The Holidays are here and this can be a very joyous time of the year and also a very stressful time. Stress & Anxiety can also be overwhelming during the Holidays  and a person may not feel they can survive the Holidays.

Although the holidays are supposed to be a time full of joy, good cheer, and optimistic hopes for a new year, many people experience seasonal “blues.” The holiday season is a time full of parties and family gatherings, but for many people, it is also a time of self-evaluation, loneliness, reflection on past “failures,” and anxiety about an uncertain future.

The “holiday blues” can be caused by many factors: increased stress and fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over-commercialization, and the inability to be with one’s family. The increased demands of shopping, parties, family reunions, and houseguests also contribute to these feelings of tension. Even people who do not become depressed can develop other stress reactions during the holidays such as headaches, excessive drinking, overeating, and difficulty sleeping.

How does a person cope with feeling an overwhelming sadness during this time of the Year? My guest Suzanne Craig shared some great advice for combating seasonal depression, sadness and for staying positive during the Holidays. She spoke about the way we think. She explained that two years ago this month, she began a healthy journey to lose weight and to feel better. Suzanne found herself at 400 pounds and this extra weight was bringing her down in so many ways. She knew it was time to take action and do something about it. She started walking at a local park, and found that if she focused on positive thoughts and prayer during her walking, she could finish the half mile loop.

After a short period of time her time spent walking this loop increased in distance and she began losing weight. Suzanne took notice of how much better she felt and how much easier it was to move around and keep up the pace. Two years later she has dropped 161 pounds and is so much healthier and happier. She found that joy and peace inside of her as she focused on God and the positive things in life.

I believe all of us can lift up our Spirit as we focus on the Word of God and allow Him to direct our steps. When our focus is on God, our thoughts are positive and productive.

Exercise also helps lift our Spirit and makes us feel so much better!

If you haven't been following the 12 Days of Fitness on Facebook, here is a link to some simple exercises you can do during the Holidays or anytime of the year!