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Christmas

Resources to Help You Cope with Holiday Blues

 
Hi, friends!
 
I haven’t written for several months, and I’ve missed you, but family members have been going through unexpected health issues since this summer. Although we’re still dealing with these things, we hope for a better tomorrow, trusting God knows all and takes care of us all–even when we can’t see Him.
 
 
resourceschopeholidaysrevisedSo… as you know from some of my previous holiday-related posts, I have a hard time during this otherwise joyous season. But I’m not the only one. Thousands–actually, millions–of people are depressed and hurting during the holidays for a number of reasons.
 
 
This year, I’ve compiled some of my favorite posts and resources from around the Internet about how to deal with anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder, difficult memories, or other mental and emotional concerns during the holidays. You’ll want to bookmark this page for future reference. 🙂
 
 

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has an entire section devoted to the holiday blues, as well as a video and fact sheet on the “Holiday Blues,” including a section on children and holiday anxiety.
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  • The Huffington Post has two great articles (Part 1) and (Part 2) on how art therapy can help people de-stress during the holidays. I’m definitely trying some of these!
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  • On LinkedIn, one of my connections posted an article about how Jesus dealt with depression. It’s brief, but he makes great points.
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  • PsychCentral gives some suggestions for how to help those who are struggling during the holidays, as well as the impact of not getting enough sunlight during this stressful time.
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  • My friend and fellow author Rachel Wojnarowski wrote this ebook, 12 Days of Christmas for the Hurting. It’s available on Amazon.
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  • Also, Dr. Wayne Dyer writes about how to recapture the spirit of the holidays, particularly Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s in his book, No More Holiday Blues. It’s an older book (2010), but the information still applies. Dr. Dyer’s book is available on Amazon.
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  • Finally, The Skit Guys have a humorous take on all the busy-ness during the holidays, which can lead to increased anxiety from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

 
 
I know there are more resources out there. Do you have any you would like to add to this list? Share them with us in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Also, if you know someone who struggles with depression during the holidays, please share this post with them.
 
 
I hope you remember during this season–and always–that Jesus is close to you when you’re brokenhearted, depressed, and feel like giving up.
 
 

 
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there. (Psalm 34:18)
 

 
 
 
 


Related Products

 
 
Groove: Stories to Refresh the Way We Think and Feel About Our Mental Illnesses
 

Dec 2014

Dec 2014


 

(click on book cover to find out more about Groove.)

 
 
 
 

December 2013 Book Giveaway Winners

 
Hi, friends!
 
Cover3What a great response to the book giveaway. It’s neat to hear the different things people thank God for; it encourages me to look at things differently. Isn’t God good?
 
So this is how the winners were chosen: First, I assigned each comment a number and entered the numbers into a random number generator. Five numbers were generated. Then, I cross-referenced the numbers to their names. Each name won a signed copy of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, my 31-day thankfulness journal.
 

And the winners are…

Lori R.
Latasha D.
Larry and Sara G.
Denise M.
Kathy P.

 
 
Congratulations to each of you! I will send you a direct message with additional information. I hope you will each benefit from the words written in this book and that you will encourage others to purchase it as well. I would love to hear the unique things you are thankful for, so send me a note every once in a while.
 
Also, it would be great if you could write a review on Amazon, GoodReads, and other online book retailers once the book is out officially. 🙂
 
Here is a description of the book, from the back cover–in case you missed it in an earlier post:

It’s no secret: Insects can be annoying. They zip around and get in your face, usually while you’re trying to do something productive or have a conversation. Ketchup? Some people take it; others leave it. Sure, it makes burgers and hot dogs taste better, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a condiment. Late-night phone calls? Chances are you’re not going to like what you hear on the other end of the line.
 
These three things probably wouldn’t make it on your list of God’s blessings. But they’re on Daphne’s!
 
In Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, Daphne Tarango reveals why she now sees these minor, insignificant, and annoying things as God’s blessings. Daphne will help you keep a quick journal of how God smiled on you throughout the day—your very own dragonfly, ketchup, and late-night phone-call moments.
 
Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls goes beyond general thank-yous to God. Each day begins with a prayer of thanksgiving. You fill in the rest with your specific blessings for that day: Morning, mid-day, evening, and bedtime. There’s even room for jotting down more thank-yous to God on extra pages. (Believe me, you’ll need them.)
 
Journaling God’s blessings using this 31-day journal can make your good days even brighter. “Hey, God is thinking about me!”
 
On bad days—maybe even difficult seasons, journaling using Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls can make your heart lighter and your mind clearer. Your situation might not have changed when you lie down at night, but your lips just might curl up on one end as you think, “That wasn’t such a bad day after all.”
 

 

To Pre-order the Book

If you would like to pre-order a copy of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, you can do so via PayPal. December is a great opportunity to purchase several copies–-one for yourself and others for a mother, wife, sister, daughter, or friend. This is a great resource for children. Men can order too! 😉 It makes a great stocking-stuffer. 🙂
 


 
Once the book is out officially, you will be able to purchase via Amazon and other retailers.
 
