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5 Tips for Beating the Holiday Blues & Reds

by Shannon K. Spellman, M.S.W.

Are you one of the millions of Americans that gets stressed out or depressed over the holiday season?  Well, take charge now with these  five primary tips to reduce anxiety and avoid feeling plagued by sadness.  First, the very minute you start seeing the holiday decorations in the stores (sometimes it starts in October it seems), buckle up and prepare for a smooth take off to rise above the chatter, crowds and traffic where you can get some quiet meditation and retreat into the silence.  While there, breathe deeply knowing that this will all be over again in just a couple of short months. 

Second, if you haven't made arrangements for the holidays you plan to celebrate, then do that. Either make a plan for where you're going to go or who you're going to invite over or not, or what you're going to do if you choose to spend the day alone, and then get specific about some of those details.  Did you know that you can cook meatloaf instead of a turkey???  Just imagine the possibilities. 

Third, make plans regarding gift exchanges or not.  Sometimes, it's good to celebrate with honoring the spirit of giving by donating goods or volunteering time to those in need rather than going into debt in a frenzy to give others material gifts just because it's the norm.  If you do make a plan to do gift exchanges, set a budget and stick to it as closely as possible.  Why should your present to another be a pre-paid resentment for you??? 

Fourth, tackle the outer wear by making plans and taking action regarding decorations or not,  and clothing for events.  Sometimes you might choose to really go wild with it and other times you can choose not to participate one bit. You can even wear the same holiday gowns and sweaters that you've worn in years past.  Who really cares about this stuff anyway???  Have you ever been asked to leave because you had on last year's sweater or lost friends because you didn't decorate? It can be very freeing not to haul out all those ornaments if you really don't have the time.  And it can be just as joyful to do it anyway if that's what you enjoy about the holidays.

Fifth, return full circle to the inner wear by focusing on your attitude and your inner peace.  You might attempt to pass that onto others rather than sharing how you really feel about it all some days. Make it part of your meditation to focus on your facial expressions and wipe the scowl off of your face and replace it with a smile. And then take a deep breath and buckle up for the rest of the flight. Above all, make the holidays filled with things that give you joy rather than doing it out of expectation or habit.  Play music you enjoy, and have fun this season.

2008. Hiding Star Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2004-2014.  Hiding Star Publishing, LLC.  All rights reserved.

2004-2014.  Hiding Star Publishing, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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