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Holiday Stress

The holidays have an effect on all of us in someway or another.  These

feelings touch our personal and work lives.  This newsletter is to offer insight and strategies about dealing with stress and the holidays.  As the holiday stresses become more manageable the quality of our performances both at home and at work will improve.


Three of the main reasons that we are upset during the holidays are:  we feel poorer; there is the expectation that the holidays should be a happy time; and we remember holidays past and think about people and things that we miss.


  1. Instead of using money to say what we are afraid to say, remember:

The perfect gift doesn’t have to be expensive to show caring and love.  Sometimes the small gift that shows that someone close to you has noticed a special need or desire is the one that will touch you in a special way.  Would’nt you rather get a few simple gifts with loving words attached to them or one very expensive gift?.  Let the people close to you know that it is really the thought, not the price tag that matters to you.

  1. Action is the best antidote for depression and can also help you meet your expectations:

When you find yourself getting the holiday blues, get involved with a charitable organization or local senior citizen center, or just be on the lookout to try and be more available to your co-workers and family members who look like they need help.  Send a letter or make a call to some friends that you haven’t been in touch with for awhile.  Decorate your home in a simple way and ask relatives and neighbors to come and help you make holiday magic.  Meditate on the theme of thankfulness.

  1. Bring the past into the present in a new way:

Instead of letting go of the past, I prefer to invite us to hold on to the past in a new way.  Memories are precious and make up whom we are.  Loving memories should be celebrated and cherished.  You might consider lighting a candle each evening to celebrate the memory of loved ones and just have it glowing like a silent presence as you go about your meal and evening activities.  Setting up familiar holiday decorations and attending services of worship is another way of being thankful and celebrating the past.

Above all, be gentle with yourself.  Practice the “Sabbath Principle – allow yourself some down time to simply sit and sip some tea by candlelight or listen to your favorite music in the evening,  Inner peacefulness is an important emotional and spiritual goal.  Holidays have the potential to generate more depression than any other time of the year so we have to work extra hard to reach our goal of feeling peace and serenity.  Remember, the holidays were created for people, not people for holidays.  May you find peace, joy, and love during this time.




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