Denver Bar Association
December 2011
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Wellness Brief: A Guide to Holiday Survival

by MINES and Associates

Wellness Brief



or many, the holidays are a time to share the joy of family traditions and create new, special memories. But for some, these expectations can make holidays stressful, especially for those who feel disconnected from family or friends, those who feel alone, or those who may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Regardless of your situation, some degree of stress and tension around the holidays should be expected. Consider some of these suggestions to help prepare you for this busy time of year and make the holidays a special time in your own way.

Create Your Own Traditions

The holidays are directly connected to the traditions of the past. When those traditions are additionally connected to painful or troubling memories, it’s time to create healthy traditions of your own. Think of new events you can participate in on your own or invite new people to join you in an old tradition. Make a point to keep your new traditions alive each year and they will start to add happy memories to your holiday spirit.

Be a Participant

Sometimes, what you need are good friends around you. Look for opportunities to get involved in holiday activities that get you out having fun with friends and family. Attend parties, invite friends to local activities, or even take a trip to some regional event. A little holiday spirit can go a long way.

Ask for Others to Chip In

Just because you are hosting the holiday event does not mean everyone else gets to sit back and do nothing. Remember, the true meaning of holidays often comes down to sharing the holiday experience with the ones you love and feeling thankful and blessed. Welcome everyone to share his or her favorite recipe or bring a game. Getting together on a holiday because of tradition is one thing, but joining families and creating new memories and traditions will bring you closer and make the time you spend together more meaningful.

Keep Your Life in Focus

It can be easy to focus on what you don’t have—not what you do have—during the holidays. Make a point to celebrate the good things in your life. Contact your friends and remind them of how much you value their friendship and support. Another great way to remind yourself of how fortunate you are is to volunteer at a local charity or food kitchen to help others and give back to your community.

Be Willing to Get Help

The holiday blues can be difficult to manage for anyone, but for some they can be especially limiting and inhibit your ability to function regularly. If you need help, talk to someone—a friend, loved one, or a trained counselor. Talking about how you’re feeling and what triggers those feelings can teach you new ways to cope and can help keep your holiday blues at bay. D

Published as part of MINES & Associates Personal Advantage services and available at Written by Life Advantages, author Delvina Miremadi ©2011.

Wellness Brief is a monthly column that will look at all aspects of health and living well and offer tips on how to bring well-being into your daily life. Is there a topic you would like to read about? Please email suggestions to Docket Editor Sara Crocker at

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