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Survival Tips for Handling the Holidays November and December can be the most painful months of the year. Death, separation, divorce, illness, family trauma, job loss or moving to a new location can all result in feelings of great loss that make the holidays difficult. If you are facing difficult times, or you know someone who is struggling, here are some suggestions: • Prepare for the ambush of emotions that can happen anytime. • E xercise (reduces stress) and Eat Healthy (gives strength). • Accept the difficulty at this time of the year and your loss. • Shop Online if the mall is too stressful. • Socialize. Force yourself to go out, even if it is only for a short time. • Lower your expectations. • Do not numb your pain with drugs or alcohol—these chemicals will create even more depression. • Decorating and Ornaments may cause too much pain. Put them aside for another time. • Light. Get some sunshine. • Set Boundaries by precisely explaining to family and friends what you are and are not capable of doing this year. • Reach Out to Others who might be alone during the holidays. • Have a Coping Strategy by keeping the phone number of a counselor, pastor or close friend nearby. Mar t y’s Stor y “I am so grateful for the many opportunities to serve our Lord at Scottsdale Bible. Using the gifts He gave me, I am privileged to serve in the Counseling Ministry. Little did I know how this serving opportunity would prepare me for a gigantic life change last year when my husband of 55 years went to be with the Lord. “As a facilitator in the GriefShare ministry, I had consoled many broken hearts and learned about the Lord’s master plan for their lives even in the grieving process. I realize now, the Lord was preparing me with a ‘head start’ for my time of grieving. The men and women of GriefShare have been a wonderful support for me and for each other. “Although our first holiday season was difficult without my husband, my family and I decided to keep the same traditions as before. This year, however, we have decided to observe some new traditions as we continue to walk intentionally with Christ during this holiday season.” For more information, visit HOLIDAY 2012 19

November Compass Issue

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