The holidays can be the most difficult time of the year. They can trigger many deep emotions and painful memories. If you recently lost a loved one you may be filled with grief, anger, sadness, depression and loneliness. These feelings become amplified during the holidays. Places in the world that have months of darkness, like Alaska, and Northern European countries have higher incidences of irritability, fatigue, illness, insomnia, depression, alcoholism and higher suicide rates. Some people get depressed during the wintertime due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. The decrease in daylight hours can affect our brain chemistry. Elderly people and people with cold intolerances are more inclined to stay at home more which can lead to social isolation. We also tend to be less physically active so we don’t feel as energetic. The holiday season is a time for giving. True gifts can’t be bought in a store like love, friendship, intimacy, health, happiness….. Instead of giving material gifts this year, consider giving gifts from the heart. Give the gifts of love and service. Reach out to those who are in need. Comfort those who are depressed and grieving. For in the giving you receive many blessings.