Monday, December 21, 2015

The Holiday Spirit

Are you in the holiday spirit?  

For some people, the holidays are a time of fond memories and warm feelings.  For others, the holidays are a time to dread.

Many people get stressed during holiday time, even if they do not celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday season.  Why?

  1. Commercial pressure of our society.
  2. Expectations that others have, or that we think they have. 
  3. Dreary days and less sunlight. 
  4. End of the year deadlines in business and work (accounting, inventory, budgeting). 
  5. Travel and out of town guests. 
  6. Missing departed loved ones or family members that have moved away. 
  7. Going through a "tough time". Divorce, illness or other life changes feel magnified during the holiday season. 
  8. Abbreviated holiday hours of businesses can make it harder to get things done. 
  9. Lots of traffic and waiting in line. 
  10. Feeling that everything is out of their control. 
For some people depression also appears or increases around the holidays.   

Here are some things you can do to get and keep the Holiday spirit!
  1. Know how to say "no". 
  2. Smile more.
  3. Call or visit someone you know who is lonely.
  4. Invite someone to a meal with you if they will be alone over the holidays (or take them some food if they are shut-in at their home.)
  5. Practice a random act of kindness. 
  6. Take a walk, alone,  in a place that makes you feel good.  
  7. Give yourself a gift (even if it is just a break, doing nothing).
  8. Ask yourself, "how important is this really?" and cut out activities that you don't need.
  9. Get enough rest and regular nutritious food. 
  10. Ask for help. If you are depressed, lonely, or just need help running errands or cooking a meal, know how to ask for (and accept) the help of others rather than trying to do it all yourself. 
The "holiday spirit" really has nothing to do with expectations, purchases, or to-do lists. It is about appreciating who we are and what we have. It is about showing our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues that we appreciate them! 

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