What do you do when the happiest season of all doesn’t seem happy at all?

Whether it’s a scary medical diagnosis, the loss of a relationship, or death of someone you love, a traumatic season of life can make the holidays feel overwhelming. Decorating, shopping, and house guests might be more than you can handle this year. Before you decide to pull the covers over your head and wake up in January or start your day with eggnog—stop! You are not alone.

3 Steps To Survive The Holidays Without Losing Your Mind

1. Say what you need to say.  It’s a temptation for many of us, especially when cool weather hits, to spend a lot of time at home, alone. Maybe you’re facing crushing circumstances right now all by yourself. The problem with isolation comes when the little voice starts whispering in your head. The lying, conniving voice telling you, “Nobody understands. Life will always be this painful. Nobody cares about you.” Don’t believe the lies.

In Perry Noble‘s book, Overwhelmed, our pastor puts it this way, “… whatever is tearing you up inside, stop hiding it. The sooner you ask for help and admit you need other people, the sooner you will find relief.”

2. Make a plan.  Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Consider doing things a little differently this year. Plan a time to talk with those closest to you about creating a strategy for the holidays. For example, this year will be the first Christmas for a dear friend since the death of her dad. She and her mom are discussing their strategy, which might include a few days in the Caribbean. Would a change in location, menu, or traditions be helpful this year? If the thought of decorating, entertaining, or gift buying is making you hyperventilate, it’s OK to bring it all down a notch. Do whatever works for you.

3. Be still.  Tomorrow morning, rather than hitting the ground running, would you take a few moments to be still? Wake up up 15 minutes early, find a quiet cozy place away from the noise and chaos, and spend the first precious moments of your day with the Lord.

Psalm 34:18  promises, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” You can know His indescribable peace when you invite Him in.

This holiday season you may want to check out “Hope Is” or another reading plan

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing. Please visit GriefSurvivor.com for more information.

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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