Let's face it — the holidays aren't always a delight for all of us. Whether it's financial stress, love or loss, or any number of life's small (or large) misfortunes, the holidays can feel like more of a burden than a blessing. Well I'm here to help you buck up and de-Scrooge…• Slow down and visit a while. When I was a kid, my grandma used to go visitin' people. She'd drive over to her friend's houses and sit with them for awhile. They'd enjoy a cup of coffee, have a little conversation, and then she'd be off. In this technological age, when was the last time you went visitin'? Sit a spell, why don't you? Get to know your friends and loved ones face to face again!
• Be thankful for what you have. Yes, life can really feel like it sucks sometimes – especially in this iffy economy. By taking a moment to take stock of what you have, rather than what you lack, you can feel like the richest person in the world.
• Soak up the sights and sounds of the season. You think you're feeling depressed now? Wait until mid-January, when all the twinkly lights have been taken down and everyday feels like a cold and dark Monday morning. So put your thoughts aside and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays. Give in to the music, oooh and ahhh at the trees and lights.
• Do something for someone else. Bake some cookies for your neighbors. Have a thermos of hot cocoa waiting for your mail carrier. Doing something for someone else will take your mind off your own worries and give them a boost, too! Everybody wins!
• Celebrate forgotten traditions. Those dealing with loss can find the holidays particularly painful. The memories of past holidays spent with loved ones can be a tough reminder that they're no longer with us. Take a night to re-live your memories. Celebrate an old tradition and think of the past fondly ... even if through tears.
Image: Jason Loper