10 Ways To Beat The Holiday Blues

While the holidays are a time for celebrating, rejoicing and merriment, for many it is one of the most oppressive, anxious and depressing times of the year. With relational and financial pressure, the weight can become unbearable. Which is why I want to offer you 10 ways to beat the holiday blues. While many of the events surrounding your holiday season may not change, you can control your reactions to them. Today, purpose in your heart to embrace these 10 tips and watch as your peace abounds over the next few weeks.


 1. Give Thanks

Today is day 18 of the 20-Day Countdown to Thanksliving. We can beat the holiday blues by entering His presence.


In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving. When we come before Him with thanksgiving, our joy is full. When we come into His presence, He is waiting to make the great exchange. He wants to give us beauty for ashes, joy for pain and a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. When we make that exchange we are lighter and free to abound in joy. How do we make the exchange so that our joy will be full? We cast our cares on Him. Just yesterday, I was having some difficulty and was on the verge of saying, “Lord , I can’t do this”. Right then He whispered to me “Just call my name”. And that’s what I did. And we made the exchange. No blues, just joy.


All that is suggested here so that you BEAT the holiday blues and emerge the victor!


2. Celebrate & Honor

Are you grieving a loved one who has recently passed away? Do you still feel the huge void left by the passing of the family member who just made the holidays all the more special?   Give yourself permission to feel what you feel. I learned a powerful lesson from one of my dear friends as she was grieving the loss of her uncle. While there is a commonly held grieving process, no one can dictate how another moves through that process and we have to lovingly give people space to grieve. We have to create environments safe for people to express their grief. They should feel comfortable letting others know what they’re feeling.


What can you do? Look at old photos of your loved one and share stories about their exploits. Tell the children a funny story about them. My own mother passed away when I was 18. One of my fondest memories was a Christmas she was living in a rooming house. My mom, my sister and I were in this one tiny room. But when we awoke on Christmas morning we were all together. We listened to old music, ate good food, opened a few presents and it was one of my best Christmases ever. And I specifically remember her playing one of her favorite songs “Sideshow” by Blue Magic. Now playing that song is part of my holiday tradition as a way to remember and celebrate my mother’s life.


3. Prepare But Don’t Overdo It

You have been blessed to be a blessing. To whom will you extend hospitality this holiday season? While you want to make your guests feel comfortable, save yourself some stress and don’t overdo the preparations. Even if your parent that is coming to visit is a perfectionist and will cringe because you’ve got a stain on your ceiling from a water leak months ago. Is now the time to go to Home Depot and get the supplies to tackle that project in the midst of preparing to feed the 30 guests you are expecting? I would venture to say everyone will appreciate the fellowship, food and fun and will talk about the good time for years to come but no one will be talking about the stain (except maybe Mama but since you know that’s how she is…LET IT GO).


4. Pace Yourself

Are you running a sprint or a marathon? In fact, are you even in a race? So that’s the rush? What’s the hurry? Slow down already. Check your calendar. Do you NEED to attend every event you’ve listed on there? Do you have to cook a dish and bring it to every home you will visit? Perhaps you can pick up something on the way. Or maybe you don’t have to bring anything at all. That particular house always has more than enough food there anyway, don’t they?


5. Stick To A Budget

Financial woes can certainly give you the blues. But you will remain steadfast and stick to your budget. It is so easy to pick up an extra this or that while waiting in the checkout line at Wal-mart. But those little this’ and that’s can add up. Have discipline and self-control to stick to a list and stick to a budget. Bring cash only as a means to help you stay on budget.


6. Guard Your Mind

From the day after Halloween, the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s onslaught begins. We are bombarded with images to see, songs to hear and fat and calorie laden food to eat. We have to be vigilant to guard what we see, taste, touch, smell and hear.


7. Martha Stewart (not now, maybe later)

A wise friend, at whose knees I literally sat shared a nugget of wisdom years ago that has stuck with me. She said, when cooking a large holiday meal, don’t make too many new dishes. Her suggestion was to make 1 new thing and save experimenting on new dishes when you have more time and less pressure. That is so wise. For Thanksgiving I’ll be cooking nearly 10 different items. Do I really need to complicate it by make 3 things for which I keep needing to refer to the recipe? That sound like a recipe for disaster.



8. Embrace The Now Moment

If you’ve visited this blog before, you may have noticed that I talk about this often. That’s because I see its power at work in my life everyday. Slowing down and focusing my awareness on what exists before me this very moment enables me to embrace what is true. I can then relish and celebrate this space, in this moment, at this time. The past is gone, the future has yet to occur but this very moment is blessed.   I am breathing. I am safe. I am surrounded by people who love me. I am loved.



9. Do Something Just for You

Ok. This is a hard one for me. It is only in the last year that I have embraced it without feelings of guilt. And its not simply “oh I need me time. I need time to myself”. Sometimes I need just a few minutes of quiet so I can catalog all the many thoughts flying through my brain. Sometimes I need just a few minutes of silence from the beautiful cacophony of my 5 children’s chatter. And the converse it also true. If you need to be around others so you aren’t consumed with feelings of loneliness, then connect with someone.



10. Be Flexible

Here again is one I’ve had to learn as it doesn’t come naturally to me. Naturally I am a linear thinker, one track mind. I’m headed in my direction and if anyone is moving the opposite direction and gets in my way…well. But I’ve learned to surrender my plans and to be flexible for whatever changes or modifications need to be made. You know what I learned in being flexible? Life is more fun. I can now embrace spontaneity (well just a little).


I would have wanted to add another. But since I like to look of 10 things instead of 11, please meet me right back here tomorrow because I am eager…I almost cannot contain myself…eager to talk about honoring our temples during this season. This could definitely be another holiday stressor so we want to proactively ensure we maintain our health in the midst of cakes, cookies, ham, turkey, gravy, chocolate, egg nog and on and on and on…


Having a Vegetarian or a Vegan over for Thanksgiving? Make sure to stay tuned for a recipe just for them.


As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Stress Free

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