1. You need to connect with people. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself from the very people God may want to use to encourage and restore you. Make plans. Don’t sit around and wait to be invited.

2. Set realistic goals. Organize your time by making lists and setting your priorities in order. We often worry the most about the things that matter the least.

3. Make a budget and follow it. If you spend too much now, you’ll add yet another burden to the holiday season. Don’t let the gloom of debt cloud what should be a joyous time of year. Focus on God’s true blessings and His trustworthy nature … Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have, for He Himself has said “I will never desert you, nor will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

4. Contact someone you’ve lost touch with. This is a perfect time to rekindle a lost relationship. You may find that God begins a new chapter in your life.

5. Be honest with God about your situation. If the Bible is true, and I believe it is, nobody cares more about you than your Creator. He doesn’t just discover your pain when you notify Him in prayer. But you may find out about His great plan for your life as you spend time with Him … be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ (Phil. 4:6).

6. Get plenty of rest. People tend to eat, drink and party too much during the holidays. None of those activities are conducive to a good night’s sleep. The more worn out you get, the more susceptible you are to depression and discouragement.

Les Parrott's Making Happy
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7. Let go of the past and find new or different ways to celebrate. While many family traditions are good, you may feel in bondage to doing things you don’t enjoy because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

8. Don’t overindulge in holiday foods. There is a genuine, negative physiological effect from foods high in sugar and fat. Additionally, you may struggle with guilt from overindulging. Moderation is the key.

9. Don’t focus on what you don’t have – focus on what you do have. If you think about it, it won’t take you long to envision someone in a worse situation than yours. God has neither abandoned nor forgotten you.

10. Get out of yourself and into other people. Your best insurance against an empty holiday is pouring yourself into someone else. You’ll find that your burden eases as you invest your life in another.

Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women and relationships. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.