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Christmastime can be so fun and festive…not to mention full of frustration and seething anger, right? I don’t want to be a scrooge here, but have you ever noticed how this time of the year brings out the worst in people…maybe even in yourself?

Well, you know me…I’m all for being transparent and vulnerable, so here goes: I get sort of angry this time of year…and that’s especially true this year. This anger makes it tough getting into the spirit of Christmas, to say the least.Christmas just seems to accentuate and add to all the pressures already weighing me down in life, and all the life transitions happening right now just makes it worse. I find I’m not being patient with people, I snap at loved ones, and overall I just have a really hard time putting on that ‘Christmas Cheer’ that’s supposed to come so easily.

But it’s not easy. Christmas cheer can be downright difficult. Can any of you relate to this feeling?

Why does anger come bubbling out during this happy time of year? Is it possibly because most of the year it’s seething underneath the surface — pushed down and ignored? The truth is, if we don’t pay attention to our stress levels all year round, anger can burst out and detour our whole Christmas season.

Of course, it doesn’t help that we pile on TONS of unrealistic expectations on ourselves about what Christmas has to be like. We spend so much time worrying about what gifts to give, planning the parties, and sending the cards that we forget to take time for ourselves. Self-care is so important, especially this time of year! For me, I need time for meditation and prayer, for listening to uplifting music and getting exercise. That helps me to bring balance to my life and reminds me that I don’t have to be everything to everyone…just those who matter and myself. When I get my order back into my life, I find that the anger dissipates…almost magically.

How about you? How are you staying balanced? What can you eliminate or add to your life that will bring more tenderness and gentleness? Who can you ask for a little help…with whatever you need this time of year?