Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Spirit is a Choice

The holiday season is upon us again with all the hope, the joy and the good cheer that it brings along; however, for some people the holidays can be stressful, a time filled with loneliness, anxiety and depression, the so called "Holiday Blues." In the midst of all the gift giving, parties and family gatherings, there are people who experience a gnawing feeling of emptiness, sadness, loss and depression. "Tis the season to be jolly", but unfortunately for many the fast pace of the holidays, along with the financial pressures, the fatigue, the shopping and the social gatherings leave them frazzled and emotionally exhausted.

Here are some suggestions, which can help one keep an emotional balance and enable oneself to be more in charge of emotions during this time.
  • Acknowledge your feelings. Allow yourself to admit that you feel sadness and grief if there has been an event of a separation, divorce or loss of a loved one this past year.
  • Be realistic, by keeping your expectations reasonable.
  • Plan ahead, to avoid stress. Develop a schedule of specific days for shopping, baking, and delivering gifts and social gatherings.
  • Maintain a positive outlook. Make a point of avoiding negative people who are complainers and critical of others.
  • If you are alone for the season, plan early to be with some friends.
  • Share responsibilities with other family members or friends such as cooking or baking. Avoid fatigue and be nice to yourself.
  • Be moderate with food and drink. Eat only what you want and drink what you can reasonably handle, avoiding overdoing it.
  • Give to others less fortunate than yourself. Give a gift of money, if you can afford it.
  • Remember the true meaning of the holidays. They are a time of spirituality and recognition of special religious events. This could be a time to renew your spiritual beliefs.

Let's see the holidays as a time for deeper understanding of our lives, our motivations and our relationships with others. Happy holidays and may the peace and true meaning of the season be yours today and throughout the year.

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