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The holiday season from Thanksgiving to the New Year is a joyous time of celebration, family gatherings, holiday parties, caroling, a time of good cheer lived out and enjoyed in so many ways. The interesting fact, though is, the holiday season is also a very stressful time.

The following information is from Clarity Clinic located in Chicago, the website is: www.claritychi.com.

What Causes Holiday Stress?

There are a variety of reasons why the time leading up to the holiday season and the holidays themselves can cause anxiety. According to an article posted by AllOneHealth.com, “Nearly a quarter of Americans reported feeling ‘extreme stress’ come holiday time, according to a poll by the American Psychological Association. Holiday stress statistics show that up to 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a ‘lack of time,’ 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a ‘lack of money,’ and 51 percent are stressed out about the ‘pressure to give or get gifts.’”

In addition to the factors of time, money, and gift buying as mentioned above, there are other reasons why people find the holidays to be stressful. Some of these reasons include: Family drams, In-laws, broken relationships, and loss.

As I read a number of articles that dealt with holiday stress, I could not help but to start feeling, well, stressed and depressed. Was there no hope in sight? The answer is, YES, as most of the articles I read did provide suggestions on how to deal with the stress that comes with the holiday season.

I want to share two ways that we can all deal with stress during this holiday season. The information I want share is from one of my favorite websites that provides spiritual motivation and inspiration in so many ways, the website is www.appleseeds.org.

Let me share one simple way to deal with stress called the “Anti-Stress Kit”, the source is unknown.

This is your “Anti-Stress” kit. I hope that these items will help you to relax and enjoy your life more.

Rubber Band: To remind you to stretch your new ideas and your mind to new limits so you will continue to grow and reach your potential.

Tissue: To remind you to see the tears and needs of others, including those of yourself and your peers.

Life Savers: To remind you to think of your peers as your “life savers.” Care about each other and help each other through the stressful times that occur in life.

Penny: To remind you the value of your thoughts – BIG ones and little ones! Share them with others.

Eraser: To remind you that we all make mistakes and with an eraser they can be erased, as can our human mistakes be overcome.

Toothpick: To remind you to “pick out” the good qualities in others and yourself and to be tolerant and accepting of the differences of others.

Paper Clip: It’s important to “keep it all together.” Find the balance in your physical, professional, and spiritual life. Explore the resources and programs available to you in the community.

Now that we have our “Anti-Stress Kit” in place let me share how we can all deal with the stress that comes with holiday gift giving. Here are “7 Gifts That Don’t Cost a Cent”, the information also comes from www.appleseeds.org.

The Gift of Listening: But you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

The Gift of Laughter: Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you”.

The Gift of a Written Note: It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

The Gift of a Compliment: A simple and sincere, “You look great in red”, “You did a super job” or “That was a wonderful meal” can make someone’s day.

The Gift of a Favor: Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

The Gift of Solitude: There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition: The easiest way to feel good is to make others feel good.

My hope and prayer is that in some way this information will be beneficial this holiday season as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus as we wait for when he will come again.

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