Once again, thank you so much for your support of this ministry. God has opened so many doors for me this year, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store in 2014.
 
 
Blessings and big hugs,
Daphne
 

8 Ways to Deal With the Blues at Christmas

 
Hi, friends!
 
I tend to get depressed during the holidays. I wrote about that last year. So as the holidays approached this year, I was pleased to hear my pastor, Dr. Jay Dennis of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida, preach about depression during the holidays.
 

Image from First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, Florida, USA

Image from First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland, Florida


 
Today, I am sharing his sermon and his notes with you in various formats. You’ll want to watch, listen, or read the information below. It really encouraged me this past Sunday, and I’m sure to refer to it again and again during the holidays.
 
 
 

Watch

 
[vimeo 80830395]
 
 
 

Listen

 

[powerpress url=”http://fbcm.bc.cdn.bitgravity.com/2013/20131201.mp3″]

 
 
 

Read

(click on the image of the study notes)

 
BlueChristmas-spread
 
 
I know you will find these eight steps helpful as you navigate the holiday season.
 
 
Come alongside… Have you struggled with depression during the holidays? How did you handle it? What steps did you take? Which of the eight steps in Pastor Jay’s sermon resonated with you most? What steps can you take this year to help you through the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below. Remember, you can share anonymously.
 
 
Note: All information in the video, audio, and study guide is copyrighted by Jay Dennis, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Florida. Used with permission.
 
 

First Christmas

This Christmas is especially meaningful to our family. It will be our first Christmas with our three children, whom we adopted in August of this year.

 

We have been trying to point them to Christ during this joyous season—they haven’t had that influence in their three-and-a-half years in separate foster homes.

 

As we’ve decorated the house, we’ve stopped and read passages from the Bible. We’ve also created a book for them that explains the significance of our traditions:

 

  • The Christmas tree
  • Candy canes
  • Wreaths
  • Poinsettias
  • Gift-giving

 

And most importantly, the manger scene where baby Jesus came into the world.

 

As we’ve read to them, their eyes have filled with wonder and delight. They continue to look around the house in awe of a holiday that truly is more than lights and commercials. Everything we have done—and will continue to do—celebrates Jesus.

 

I know it is a turning point in their lives. It is for me too.

 

Explaining the real meaning of Christmas to a child—our children—has re-ignited a passion in me for the holidays. I find myself getting lost with contentment in the bundles of joy God has brought to our little family.

 

In many ways, it’s my first Christmas.

 

Is this a glimpse of what Mary felt on her first Christmas with the Christ of Christmas? Did she gaze at the marvel of God in her arms? Was she silenced by the Son of God on her chest? Did she whisper in His tiny ears that He would save us from our sins? Did she celebrate Jesus—God with us?

 

Truly, it was her first Christmas.

 

Throughout history, many families have celebrated their first Christmas—not one filled with lights and commercials but one that lifts up Jesus—God’s first and only Christmas to the world.

 

Forever, we will share the merriest story of all. Forever, we will treasure all these things in our hearts (Luke 2:19).

 

Thank you, Jesus, for that first Christmas.

 

Come alongside… Tell us about your first Christmas celebrating Jesus. What are your traditions?

 

 

A Co-Dependent’s Holiday Prayer

 
As a recovering co-dependent, I cringe at the onset of holiday season. I know—I probably shouldn’t say that–after all, the holidays are a joyous time. We celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
 
CoDAHolidayPrayerrev
 
 
That’s not the part that makes me cringe. It’s all the…

  • Expectations.
  • Hustle.
  • Frenzy.
  • Event after event after event.

 
 
Starting around Thanksgiving and through mid-January, stress and anxiety overwhelm me.
 
 
This year, I figured I would be proactive and pray continually. This is my…
 
 

Co-Dependent’s Holiday Prayer

 

 Father, thank you for this joyous season.

Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me

So that I could live forever with you.

 

God, you know how anxious I get during the holidays.

Help me not to look for approval from anyone—

Not about presents, events I plan, events I attend,

Not even about the way my home should look.

 

Help me not to let anyone’s frenzy zap my serenity.

I might feel the urge to rescue others from their over-commitments, Lord.

Help me to restrain myself.

 

Help me not to try to please others by putting myself and my family on the backburner

While spending so much time on what others might want.

 

Lord, give me the freedom to let my family be themselves—

Not to control their behaviors and appearance.

 

Help me to be myself,

Regardless of what others might say or think.

 

Lord, help me to demonstrate the true meaning of giving—

Not giving to others as a way of gaining their approval and exceeding their expectations.

 

Open my eyes to my own feelings as they arise.

Help me to step aside and regain my focus as I need it.

Show me what I truly want this season—a simple life that celebrates You—

The greatest gift of all—Jesus.

 

Amen.

 
Come alongside… What part of my prayer resonated with you most? Will you share this prayer with others?
 
 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, BloomThat, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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