Let’s all be super honest! The holidays bring stress. Lots of STRESS!! Even good things create stress and just the sheer volume of extra work brings with it a level of stress. Most of us have schedules that have no extra room to accomplish these extra tasks.
* Gift buying *Decorating *Parties *Wrapping *Travel *Finances
Not to mention, the list of things that surface during the holidays.
*Expectations *Loss *Loneliness *Grief *Depression *Anxiety *Family
Now I love Christmas but what I really love is family time, relaxing, good food, games and peace. I love celebrating the amazing thing God did by sending Jesus. Accomplishing for us, what we could never do on our own. The last thing I want is to get lost in the chaotic must be perfect American Christmas…but we do…it’s easy.
We like pretty things and giving gifts and parties and on and on it goes. If we aren’t careful, we walk through the season and we miss it…or we dread it.If we aren’t careful, we walk through the season and we miss it…or we dread it. Click To Tweet
Maybe there is hope for the holidays, hope for the stress we are all under. Maybe the solution is to shift our expectations. To expect things to be busy, to expect things to be not perfect, to expect people to be crazy, to expect stores to be busy, to expect kids to argue during advent, and to expect those who’ve experienced grief to be sad.
Preparing for stressful times is a mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual process:
Look at the situation with realistic expectations.
Remember what you really value and want out of this time.
Take care of yourself: eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep
Take time to sit and take slow deep breathes.
Observe the world around you. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? Take time to live in the moment.This time of year can be difficult for those who have experienced loss Click To Tweet
Know when you need extra support. This time of year can be difficult for those who have experienced loss or already struggle with anxiety and depression. Have safe people on call for you, join a support group, or just be real with your family and friends. They love you. You don’t have to pretend. If you need professional help, call a good counselor.
The season is about GRACE! Grace God extends to us through the incredible gift of Jesus.The season is about GRACE! Grace God extends to us through the incredible gift of Jesus. Click To Tweet
Grace wins. Grace doesn’t expect anything but us to be real and messy. Grace gives. Grace forgives. Grace is undeserved. Christmas is Grace.