to
      toss this out (anger, worry, meanness to my sister) when I blow this candle
      out." Then light a new candle and share, "I hope to bring in (kindness, faith,
      cleaning my room) as I light anew." Let go of the old and bring in the new. You
      can use one candle to symbolize all, or light up your whole home with several.

      (6) Be grateful for who you live with. Avoid some of the little and big
      jealousies that crop up from comparing who has a bigger present or counting how
      many gifts go to whom by starting early and giving gifts of appreciation - to
      each family member. Take the whole month of December (or start at Thanksgiving)
      and every day have each person share something they appreciate about another
      (big brother allowing younger sister to hang out in his room). Make a running
      list and post on the fridge or in the family room to remind each other when
      stresses build that you really do care about and love each other.

      (7) Spread the joy around. The time-honored tradition of helping others can
      shift priorities. If kids or teens are moping around or showing signs of
      stress, take them to the local soup kitchen to serve meals. Visit a nursing
      home with hand-made cards or offer a free concert. Helping others gives kids a
      feeling of more control and a sense of being both useful and appreciated.

      Learn more about how you can help the children in your life develop
      stress-busting techniques. Read The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to
      Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success (Perigee/Penguin).

      [2]Order here and receive 80+ free down-loadable gifts and discounts on CDs.


      Focus on...

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      I'm thrilled to bring back this special offer at holiday time. It's so
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      life to be happy and healthy. I hope you take advantage today and give all the
      parents and children in your life the gift of deep relaxation and self-love.

      Holiday Gift Packs for Kids and Parents

      Kids Gift Pack: Empower your child with easy, effective, and creative skills
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      heart..." heart lovey - helps reduce stress just by holding it. [3]Learn More
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      Parents Gift Pack: Contains the LA Times best selling book, The Power of Your
      Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success,
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      lives, plus The Cave of Great Wisdom Parent Support CD, lovingly created and
      especially designed for parents to be guided to a sanctuary of inner peace. The
      "Listen to your heart...." heart lovey is an added bonus stress reducer.[4]
      Learn More and Order Here.

      Listen to the Listeners:

      "I have to tell you of all the children's meditation CDs I have heard, yours
      are the best. Your music background is great and your voice is wonderful too.
      Thanks for doing such a great job."

      Linda Damon PhD, Clinical Psychologist

      "These CDs are really good for children who are overly busy and feel stressed.
      I really enjoyed them... I felt very soothed and safe... I am going to listen
      to them often, because they made me feel good and helped me to be much more
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      Junior Editor, CNE Magazine

      [5]Listen to audio samples

      [6]Learn more and Order here

      With love and light,
      Dr. Charlotte

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      About Dr. Charlotte Reznick
      Charlotte Reznick PhD specializes in helping children and adolescents develop
      the emotional skills necessary for a happy and successful life. She is a
      licensed educational psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor of
      Psychology at UCLA. Dr. Charlotte is the creator of Imagery For Kids^TM:
      Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity, and Empowerment and is the author/
      producer of several therapeutic CDs for children, teens, and parents. An
      international workshop leader on the healing power of children's imagination,
      she maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, California. Visit



      Bring Dr. Charlotte to your School or Organization... available worldwide

      Give the gift of the Nine Imagination Tools to develop inner resources to be
      happy and healthy and thrive in the 21st Century.

      "The Power of Your Child's Imagination"

      "Imagery For Kids: Breakthrough for Learning, Creativity, and Empowerment"

      "Healing Children Through Imagery"
      "How to Be Your Own Stress-Reduction Therapist"

      "Healing the Bereaved Child"

      DianeCarter7@... or 818/634-6696 or
      Dr. Charlotte directly DrReznick@...


      Nov. 12
      Radio Interview
      Holistic Answers to Mental Health
      Host Aileen Nealie
      10:00-11:00 am (Pacific)
      [9](Link to show)

      Dec. 8
      Radio Interview
      Mom's the Word
      Holiday Stress Busters
      KLZ 560 AM (Denver, CO)
      Hosts Maura Ridder & Maureen Brown
      2:00-2:10 pm (Pacific)
      3:00-3:10 pm (Mtn)
      5:00-5:10 pm (East)
      [10](Link to show)

      COMING IN 2011

      Jan. 11
      School Presentation
      Turning Point School
      8:30-1:00 am
      Culver City, CA

      Jan. 12
      School Presentation
      Roosevelt Elem. School
      7:00-8:00 pm
      Santa Monica, CA

      March 2
      Awakened Relationships
      5:00-6:00 pm (Pacific)
      8:00-9:00 pm (East)
      Host Iris Benrubi

      April 8
      Workshop at Conference
      California Psychological Assn.
      Annual Convention
      Hilton San Diego - Mission Bay
      11:00 am - 12:30 pm
      San Diego, CA
      [11](Link to conference)

      Dr. Reznick can help; call (310) 889-7859 for more information.
      Imagery For Kids | 11911 San Vicente Blvd. | Suite 240 - Brentwood | Los
      Angeles, CA 90049

      Counseling Services, Guided Imagery, and Meditation Training offered to clients
      living in: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Beverly Hills,
      Beverly Glen, Culver City, Brentwood, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Mar Vista,
      Encino, Sherman Oaks, Topanga Beach and Topanga Canyon, Ocean Park, Hancock
      Park, West Hollywood.

      Consultation, Workshops, Trainings and Speaking Offered Worldwide: U.S.,
      Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Africa.

      All Content Copyright ©2010 Charlotte Reznick PhD, All rights reserved.


      1. http://www.imageryforkids.com/learnMore.html
      2. http://www.imageryforkids.com/book/
      3. http://www.imageryforkids.com/holidaySpecial.html
      4. http://www.imageryforkids.com/holidaySpecial.html
      5. http://www.imageryforkids.com/shop.html
      6. http://www.imageryforkids.com/holidaySpecial.html
      7. http://deeandjarrad.com/
      8. http://www.imageryforkids.com/
      9. http://www.voiceamerica.com/worldtalkradio/vchannel.aspx?cid=252
      10. http://www.560thesource.com/
      11. http://www.cpapsych.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=297?cid=252
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