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Tips for Relaxation During the Holidays

This is a topic near and dear to my heart, and something that is far more easily said than done, particularly during this “most wonderful time of the year.”  Here are my top tips for surviving… and maybe even enjoying this holiday season.

– Make sure you are getting a good night’s sleep and that your children are too! The CDC recommends that adults get 7-8 hours, teens 9-10, school age children at least 10, and preschoolers 11-12 hours per day.  For more info on sleep, check out this link 

– Eat right!  It’s easy to eat on the run this time of year and indulge in some treats, but fast food, baked goods, and alcohol will only leave your body craving real nutrition.  If you must dine out, try something like Chipotle that has fresh food (order on-line to save yourself some time).  Avoid menu items with the words fried, smothered, sautéed and anything with cream/cream sauce; when you can, opt for grilled or steamed.  Keep the sweets to a minimum by filling up on healthy foods and knowing that you don’t have to try every single one of your relative’s cookies.  When enjoying adult beverages, try not to over-indulge as alcohol interferes with sleep.

– Exercise!  It doesn’t matter what you do, just move your body and get your heart rate elevated.  After a long and hectic day I often don’t want to exercise, but I always do, because it makes me feel so much better!  If you find yourself less than motivated, try just doing 5 minutes of something.  Chances are, once you start, you’ll feel better and that 5 minutes will turn into more.

– Make time for yourself!  Whether it’s a nightly bubble bath, a restorative yoga class (think getting cozy in a pose while the instructor comes around and gives all the students a massage), date night, a girls’ night in/out, a chapter of a good book, or just some time spent sitting in the silence after the kids are in bed. Remember, you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

– Avoid peak shopping times!  Though if you must, be prepared to take some deep breaths and know that there is always a place of peace and calm inside you if you take those deep breaths. A great strategy is to inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and then exhale for 6 counts.

– Arrange for childcare while you are shopping.  Whether it’s grandma or grandpa or a teenager in your neighborhood, leaving the kids at home while you brave the stores will make things a lot less stressful!  If you don’t have a trusted sitter, local churches and mom’s clubs often have lists of babysitters and websites. Places like and have been very helpful for many people.  The Little Gym ( offers Parent Survival nights (usually Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30-10:00) and they have day camps during the weeks that the kids are out of school so that you can get some shopping done in peace.  I checked rates last month for my son, and it’s $30 for members, $35 for non-members and there are discounts for multiple children.

– Use your children as an excuse.  Hopefully none of my relatives are reading this right now, but getting your kids to bed on time is a great excuse to leave a stressful or unenjoyable holiday gathering a little early. 

– Find something to be grateful for in every situation.  When I’m sitting in traffic and my son is complaining, I remind him (and me), that not everyone has a car or money to fill up the gas tank and we are truly blessed to have the ability to sit in our warm car with music and each other for however long it takes us to get where we are going.

Happy Holidays!
Nicole N. Torres, MOT, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

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Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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