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Many of you experience intense emotions during the holiday season. You are around family members who can provoke stress and anxiety. You are in situations that can be overwhelming. So then, how do you deal with the strong emotions of holiday anxiety, depression, and stress?
Understand the Battle of Holiday Anxiety
First, you must understand the battle is not against flesh and blood. The enemy uses anything he can to trip you up—situations, people, things, places, thoughts, and words. So then, when you are in stressful circumstances, remember that the enemy is prowling around like a lion.
His only purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy the blessings that God wants to release in your life. He knows that you are more likely to allow circumstances to influence your emotions during highly emotional seasons such as the holidays. He wants holiday anxiety, depression, and stress to rule in your heart rather than the love and peace of Yeshua.
Second, once your mouth starts to speak out of the emotional stress and holiday anxiety in your heart, the enemy has a foothold in your life. Remember, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (see Luke 6:45). If the enemy can get you to speak in agreement with the anxiety, he knows your mind is no longer thinking on heavenly things.
Third, be aware of familiar spirits, habits, and patterns in your family. Do you find yourself battling the same spirit or influence year after year during the holidays? Holiday anxiety can be an indication that familiar spirits and generational curses are running through your family line.
Take note of them and ask Holy Spirit to reveal their source. Click here to learn more about identifying generational curses.
Once you understand the battle, you know which armor to put on—God's! Then, you can move forward in victory.
7 Ways to Battle Against Holiday Anxiety
1) Be thankful.
It is easy to go to a place of victim or lack mentality. So, thankfulness is a choice and a discipline. When you choose thankfulness, you act in the opposite sprit of victim and lack. This is when you come out of a carnal mindset, focusing only on what you see in the physical, and come into agreement with a Christlike mindset, focusing on what is true in the spirit.
“I am a new creation in Christ. I will take off any anger, wrath, malice, and blasphemy. I remove any filthy language out of my mouth. Any old man habits and patterns are removed from me by the blood of Jesus. I decree that I am renewed in knowledge according to the image of Yeshua. His Spirit lives within me. I am the elect of God, holy and beloved. I will put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and will forgive because I am forgiven. I will put on the love of God, which is the bond of perfection.”
- Look up and meditate on Colossians 3:8-17.
- Ask the Spirit to press out the old thoughts and replace them with His Word.
- Write it down and start decreeing all or parts of this scripture passage.
2) Create a gratitude and identity list.
Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of what we do have and who we are. When we stop and think about the blessings the Lord has given us and our true identity in Him, the lies from the enemy get quieter.
“I am chosen before the foundation of the world, predestined to adoption. I have every spiritual blessing available to me. I believe this and receive it, in Yeshua's name! I will not focus on what I don't have, but rather repent and turn my eyes to see all that I have been given through Christ: redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, blessings, an inheritance, protection, acceptance, and promises!”
- Look up and meditate on Ephesians 1.
- Ask the Spirit to remind you of every spiritual blessing you've been given and who you are in Yeshua.
- Write down the words from Ephesians 1 that speak the loudest to you in this season.
3) Focus on who God is.
When you are meditating on who you are, you also must remember who the Lord is. You can only be the new creation He says you are if He is who He says He is. Because of Him, you are everything in Ephesians 1.
“Lord God, You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You are the author and perfector of my faith. You are Immanuel, God with us. You are my deliverer and redeemer. You are Adonai, and cornerstone. Lord God, You are my intercessor and advocate. You act on my behalf. You are faithful and true to Your Word as I enter into any battle.”
- The book of John goes through the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus: I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; I am the door; I am the good shepherd; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the true vine. Go deeper into the character of God by reading through 25 names that describe His and power each day leading up to Christmas by getting this download.
- Ask the Spirit to reveal more of who He is.
- Write down the names that He highlights to you.
4) Remember, you are not alone.
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. The spirit of depression capitalizes on the lie of “You are alone.” It couples with other lies such as: No one understands. No one gets your situation. Through God's Word, you can challenge these thoughts with truth and fight holiday anxiety and depression.
“God's Word says that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Jesus said He did not leave me as an orphan, but that I have His Spirit dwelling within me, guiding me and walking with me through every family interaction, holiday party, and other get-togethers. I trust Your Word over my emotions, Lord!”
In the busyness of the season, your head is filled with thoughts, and you naturally don't speak or listen to the Father as much. Therefore, take time to pray intentionally. You can post a prayer on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or at your computer. These notes will remind you to simply stop and pray, giving thanks, focusing on who you are in Him, and who He is.
“I am pausing to remember that God dwells within me. I dwell in the secret place and abide under the Almighty's shadow. The Lord is my refuge and strength. I trust You, Lord! You deliver me from sickness and pestilence. You shield me. I may see a thousand fall, but nothing will come near me because I am not visiting Your secret place, I am dwelling there! You give Your angels charge over me to keep me in Your ways. I love You, Lord, and You promise to deliver me in my time of trouble.”
- Get the Psalm 91 Prayer here. Pray it often.
- Meditate on verses that speak to you.
- Write them down and use them to battle the holiday anxiety you feel during this season.
6) Take time to rest.
Holiday anxiety and stress can be difficult to battle when you are physically tired. Take time to rest during this season. This might mean you need to cut out certain activities, saying no when your flesh wants to say yes. Saying no and intentionally resting can protect you against holiday anxiety.
“I will pause, turn to the Lord, and will find rest. Lord, You make me lie down in green pastures. I declare that none of my work will be in vain. I surrender my steps to You. Give me everything You have for me today, nothing more and nothing less. Create margin in my life so that I can be restored. In peace, I will lie down and sleep. You are the One who makes me dwell in safety.”
- Look up and meditate on verses such as Psalm 4:8, Psalm 127:2, and Matthew 11:28-30.
- Ask the Lord what He wants you to cut out during this season.
- Listen to His voice and accept doors that close. If you’ve been prayerful, these are gifts from the Lord to usher in the rest you need.
7) Stay in the Word.
Busyness steals so much during the holiday season… prayer time, family time, and quiet time. Staying in the Word protects you. It protects your mind, will, and emotions. The Word brings life. Staying in the Word is tied to taking time to rest; this might mean you need to say no to something else. Take even a few minutes each morning to get quiet with the Lord and meditate on a few verses.
“The Word is sharp, cutting out any lie that tries to influence my heart and mind. It is good for training me up for every good and righteous work. The Word lights my path and keeps me pure. It gives me knowledge and understanding. It is my daily manna, sustaining me throughout the day.”
- Look up and meditate on passages such as Proverbs 2:6, Psalm 33:4, Matthew 4:4, and Psalm 119.
- Write down the passages that speak to your heart.
- Declare them throughout your day.
Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that we are what we think. Think and dwell on the heavenly things.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
There is less room in your thought-life for holiday anxiety to creep in when you activate Philippians 4:8.
When holiday anxiety does creep in, follow the principle James wrote…
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
- Remember, the enemy uses holiday anxiety to trip you up
- Humbly come before the Lord with prayer and thanksgiving
- Declare His Word: who He is and who you are
- Rest and stay in His Word
The enemy will use thoughts and situations to put pressure on you, causing holiday anxiety. But submit to the Lord, resist the enemy, cleanse your heart so that you speak after the covenant rather than after the holiday anxiety, and you will be postured for victory in this season!