Holiday Stress

It’s November, which means that sinking feeling in your stomach is actually your body trying to warn you that the holidays are just around the corner. Of course, we all love the parties, the gifts — both giving and receiving — and for some of us, the time spent with family. For others, that time with family falls firmly into the “stressors” category, along with the money spent on gifts, the time and organizing required for all those parties, and a whole host of other demands on our time and energy that we don’t see at any other time of the year. To keep yourself (and your loved ones) healthy and sane this holiday season, here are a few helpful tips:
1.) Don’t say yes to every invitation, unless you honestly have the time for them. It’s okay to turn down going to your third cousin’s office party. If anyone is annoyed at you about it, they’ll forget about it in a week.
2.) Shop online. It’ll save you hours of driving time, and you’ll easily be able to compare prices and find the right deal.
3.) Don’t neglect your exercise routine and make sure you’re getting a full night’s sleep. This works wonders.
4.) Stay on budget, whether you’re buying gifts or groceries. Remember that what’s important isn’t how much you spend, or how ostentatious a table you can set…it’s about spending time celebrating with those you love!

It Takes Two
“You can’t do it alone,” I say to my married couples. Couples tend to forget or take for granted that they have each other and that they both play a significant role in a marriage. Marriage is the ultimate team sport. It’s a game you need to work at constantly in order to win, without hogging the ball. When I say “game” I refer to having a common goal, a purpose. Marriages work best when a husband and wife are teammates. When I refer to “hogging the ball,” I want you to think of your spouse, too, not just yourself. In working with couples, one of the biggest complaints I hear is when one spouse always wants to be in control, dominating the relationship, making most of the decisions, while the other spouse just sits on the bench waiting to be called. After a while of waiting, it can destroy a marriage. The other spouse feels less important, not part of the decision-making. Teamwork is crucial so that BOTH spouses can work together on decisions, setting common goals, and yes, on overcoming challenges. If a couple has a child or wants to start a family, that yields even more reasons to work together. I always say that the foundation in a home is having a strong couple relationship so you can parent together and in the future the siblings can get along. If the couple is not strong, counseling is highly recommended. Otherwise problems arise causing the couple to distance themselves and often search for happiness outside the marriage. Teamwork can accomplished what one alone cannot. Make a change in your marriage, work together all the time!

›Lisette Beraja is a Psychotherapist, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Founder of Beraja Counseling Center. For more than 10 years, she’s provided guidance and counseling to individuals, families and couples. She’s also a Florida Supreme Court Family Mediator & 11th Judicial Court approved Parenting Coordinator. For an appointment, call 305.858.7763 or visit

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heads First
The fate of Oregon’s capital city once lay on a coin toss. In 1844, a flip of the coin between the area’s first settlers decided the name for the soon-to-be municipality: heads for Portland, tails for Boston.




Olive Air
In 1987, American Airlines managed to save $40,000 by cutting one olive out of each salad served in their first-class seats. Just imagine what they might have saved by cutting the entire salad.




Bottoms Up
In 1954, the Guinness World Record for beer drinking was set by an Australian named Bob Hawke, who drank 2.5 pints in a mere 11 seconds. Twenty-nine years later, he was elected Prime Minister.