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#holidaystress

12 Ways To Cope With The Holiday Blues  

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. 

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10 Life Principles To Help With Holiday Stress

1.         Life is NOT fair.  Almost daily something unfair happens to us.  The holidays are no different so expect unfair things to occur during this holiday season.

 2.         Avoid either-or/good-or-bad thinking.  Today is not going to be a good day or a bad day.  Good things will happen and not so good things.  Likewise, this holiday season will have positive occurrences and not so positive happenings.

 3.         Money never brings happiness.  Understand that money, or the lack of it, will not determine your holiday happiness.  Memories and not material things is what you will remember from this Christmas.

 4.         Don’t expect perfection from life.  Perfection is the enemy of good.  Hope for a good Christmas not a perfect one. 

 5.         You can’t change family or friends.  This holiday season accept the fact that your family and friends will be the same as always so take them for who they are and go with the flow.

 6.         Avoid absolute thinking like “always” and “never.”  Thinking we have “always” done it this way or we “never” did that before during the holiday season will only create stress.  Openness and flexibility will lead to a happier holiday season. 

 7.         Don’t have binocular vision.  Avoid focusing on just negative occurrences with the holidays so they don’t become bigger than they really are.  Look at all the positives to have a more realistic outlook on the holidays. 

 8.         Avoid labeling people and experiences.  Others will have differing opinions and behaviors.  Nonetheless, you can still enjoy them and not let that diminish your holiday happiness. Focus on the good qualities of family and friends.

 9.         Think percentages in life.  Every day is somewhere between 90%(A-) to 60%(D-).  Daily, this holiday season will also have a range.  Expect this holiday season to average about a C+ to B-.  Anything more is very satisfying, anything less is then not too disappointing. 

 10.       Avoid mind-reading.  You can never know what another person is thinking.  Look at the facts not your feelings when assessing how family and friends are enjoying the holidays. 

 This Week:  Begin implementing one or two life principles to help with holiday stress. 

Enjoyed this post?  Like or share on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word!  See past blog posts under Practical Wisdom for Marriage, Parenting, and Life.