Christmas is a memory, New Year's Eve has come and gone, kids are back in school, you are facing the bills, the bleakness of winter and maybe sadness and disappointment; because you didn't get what you wanted for Christmas, your family didn't live up to your expectations, someone you love let you down, you lost your job or there is illness and separation. Maybe a recent death or divorce. Maybe you have a bad case of "what's the use?" Your spirit can feel tired, worn out, feeble. Now what?

Most of us will keep on plugging, doing what is expected, trying to maintain sanity, pushing ourselves against the tide of emotional or physical pain, persevering in spite of what life is asking of us, some of us will tell ourselves "this too will pass" others will ask the question "is this all there is?" Some allow resentment to burn a hole in their heart. Some people will deny they have any problems or negative feelings at all. This is not written for them. But perhaps it will help someone they love.

Life can consume all the energy you possess and leave you feeling depleted if you do not have a way of replenishing your spirit and nourishing your sense of self. What can one do to bring relief from depression, anger, sadness, worry, or fear of the future? Take some action.

  • Buy or make a beautiful box on the top of it write "God" This is your God box. Give yourself 15 minutes alone with God every morning. Write on a slip of paper the names of people or the events that are worrying you and drop them in the box.
  • Pray for the people who have hurt you or who you have resentment against every day. If you really hate them do it twice a day. If at all possible level with the people who have hurt you in person or by letter.
  • Do your best to avoid negative people, if you can't then visualize yourself behind a plexiglass screen and everything negative is bouncing off of it. It helps if you have a positive message you can give yourself to offset the negativity.
  • Do not allow yourself to be emotionally or physically abused by anyone.
  • Stay in your day. Ask God to help you not to borrow trouble from tomorrow or live in the pain or disappointments of yesterday.
  • Lighten up and see the humor in things.
  • Learn not to take things personally. Understand that people who disappoint or mistreat you do it because of who they are not because of who you are; however, do not make excuses for bad behavior, it is what it is.
  • Do one nice thing everyday for someone who is not expecting it and who may not even realize you have done it. Don't seek or expect appreciation.
  • Start a gratitude journal and write down everything you have to be grateful for. Never take for the granted the simple things like a warm bath, a roof over your head, people who love you, food to eat.
  • Develop the habit of praising God for everything good and bad.
  • Be the owner of all you possess not possessed by all you own.
  • Forgive people for not being perfect and do not carry a grudge.
  • Take very good care of yourself. It is not selfish to do things for yourself; it is self-preservation, (truly selfish people don’t give it a thought they feel entitled to put themselves first).
  • Ask others to pray for you.

Some people would rather die than follow these simple steps to peace, be advised that research has shown that cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks and other illnesses can stem from stress and unresolved emotional problems. Life is too short to be miserable and it is completely unnecessary.


Evelyn Leite has been a family systems therapist since 1980. Highly regarded for her seminars in multicultural counseling and education, she gives special attention to issues with people from varying cultural and ethnic backgrounds. She has designed and implemented many family programs and is proficient in spiritual and grief counseling. She founded Living With Solutions in 1989 to help her clients and their families heal.