Text Box:     Eat drink and be merry. Presents, garland and time to be with family and friends. Ah, yes! Itís that time of year when all is festive and the mood turns to happiness and frivolity. But many times the mood is not there! So many have lost the mood and the focus is anywhere but on Christmas.
     For those who have had a loss? When this time of year, especially when this Christmas will be the first without a special loved one or friend makes the season a bit lonely or just not the same as it has in the past. What should one do? 
     To start with, your feelings are normal. We all grieve and cope with loss in our own way. The key is to acknowledge your feelings. Tell yourself that itís alright to cry. Crying is acknowledgement and we have to be ready to do so. When all is festive and your mood is not, there is no way to make yourself be happy. By acknowledging those feelings and seeking support from family and friends is the way initially to address and cope with the loss and despair. Many will be told Ďit will be okí and in fact it will be, but you and all around you grieve in different and various ways and the sense of loss may be very different. 
     Further, donít allow yourself to be run down and exhausted by the hectic schedules that we all seem to amass this time of year. Do not allow the holidays to drain you to the point that by shear exhaustion you are unable to cope with the feelings that you have. Take a break! Take some you time! This will allow for a recharging of mind and body. Take a walk, read a book, whatever you know is relaxing and will allow you to take charge of your mood and outlook. 
    Finally, take time to reflect on your feelings and remember that the fond memories that you have of the loved one will never go away. Life and family change. We must learn to accept this and make new memories and traditions as we journey through life. Take part in the spiritual or religious parts of the season. Focus on the fact that Christmas is more than lights, malls and gifts. The joy all began over two thousand years ago in a quiet and lonely stable and without this miracle, the peace that we can find in our own personal walk could not be possible. 
    This is not a letter based on academia. I followed these steps last Christmas after losing my Father in July of 2008. As with many of you who read this, it was a different celebration and there was a empty seat last Christmas that can never be replaced. However, new traditions began as well as keeping some of the old, and remembering that life goes on, loss is a part of life and eternal life is the goal. May God bless each of you this Christmas, with hopes your celebration will be joyous and happy, even though there may be sadness and a bit of despair. Merry Christmas to All of You!   Ron
Text Box: Tis the Season for Stress

December† 2009

Issue 13

Carolina Center for Counseling

& Behavioral Interventions, LLC

Contact Information

304 A North East Main Street

† Simpsonville, SC 29681††††


Phone: 864 - 963 - 4028

Fax: 877-201-4878


Click to email

Text Box: 12 Tips for Relief from Holiday Stress and Depression 
Text Box: Acknowledge your feelings. If a loved one has died or youíre far from home 
Seek support. Involve yourself with family or friends. Donít isolate yourself. 
Be realistic. Families and friends change. Hold on to memories and accept change.
Set differences aside. Accept family and friends as they are. Set aside grievances and remember they too may be stressed by the holidays.
Stick to a budget. Determine what you can afford and stick to it in order to avoid worry throughout the holidays and the rest of the year! 
Plan ahead. Set a schedule for shopping, events and travel that allows for  delays without forcing you to worry about deadlines.
Learn to say no. Holidays are packed with gatherings, events and demands. Its alright to say no and you be the judge of what you can take on. Others will understand if you can not take on more than you can handle.

8. Don't abandon healthy habits. Eat sleep and be merry. But not too much or not enough and keep first priority on your health and welfare.

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

10. Rethink resolutions. Resolutions can set you up for failure if they're unrealistic. Don't resolve to change your whole life to make up for past excess. Instead, try to return to basic, healthy lifestyle routines..

11. Forget about perfection. Holiday TV specials are filled with happy endings. But in real life, people don't usually resolve problems within an hour or two. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others.

12. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad, anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable, hopeless, and unable to face routine tasks. If these feelings last for several weeks, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. You may be suffering from depression.