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Rashional Extrascomment (0)

November 17, 2011

Dealing with stress during the holidays

1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry.

2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits.

3. Be realistic. The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones.

4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of stress, too.

5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and stick to it.

6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list.  

7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed.   

8. Don’t abandon healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets. Get plenty of sleep and physical activity.

9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do.

10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

— Mayo Clinic staff


In July’s Rashional Thoughts column, “Finding God amid the routine,” you asked what God was teaching us.

Whereas you collect memories in photographs, I recommend also capturing them in electron word pictures in the form of biographies of parents, ourselves and special friends. Inserted photos can play a big part.

God invented memory for preservation before He gave us cameras.  Good writing takes more work than one click, but it is very educational for both writer and reader, allows godly interpretation and may even delay Alzheimer’s. Memories are transient unless you record them.

Bob Cosby, M.D.
Birmingham, Ala.


Have we recognized that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? If so, we must be careful to keep it undefiled for Him. We have to remember that our conscious life, though it is only a tiny bit of our personality, is to be regarded by us as a shrine of the Holy Spirit. He will look after the unconscious part that we know nothing of; but we must see that we guard the conscious part for which we are responsible.

— Oswald Chambers
“My Utmost for His Highest”


“We have become so engrossed in the work of the Lord that we have forgotten the Lord of the work.”

A.W. Tozer
Well-known 20th-century preacher and author

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