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Doctor’s 8 Tips for Handling Holiday Stress

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holiday decorations

Stress Free Holidays

  • Schedule some alone time–The holidays can be a chaotic time with friends and family and it’s ok to schedule some alone time.  Ask your spouse to watch the kids for an hour and go to the spa, or go hit a bucket of golf balls.  Seeking some solitude is both healthy and necessary to reduce stress.


  • Don’t procrastinate – There’s so much to do: buying presents, cooking, decorating and more.  Saving it all for the last minute will raise your stress.  Start a few weeks ahead of time and do a little at a time. Making a list from most important to least important will also help you manage your activities better.


  • Eliminate financial stressors – Every parent wants to buy that perfect holiday gift for their child, but big ticket items can take a toll on your wallet and your stress level.  Make a budget when it comes to holiday shopping and stick to it.


  • Expect things to go wrong – The Thanksgiving turkey may get overcooked; your son may hate his Christmas gift; your daughter might get sick; the point is things will go wrong.  Appreciate the season for the time spent with loved ones and create new memories, and don’t sweat the small stuff.


  • Holidays are not the time to resolve family conflicts – Many individuals use the family holidays to try to resolve long standing conflicts with family members often with disastrous consequences, particularly when alcohol is involved. Leave addressing those issues to a later time in a one-to-one conversation.


  • Let others help–Don’t feel like you have to be the hero of the holiday season.  Ask each person to bring a dish to dinner, make decorating a family activity where the kids help out, and consider a grab bag gift exchange where each person buys only one gift to alleviate the stress of having to get something for everyone.


  • Don’t forget about you–People get so caught up in the holidays that they forget to take care of themselves.  Don’t skip meals, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and stick to your exercise routine.


  • Stay on your medication and keep scheduled doctor’s appointments – If you’re under the care of a psychiatrist or other mental health professional for anxiety or depression, make sure and keep your doctor’s appointments this time of year and don’t taper medication until after the New Year if your doctor recommends it.


Dr. Prakash Masand MD is president of Global Medical Education, and a former Consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

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Color By Number Pages Website

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Color by Number Pages

Children love to color and with our color by number pages, you can give them a bit more of a challenge by matching the numbers to the color they need to use.  You are in for hours of entertainment along with the educational benefit of coloring. Coloring, and especially coloring by numbers, helps children practice key skills including hand-eye coordination, creativity, recognizing numbers, shapes & colors, along with developing their focus on details and planning.

Color by number pages is a great addition to all our other websites with printable puzzles, games, quizzes, math & word problems and more for kids – all free for you to print and enjoy learning.




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Make Up Instead of Break Up: Holiday Relationship Tips

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The holiday season is here and with it comes stress. Sometimes this stress can be too much for a relationship. If you feel your relationship is teetering on the edge, here are five effective and very do-able relationship tools you can use now to prevent a relationship break up.

1. Take a time out from each other. If your partner has just told you they want to break up or want a divorce – or if you feel this way – take a time out from each other to gather your thoughts. When emotions run high, our ability to think rationally often goes right out the window. So take about a week or so to think about your relationship in totality.

During this time, try to remember why you fell in love with your partner in the first place and focus on the positive aspects of your partner and your relationship. We don’t realize how caught up we get in the negative aspects of our relationship and forget all the positive aspects. Take time to regroup your thoughts and feelings and revisit your relationship after this time-out period with a new mindset. Think about respectful ways to approach your problems with your partner once you have reunited and see each other again.

2. Look in the mirror. Take a long hard look at the issues you have brought to the difficulties you are having in your relationship. We get so caught up in what annoys us about our partner, we often forget that we are not exactly a walk in the park to live with either. We all bring our own emotional baggage into our relationship from our past relationships and childhood. As I tell couples, “There is no such thing as a one-handed clap.” Sure it takes a while to work through our own baggage, but acknowledging our issues to ourself – and our partner – will go a long way in making your relationship work.

3. Tackle the issues creating conflict. Many times we ignore conflict in our relationship hoping the issues will just go away. It just doesn’t work that way. The longer we ignore conflict/issues in our relationship, the deeper the conflict becomes. Ignored conflict(s) in our relationship is like an untreated wound. Left untreated long enough, your minor wound may end up getting infected, leading to more serious complications. So address the issues in your relationship once you have taken a time out from each other, and acknowledge the issues you bring to the problems in your relationship.

4. Prioritize the relationship. By the time couples are ready to break up, they have been spending less and less time together. Not spending enough time with each other is often what creates many problems in your relationship to begin with. This problem is so easy to solve. Schedule and prioritize time together. Two important rules apply to these date times – you must be able to have a conversation (taking a walk, going to dinner) and you are not allowed to discuss problems in your relationship during these “dates.” The point of these scheduled times together is to recreate the positive feelings that have been lost (or are significantly diminished) in the relationship.

5. Act now! Don’t wait for issues to solve themselves by brushing them under the rug and hoping they will go away. Take action right now to begin repairing your relationship. It can be a small baby step, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Doing nothing about the problems in your relationship ensures nothing in your relationship will change. So take action on all of the steps mentioned above and you will be well on the way to laying the foundation for a make up – instead of a break up.

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During the past 25 years, renowned relationship expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin has helped hundreds of people rekindle romance and reignite passion in their relationships. The solutions in her Relationship Toolbox™ help couples re-build romance so intimacy inside and outside the bedroom can flourish. Through her successful 25-year marriage and her experience of raising 4 children, Dr. Patty Ann has earned an international reputation for saving relationships. To reignite your flames of passion, visit her site at

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