Christmas can be a time of great joy. However the holidays can also be a time of stress, sadness, and even depressing at times. Some people may be experiencing financial difficulties, grieving the loss of a loved one, missing a military member, in the midst of a divorce, feeling lonely, going through family struggles, etc. Battle the holiday blues through the 12 ways shown below.
1. Pray daily. Thank God for His many blessings, pray for those who are ill, pray for the leaders of our nation, pray for family and friends, and just simply have regular prayer for the needs of others.
2. Make sleep a priority. Get plenty of sleep each night in order to have energy for each day.
3. Eliminate all types of news. Most of the time news focuses on various forms of negativity, creating feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, gloom, and doom. Cut out the news for a certain period of time - one day, three days, or even a week or longer.
4. Always have a lot of light. Light combats the darkness of depression. Increase the wattage of lights, open the curtains, etc. but do whatever it takes to be in the light.
5. Take time to unwind. Being busy much of the time is not healthy. Find quiet alone time for yourself and with those who mean the most to you.
6. Respect your Christmas budget. Overspending can be stressful and can quickly take the joy out of life.
7. Write a thank you note. Express written appreciation to someone who influenced you, helped you in the past, was an encouragement, an excellent role model, etc.
8. Watch a comedy. The holidays have enough drama so avoid “downer” shows. Take time to watch a comedy television program or movie, a feel-good Christmas film, etc.
9. Remember to Exercise and Eat healthy. The blues can lead to not eating, overeating, and emotional paralysis to do nothing but sit or stay in bed. Have a well-balanced diet and eat three meals a day. Exercise for ten minutes three to four times per week.
10. Sing Christmas songs out loud. It is literally true that we are happy when we sing. So we can actually sing aloud to become happy.
11. Associate with positive people. Like attracts like. If you hang around critical, negative, or complaining individuals, you will sponge up those emotions and develop that attitude. Hence, you want to associate with encouraging, positive, optimistic, and upbeat people to combat the blues.
12. Give meaningful gifts. The very best gifts are absolutely not financial! When we give even small gifts to others we lift our mood. Give significant yet simple gifts like: your time, praise, a smile, a hug, a listening ear, a loving touch, etc.
This Week: Begin implementing one or two ideas to cope with the holiday blues.