Instead of a houseful of kids and their little ones running around laughing, crying, playing with toys and sneaking treats, this year my husband, Jim, and I will be home alone for Christmas. Perhaps this is something familiar to you, for one reason or another?
My automatic reaction is to feel sad and find myself sucked down into a “poor me” mindset. But I know that’s isn’t where I want to be—or where you want to be, either.
What can we do if we’re alone and feeling blue? We can decide to change our perspective—and here are eight simple ways to help you do that!
- Sing. Play music. Listen to the words and join in praising God. Singing is a guaranteed mood lifter and perspective changer. “Sing for joy to God our strength” Ps.81:1.
- Smile. Smile at little children. Their harried moms. The older shoppers who are trying to find just the right present. Make smiling your chosen expression (not through gritted teeth, however!). It will make you feel so much better and maybe lift up another lonely soul.
- Invite. Is there someone you haven’t had time for this past year? Could you suggest meeting for coffee, lunch, or even over to your home? Perfection isn’t needed—only a loving heart that looks beyond its own world.
- Rest. Remember all those too early mornings when you longed to just stay in bed? Now’s your chance. Take time to read a book of the Bible or several psalms. Choose a special book, magazine, or television program. Make or buy some once in a year yummy treats and ENJOY this gift of time!
- Give gifts to others. Go online and look for simple Christmas recipes. Make peppermint candy or a cranberry loaf and go drop it off at a shelter or places that serve the homeless. Change your perspective from looking inward to looking outward—as God our Savior did when He gave us the most amazing gift of love any one can receive.
- Write a list of your blessings. Think back over this past year. Even if it has been one of the most difficult you’ve experienced, ask God’s Spirit to show you where He was present, loving and supporting and guiding you through. He will show you something and lift your heart.
- Go to a Christmas Eve Service. Even if you’re by yourself, don’t miss the presence of God amidst the beauty of this celebration. Let your senses feast on the beauty, your ears delight in the music, your heart be moved to new heights of gratitude and love.
- Pray about your dreams for the coming year. What do you want to see happen in the coming year? Have you thought about changes you want to make? New paths to walk? Write out what comes to mind when you think of taking better care of yourself physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
Whether you’re physically or emotionally alone for the holidays, I hope these 8 ways to beat the Christmas blues help you enjoy the holidays. May you be filled with joy and a fresh awareness that Christ IS with you, whether you’re surrounded by people or peacefully alone.
POPPY SMITH helps audiences across the country and around the world to cultivate a more dynamic walk with God. She is a former Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader and has a Master’s degree in Spiritual Formation and Direction. She has spoken across the United States, in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K., as well as several countries in Africa and Asia.
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