From Dr. Jane's Notebook
What Ho! It's December Again!
Every year at this time, I give some thought to stresses and strains of the holiday
season, and try to come up with some guidelines for sanity. I think everyone has their own
particular most/least favorite time of the year. Like any other "individualized
concern", if things are ging to improve, we really have to give some thought to our
approach to the problems we face, and be willing to adjust our perspective.
- December is a "pushy" month. Because it marks the end of a calendar year, and
deadlines for "shopping", December is a month that takes control. In a short
while, we will all have to face the task of remembering and writing the year, 1996. But
fear not, like adapting to the change to and from Daylight Savings time, we are all in
- December carries high expectations. Because of its social nature, December is a month
when we find out how many parties we are invited to, who thinks enough of us to send a
card or gift, and we often compare it with all of the Decembers of the past. We might be
better off assuming that we will be invited to no parties, receive no cards or gifts, and
pretend that this is the first December in all of history!
- Write down your New Year's resolutions now.... and get started on them. If you wish to
reduce stress in your life, this is good time to change your ways. If you wish to improve
family relationships, what better time could there be? If you want to take better care of
yourself, make up your plan action so that its ready to go!
- Get involved in an important cause. The ex-Mayor of Greensboro, Vic Nussbaum, was
recently honored for his many years of civic activity. In his acceptance speech, he issued
a challenge to everyone in the audience of the National Conference's Annual Banquet, to
choose a project for the betterment of our community, an individual, or a family. He spoke
about how he finds "personal meaning" in life through helping others. Volunteer
work comes in individual or group efforts, fixed or variable schedules, and long or
short-term projects. It can be tailor-made to suit your schedule and interests. The
benefits are priceless.
In short, before allowing yourself to be swept up in this December's tide, take a few
moments to think about its meaning, costs and rewards. This year, add something new to
your holiday ingredients... that will make a positive difference.
ęCopyright, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon, M.A., All Rights Reserved
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Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.