Not everyone anticipates the approaching Christmas holiday with enthusiasm. Let’s face it, Christmas comes around the same time every year and it’s just bound to hit everyone at a low point at least once in a lifetime. So, if this is not been your best year and you are not really looking forward to Christmas, here are a few tips to help you cope.

Be sure you have a plan – Before the holidays are upon you take time to make a plan. Think about who you want to see during the holidays and plan to spend time with them. Think about what events you really want to attend. Whether it is your granddaughter’s school play or the church breakfast, put those on your calendar. Also think about things you don’t want to do and politely decline those invitations. If you want to put up a tree but are dreading doing it alone, invite a few of those people you want to see and have a potluck tree trimming party. Have a plan and stick to the plan.

Don’t take on things that cause stress – This is the year to cut back. Do what you want to do and let go of the idea that you must do everything that you always did. Less can be more. Be kind to yourself.

Put exercise at the top of your list – Time is a precious commodity this time of year.  It’s easy to put the things you do for yourself at the bottom of the list. If you are struggling with the holiday season, don’t shortchange your exercise program. When you are doing your planning, put your exercise on your calendar and keep it there.

Get out in the light – Days are short this time of year. The lack of exposure to light can make people feel sad. Get out during the daylight hours and take a long walk.

Remember the real purpose of the holiday – We have Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He taught us to be our best kindest selves. It’s not about 20 different kinds of cookies, or a huge pile of presents. Nope, it’s about love. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. You’ve got to love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Lower your expectations for just this one tough year.

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