The holidays are great and joyful times for most, but are miserable and depressing for many others too! The holidays are a reminder of what we have, but also a reminder of what we do not have, which for some can lead to increased feelings of loneliness and depression. Let’s together be mindful of those that are hurting during this holiday season- maybe it is you that is hurting too! Many will experience the holidays as a time of grieving those that they have lost, others feel the reality of separation in their broken families and not being with their kids or family, and also the stress of finances and conflict is harder to avoid during the holidays, too. How then do you cope with the blues and the depression that can come with such as blessed time of year?
There are lots of things you can do to cope, but I want to highlight a few that are at the top of our list. Firstly, how about prayer? Prayer is recognized not only in religious circles, but also in psychology and business as a cornerstone of emotional contentment. Prayer is a time to present your requests to God, to share what is on your heart, and to listen for what He may be communicating back to you. There are lots of requests to present during this season, and much on your heart that you can download in prayer. It is a powerful time that be renewed during this holiday season. You could take a moment and pray right now!
Another is journaling! Journal your guts out this holiday and allow yourself to really be honest and feel the ups and the downs of these seasons, the closeness and the conflicts, and letting it all out on paper will lead to insight about yourself and your life that may lead to important revelations and vision for what you need in the year ahead. Remember that “knowing is half the battle” and the holidays can be a time to get to know yourself, your needs, and the issues that you may need to address and take responsibility for to move forward.
At Renewal Christian Counseling Center, we have a dedicated and caring staff that will all tell you to build your support network, have plans to structure in times with them, and use self care knowing you may need extra time with friends and counseling time to process the emotions and the triggers that this holiday may bring with it. We call it “support building” and this is a big part of counseling and the tools that need to be learned by all. “Support building” involves being intentional about who to surround yourself with and making specific plans to be with these supports by defining the steps you are to take and planning for the barriers that you may run into. Please take some time to do some support building now for the couple months ahead as means of prevention, and then prayerfully follow through with your plans throughout the next two months, especially.
We pray that you would have a blessed season, with all its ups and downs, and that you find peace like never before!
Steve Fair, LMSW