The holidays are a wonderful time of year for many people. For others, it can be a difficult season. One recent study reported that 45% of Americans dreaded the holidays.
Some believe that the end-of-year triggers a state of reflection…a time to think about the inadequacies of life or sad memories from the past. Other studies have shown that shorter days and the absence of sunlight can contribute to the holidays blues. Whatever the reason- we know that the holidays can be difficult for some.
Maybe its difficult for you.
What can we do to prevent the holiday blues?
Take some time off. Take some time during the holidays to focus on yourself. Exercise. Read. Spend some time in the morning in prayer or reflection. Just 30 minutes a day of quiet time can recharge your batteries and keep you energized for the rest of the day.
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10
Give back to a good cause. Get out of your own troubles by helping someone else. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Participate in an Angle Tree program. Deliver meals to the elderly. Do what you can to engage with others who are in need. Helping others gives you a fresh perspective on life and your attitude toward the holidays.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4
Reconnect with someone from the past. Think about someone who has made a difference in your life. Take 5 minutes and send them a hand-written note. Call the distant relative who has been struggling with health issues. Drop by and visit your former teacher who is now in assisted living. Text your college roommate that you’ve not seen in five years. Relationships are important. The people that you contact will love the effort, and these holiday communications will benefit you as much as the recipient.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Always remember- this year and every year- Jesus loves you.
We often reflect on the birth of Jesus at this time of year. I’m happy to celebrate his birth, but it’s equally (perhaps more) important to reflect on his sacrifice and death on the cross. He gave His life up for you and me. He allowed himself to be crucified so that we may be free from sin- and have eternal life in Heaven. Jesus knew we would be broken…sinners. But he loves us anyway. No matter what we do- Jesus never leaves. Draw near to him this holiday season.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Let’s pray for those who may be hurting this holiday season.
And as always, please let me know how I may pray for you.