Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 4:33 pm | Fair 59º


Randi Rabin: Tips to Handle Difficult Family Situations During the Holidays

Dear Feelings Doctor: I need your best advice for my situation. This will be the first year that my kids and I will be around my ex-husband and his new girlfriend for the holidays. We were married for 13 years, and my children and I don't know how to act in this uncomfortable situation. Please tell me what I should do.

— Shelly

Dear Shelly: Sometimes it takes a little longer than other times to have the proper words and actions around this extended family issue. There seems to be so much pressure for everything to be perfect around the holidays that the added stress of “saying the right thing” gets magnified beyond reality.

I bet that you and your children have many things to be thankful for, and hopefully their dad is one of them. Remembering what brought you and your ex together to make your beautiful family is a good place to start. Your kids will take their cues from you, so smile, be polite and give thanks for where you are now. Offer up your blessing of peace to everyone at the table.

This is the time for new beginnings all around.

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have certain family members who I don't get along with, and every holiday we pretend that things are different than what they really are. I am not in the mood this year for the sloppy, hurtful conversations that begin after way too many glasses of wine! What can I do to get through these next few days and not be mean?

— Kathy in Lompoc

Dear Kathy: That, my friend, is the seasonal question! This is truly not the right time to attempt to figure out any of the answers.

Be polite and make nice; it will all be over soon. Besides, during the holidays, people eat too much, drink too much, say too much and don’t remember enough. This is not the day for figuring any of it out. Relax and have a second helping of “Peace On Earth.”

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

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Imagine This ...

Beauty Tips from Audrey Hepburn

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it at least once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things have to be restored, renewed,
revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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