How To Avoid the Holiday Blues 11-21-18

How to Avoid the Holiday Blues 
As we approach the holiday season and the onset of winter, some of us will succumb to seasonal depression. Shorter daylight hours, colder temperatures, and the beginning of winter can trigger feelings of moodiness, lack of motivation, and fatigue. Coupled with the stresses of the holidays, some of us can feel even more anxious and overworked. Social gatherings, the financial burdens of buying gifts, and the pressure to feel festive can trigger holiday anxiety. Family visits can prove taxing and painful feelings can surface with the memory of lost ones and the simple realization of the passage of time. If you’re going through a difficult time, it can be tough to see others with extra joy in their lives. You should know that you are not alone. There are ways to manage your symptoms and get the help you need. Here are some ideas about how to take a proactive approach to staying positive:
  •  Keep active-A lack of energy can be a drain on your mood. It is important to engage in exercise or other physical activities that release endorphins and boost your energy levels and frame of mind.
  • Stay on your side-Critical thoughts of oneself often arise during the holiday season. It is important to recognize when the inner critic starts to get louder in our minds. We need to take a kind attitude towards ourselves.
  • Don’t abandon healthy habits-Try to limit alcohol intake, avoid overeating, and get plenty of sleep. Try not to let the holidays become a free for all as over indulgence can sometimes add to your stress and guilt.
  • Chose family time-Don’t feel guilty about choosing the time you spend with your family. This holiday season seek out places and people that make you feel good. Design a holiday of choice in which you decide who to spend time with and where to go. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and be true to yourself.
Don’t let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, try and take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can transpire during the holidays. Learn to recognize your holiday blues triggers and try to combat them before they lead to a meltdown. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you can find peace during the holidays. 

Reach Out To Others 12-20-17

“O Key of David, O Royal power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”

At this festive time of year, when all our attention seems focused on gathering with loved ones, those who are grieving face a most difficult challenge. They may feel locked out of the brightness around them. Be the key that releases those who are grieving, while still respecting their own journey. Reach out to those who have lost special people in their lives. Be creative. Spending a quiet evening with a friend may be more consoling than an invitation to share in festivities with a heavy heart.

—from the book Advent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek