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Especially at this time of the year, we feel overwhelmed. So many things: Work. Travel. Christmas.

With Christmas, family issues.

When things pile up, just do the immediate task at hand. One thing at a time. Run things down, item by item.

It's when we try to grand-slam it and "gulp" it all down at once that anxiety builds into what then can approach panic.

Make a list. That will immediately reduce the stress. It's when we're trying to remember everything we need to do that we subconsciously fear forgetting to do something important and that makes for tossing and turning at night.

Write it down. Make a list. Check it twice. Then, as you do them, just check one item off at a time.

Don't force things. Focus on the task at hand. Anxiety is often the result of trying to do too much. A key to happiness is discipline (which means organization). Be reasonable. Know your limits. Neither procrastinate. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. He knows your capacity! Take joy in diligence.

Then, just set out piecemeal.

Often when people eat or drink too much, or fight too much, or anger readily, the root cause is that they are working or running around too much. There is exhaustion. Running on empty.

Fill your tank with prayer. Look at how methodically Joseph and Mary approached the "overwhelming."

Aim mainly, in everything (big work, small work, chores) at feeling God present.

If He is there (and He is), all will flow and get done (well). You will find what you need to find. You'll accomplish what seemed like too much. Suddenly, somehow, there will turn out to be enough minutes in the day. Are you too busy to be in touch with Him? Let life unfold. You may notice that as you age, you find yourself improving, without forcing it -- more patience, less inclination to get angry, less laziness, more compassion. It often comes with time because this is the reason for life: learning and improving through trial and error (and repentance). It's when we forget the lesson that the trial is repeated (and then comes the vicious cycle, the treadmill)!

Be completely truthful with yourself. The truth will set you free. With inner freedom comes: inner peace. Admit what needs to be admitted and move on to the chores at hand!

The more truthful you are, the more God is present.

The spirit expands.

Christ is the Truth and the Light and the truth shines a light on everything and brings us in touch with who we are, which leads to our mission; it also leads to harmony, which brings health; if we experience sorrow, and handle it well (with prayer), it soon expands our capacity for joy, which comes soon after! It is like exercising a muscle. It expands our emotional capacity. ("I tell you most solemnly, you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy," John 16:20). There is always the Light at the end of the tunnel.

If you have antagonisms with anyone you may have to see at Christmas and find it hard praying for them, start by praying for their deliverance and healing from the faults that afflict them. When unconditional love with firmness is bestowed upon an errant person, it often causes a purging of "unloving" (no matter how antagonistic the person is).

What kills is judgment. What heals is love. Joy in living is the truest sign that we are living right. Everyone is loved infinitely, and with incredible compassion. When you feel the Presence of God you have compassion. There is a "blueprint" or plan for everyone's life, and while we each are free to embrace or reject it, the Light of Jesus as the Christ Child is there (especially at this time of year, when we step back from shopping) to help find it.

[resources: The Other Side and Michael Brown pilgrimage, Medjugorje

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