December 22nd, 2011
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New York Daily News Photo

The holidays are all around us and sometimes it feels as though the songs, the decorations and even the food are reminders of the beloved people we lost.

This time of year can be especially difficult for those of us in search of a place of peace.  We quietly ache for the presence of a particular person we loved and grieve for while we also try to live in this season of celebration.

If you feel as though you are at that point of bearing too much, it’s okay to take a break from your emotions.  You may feel lost but you also deserve to feel some comfort and joy.  Your loved one would not want you to be feeling conflicted and miserable.

Pushing your thoughts to another place, even temporarily, can have the effect of rebooting your outlook on life.  This in no way dishonors the seriousness of the emotions you are trying to process or the memories of our loved ones.  Grieving is stressful and emotionally and physically tiring and those who are dealing with the paradox of the holiday season need to make sure they take care of themselves mentally and physically.

Photo by Aaron Knights
Here are a few holiday stress busters you might want to try:

— Take a walk.  It doesn’t matter where you go or how long you walk, but spending some time with nature can be calming.

 –Turn off the television.  It can be good to hear another voice in the house but too much television just becomes draining.

 –Do something you are good at.

 –Try not to set your expectations too high.  Those perfect holiday gatherings that you see in the movies aren’t representative of most families.

 –Make a memory box, collage or journal to store your thoughts and memories.

 –Keep things simple.  You don’t have to decorate if you don’t want to and you don’t have to follow your holiday traditions.

What’s your favorite holiday stress buster?

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