9 Signs of Serious Depression at the Holidays

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Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Suicide Prevention Month is technically September but with the holidays rolling around, I thought it might be helpful to talk about it now. Many people feel alone, worthless and stressed at this time of year.

It’s not unusual for people to hit a rock bottom during this time of year. Unfortunately, I have known a few people (mostly from a distance) that took a turn for the worse right around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, I figured I might compile a list of some symptoms of serious depression so you can all keep an eye on your loved ones or yourselves if needed. A person very close to me lost someone she loved to suicide and it was and is, an unending wound. Hug your loved ones tightly this season and be the supportive ear that person might need!

9 Signs of Serious Depression– Especially at the Holidays

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Giving Up Things You Need & Love: Life As a Single Parent

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Photo by Sergei Gavrilov on Unsplash

Sometimes we hit hard patches in life and we have to give up things we love. At the tail end of this year, I got hit with something that cost me financially a lot to handle– but I had to handle it. I couldn’t walk away or retreat from the matter and I ended up doing the right thing. But as a single parent, it was a financial hit I didn’t need as I already had endured enough the past six years. Not to mention the holidays– as much as I try to watch my funds and stick to a budget– it still costs– even with me being mindful.

So, after tallying up what I will need to pay for the next month or so, it hit me I may have to give up some things I love and some I even need in order to keep going, which really hurts. No one truly knows the financial sacrifices involved when you are a single parent– unless you are one as well.

My most favorite thing and really my one source of consistent artistic and physical joy, is dance.

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5 Life Remedies You Need to Heal A Broken Heart Over The Holidays

The holidays are sort of like a high: they rush in, take over your life, and fill your schedule with a bunch of activities. They take charge of your wallet (unless you shop smart!) and tug at your heartstrings. What makes the holidays so special are the memories and traditions we have created with our loved ones. The yearly family photos. The gift-giving exchanges.

That’s what makes the holidays so amazing: the love.

So, what happens when you’re going through a breakup, a loss of a parent or loved one, or a divorce at the holidays?

The heartache feels like it’s amplified a million times more. Every tradition or moment is tinged with that former person’s presence, whether it’s an ex-husband or a parent who passed. There is a ghost in the room with everything you do.

It’s understandable to feel this pain in a more pronounced way during the holidays, but how can you help yourself heal and enjoy the time with your loved ones and beautiful children despite the heartache?

Read More: 5 Life Remedies You Need to Heal A Broken Heart Over The Holidays

Just Heal,

Laura

Broke Single Parent Holiday

The buzz is on. Everyone is chatting about their awesome holiday vacations. The presents they’re buying for their spouses. The gift list they have made for their kiddos. The smashing New Year’s Eve reservations they’ve got in store. It sounds so thrilling and wonderful, but to you, it feels pretty god darn awful. This is the part in which your “Fa-la-la-la-la” is completely flat:

The part in which you realize you’re flat broke and there’s no awesome holiday getaway or hot spousal date or worse, an amazing list of gifts you’re dying to buy your kids.

Sure. Those things exist in your head but they’re not reality. Instead, you sit down and look at your budget. You look at how much money you have coming in and how much you can use to contribute towards the holidays, whether that be taking any days off or buying gifts for your children. You don’t feel so “Fa-la-la-la-la,” when you look at the bottom line that money is tight and that you’re going to be lucky if you can take vacation days because guess what? As a single parent, you probably used up quite a bit already.

It’s enough to make you Bah- humbug and honestly, feel inferior and sad that the holidays in your head aren’t living up to the ones you’ll have in reality. Does it suck? Sure, but is it the end of the world? No. No, damnit it’s not. Instead of feeling bad that you can’t make the holidays some huge smash, remember that your kids don’t need huge gifts and getaways to be happy. That being a broke single parent at the holidays is hard, but it’s not awful. Being a homeless single parent on the holidays IS awful. And even still—it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Being an unloving and unresponsive or absent parent makes you a bad parent. Not buying your kid every one of his or her whims and fancy does not qualify you as a bad parent. Having to work Christmas- New Year’s Eve vacation does not make you a bad parent.

Read More: Broke Single Parent Holiday

Jingle Bell Broke,

Laura

15 Things Working Moms Should Definitely NOT Do This Holiday Season

The holidays are a special time of year, but they’re also the time of year for insane work deadlines, sugary binge-eating, serious spending—and way too much time with those extended family members we avoid the rest of the year. So it’s pretty easy to blow a gasket or burst a seam while at work or home during this period. Want to avoid losing it this year end, and gain some ho-ho-ho instead? Do not do these things.

1. Line Up Back-up Care at the Last Minute

Will the kids be out of from school from before Christmas until after the New Year, but you’ll be powering through at the office? Hello, working mom. Many of us will be making the commute to work during the holidays. One thing you definitely cannot do at the last minute: get back-up care.

You think your family and friends will be around to watch the kids. You think your sitter will be on deck. Uh, uh, life happens. So make concrete plans well in advance—including a plan B in case plan A falls through. This way, your kids will be cared for, and you won’t have to drag them with you to the office (if you’re even allowed to).

Read More: 15 Things Working Moms Should Definitely NOT Do This Holiday Season

Relax This Season,

Laura

4 Friends a Single Mom Needs Over the Holidays

For a single mom, the holidays can be daunting on multiple levels. If she’s sharing her children with their other parent, the pain of missing them at the holidays can be hard to deal with. If she’s not sharing them, she might be feeling overwhelmed with the pressure of her own life, plus the pressure of the holidays. Let’s not forget the financial difficulties that may present themselves to a single parent and the struggles a single mom may come up against when coparenting with an ex. More than ever, moms, your single-mom friends need you, whether it’s to join you on the holidays or perhaps to just be a willing ear to listen to what’s going on with them.

The Inviter

Single moms are often sharing children with a coparent or perhaps they’re on their own with the kids during the holidays.

Read More:4 Friends a Single Mom Needs Over the Holidays

Friends Are Family,

Laura

When Grandparents Stay in Your Home, Whose Rules Win?

‘Tis the season for gifts, baked goods, Santa mall visits, and . . . in-laws and family visiting. Eek! Whether you’re best buddies with your mom or your mom-in-law or at your wits’ end with one or both of them, staying under your roof with another “Head Woman in Charge” can be a challenge because both you and Grandma (or Nonna, or Nana, or whatever your family calls her) are used to being the rule-maker. So what happens when Grandma stays over at your house? Are you the boss or is Grandma?

 

Read More: When Grandparents Stay in Your Home, Whose Rules Win?

It’s a Balancing Act, But Maintain Your Homes Moms,

Laura

Dual Holiday Celebrations? How to Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas Without Blowing a Gasket!

Growing up, I didn’t get a Jewish education, but we celebrated the Jewish holidays. My mom had converted from Catholicism and Protestantism to Judaism for my father and then years later when I met my ex-husband, I started to celebrate the Christian holidays with him as well as the Jewish ones. Back in my parents’ day, this would have been considered unusual to raise children with more than one religion, but nowadays it’s more common. In fact in 2013, the Pew Research Center found that 81 percent of non-Christians in the United States celebrate Christmas. Perhaps the holiday has become more American than religious for those of us raised in this country who comes from non-Christian backgrounds?

Read More: Dual Holiday Celebrations? How to Celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas Without Blowing a Gasket!

Keeping Zen & Merry Chrismukkah!

Laura