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Have You Lost Your Holiday Joy?

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It is that time of year again when we are bombarded with ads, music, movies, and TV specials all guaranteed to make us joyful, happy, and part of the holiday season. In between the ultimate gift guides, retail sales, and all types of food and home preparation, is the underlying belief that this holiday will be the BEST EVER (marketers capitals, not mine) if only this or that item is added to your life, shopping cart and credit card.

But there are many among us who do not welcome the holiday hoopla and in fact become more depressed and stressed the more they think about it. Perhaps it's because their loved ones are no longer part of the celebration or perhaps they have health or financial considerations. For many, this season is more dreadful than joyful.

Have you lost your holiday joy? These tips might help:

1. Acknowledge

Don't try to hide it. If the holidays are not for you, acknowledge it. Don't apologize for how you feel.

2. Give yourself Permission to say No

Say no to parties you don't want to attend. Say no to cooking up a massive feast. Say no to decorating. Say no to shopping and overspending.

3. Gift Yourself First

Give yourself the gift of time if you are grieving. Give yourself the gift of quiet if you are stressed. When people ask, "Is there anything I can do?", throw away your pride and accept their help.

4. Look Beyond Yourself

There are so many opportunities to give of your time, talent, and treasure. Helping others helps ourselves.

5. Let the Joy Come to You

Every day think about one thing that makes you smile. For me, it's my dog, teaching yoga, my morning coffee, and my cozy bed at night. Perhaps when you are ready and willing, the joy might return.

Let the light that's within you shine forth from your mind, through your words, and from your heart. Namaste.