It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

I can hear the song and its lyrics now. But truthfully, this isn’t the most wonderful time of year for everyone.

We opened up this conversation yesterday, and today we’re taking it a little deeper. If you’re finding this season to be difficult, may it help to know you’re not alone. Many of us struggle during the holidays and have varied reasons why they are hard.

Missing a loved one.

Lack of money and time.

A demanding job that’s busier during the holidays.

Health concerns.

An abrupt change in life.

Grief. Depression. Loneliness. Stress.

The holidays aren’t happy for everyone.

There’s added pressure during the holidays. Pressure to have a merry Christmas and a happy holiday. But what if I’m not happy?

Pressures that are society-induced and some that are self-induced. I have to do this or go to this because it’s Christmas.

Some we can’t control, and some we can. I can’t control my grief, but I can learn to embrace it.

There’s some we don’t have to give in to, and yet there are some that we can’t avoid. I don’t need to overspend this Christmas, and I’ll make the best of the office holiday party.

If the holidays are hard for you this year, may the following ideas help.

Help for when the holidays are hard

Help For When The Holidays Are Hard

Get enough rest and exercise. Lack of rest affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally, not to mention opening the door to sickness and other physical ailments. Do what you can to get enough sleep and to exercise to be and feel healthy. Taking care of you is of great importance.

It’s okay to not be jolly. Understand it’s okay to not be happy this season. Give yourself permission to feel how you’re feeling. If it helps, talk to someone dear to you. Write in a journal. Addressing how you’re feeling is important, and may be helpful in healing and lifting your spirits.

If you’re grieving the death of someone, seek out one person who understands. Many won’t understand what you’re going through unless they’ve experienced grief themselves. Seek out someone who has walked in your shoes. Talk to them. They may be able to walk alongside of you and give you timely encouragement. (We’ll talk more about grief during the holidays tomorrow.)

Draw near to God. Pray. Ask God to lighten the heaviness and to encourage your heart. Read your Bible. In past years I read through the Psalms which helped me to be reminded how God was still with me in the difficult times.

Be a blessing. There are others who are finding the holidays are difficult, too. Sometimes when we reach out and bless another, we end up being the ones blessed. Help an elderly neighbor or someone in need at work. Assist at a soup kitchen on a lunch break. Make a meal for someone in need. The options are endless.

Give yourself permission to say no. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t. You don’t have to attend every event you’re invited to. You don’t have to overspend to have a merry Christmas. And, you don’t have to do or be or measure up in any sort of way. It’s okay to say no.

Simple ideas may help us when the holidays are hard.

We’re just getting started with this list. What can we add to it? Which one resonates with you this season, or what helps you when the holidays are difficult?

Choose just one and see how it goes. I’d love to read about it below if you care to share.

May it help to know I’m praying for you today and throughout this Christmas season.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about grief during the holidays.

Blessings!

Julie

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