Bracing Against the (Shh!) Holiday Blues

Have any of the following thoughts crossed your mind?

“Do I have to go to one more family gathering?”
“Oh no, why did I eat (or drink) so much?”
“This is my first (fill in the blank) and I’m nervous. My whole family will be here.”
“I have __presents to buy and no money. What will I do?”

If you have had these thoughts or considerations, you may be setting yourself up for “holiday blues.” According to the website WebMD, there are 10 triggers that can produce anxiety and stress as we get closer to the Thanksgiving and winter holiday season. Added to those stress producing scenarios are the usual seasonal ones such as shorter days and lack of sunlight. One of the ways that we can combat a variety of these triggers is to know ahead what they are. Be proactive. Plan ahead.

Here are some suggestions:

Keep your same schedule. Exercise and eat well.
Set a budget for shopping and stick to it. Make a charitable donation in place of gift buying.
Choose to cook the turkey, don’t feel obligated.
More invitations than you can reasonably handle, settle on the ones you really want to attend.
Know your limits on food and drink. Plan ahead.
Keep your prayer and meditation life full. Observe the upcoming Advent season as a way to keep yourself focused on what is really important in your life.
Check the parish calendar for upcoming Advent programming, prayer, and spiritual growth opportunities.

Suggested readings:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544

http://www.m.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-triggers



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