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SPIRIT Carole & Ronald Krist Samaritan Center for Counseling & Education December 2009 · Touching Lives · Healing Hearts
Peace & Joy.  Advent is all about remembering God’s love for us. While presents, caroling and other Christmas traditions are fun, they are also gifts that serve as reminders and point us to the real reason for the season—God. As we move closer to the holidays, may we remember our true purpose, leave behind stress and embrace joy. It’s time to sit back, relax and catch this month’s Spirit.
For many, the holidays bring a familiar mix of excitement and dread as we prepare for and attend the season’s festivities. Although bright lights, presents and family traditions are exciting, we also fear the stress of underlying family conflict, tight finances and a hurried schedule among other things. In short, the holidays can have a subtle way of draining away our life and joy.  It’s important to recognize that the holidays do bring anxiety and learn how to deal with it rather than ignoring it until an emotional buildup explodes on family and friends. The best way to reduce holiday stress is to prepare for it.  1.	Identify what stresses you out. If a busy schedule causes you stress, preempt the impact by committing to fewer activities. 2.	Take time out. Make time for just your spouse and your children so you can develop your own family traditions and memories apart from extended family and friends. 3.	Remember to rest. Get enough sleep and schedule “down” days or afternoons for quiet activities around your home. 4.	Create a holiday budget. Stick to your budget and don’t get distracted by holiday sales. 5.	Resolve family issues. Meet and discuss family issues and holiday schedules before your December gets too hectic. 6.	Get enough exercise. Extra energy helps in coping with stress. Go for a walk, bike ride or run to get your blood flowing. Remember, shopping doesn’t count! 7.	Eat with moderation. Don’t let the abundance of holiday food get the best of you. Commit to eating healthy and smaller portions while still enjoying all the delightful tastes of the season.   To fully enjoy the richness of the holiday season, we need to be well physically, emotionally and spiritually. When you are well, you can pour more love and joy out on your family and friends resulting in a wonderful, memorable holiday. So, make an effort to keep your joy and sparkling eyes by preventing the seasonal blues and losing your anxiety. Service Spotlight Each month, Spirit will shine a spotlight on one of our services to reveal how Krist Samaritan Center is touching lives and healing hearts all across Houston.  The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) of Greater Houston is a free, confidential support group for individuals struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, and their families and friends. The Krist Samaritan Center hosts support group sessions every Thursday evening at 7 p.m.   For more information about DBSA, visit www.dbsahouston.org. At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.  ~Thomas Tusser
Krist Samaritan Center Annual Fund  As we celebrate the season of giving thanks and giving back to others, we hope you will support the important work made possible by the Krist Samaritan Center. The Center’s Counseling Assistance Fund helps to serve individuals and their families with fees based on personal financial need and available funding. Your generosity can help bring hope and healing to those who would not otherwise be able to afford such care.  If you would like to donate to the Counseling Assistance Fund, visit our Web site www.samaritanhouston.org and click on “Make a Donation.”
Touching Lives · Healing Hearts  17555 El Camino Real │ Houston, Texas 77058 │ 281.480.7554 │ www.samaritanhouston.org