Tips for spiritual struggles

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of gifts and gatherings during this final week of Advent and leading up to the Christmas season, I thought I’d write for those who may feel less joyous. Whether you are feeling lonely or will be alone for Christmas or the new year, I pray this post brings you comfort.
A bit of self-disclosure as I begin: typically, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love celebrating the joy of Christ’s birth, the optimism of Christmas songs and excitement about spending time with family and friends. However, this year I feel a bit less enchanted with the season. It could be due to facing the continued daunting task of finding employment or overall life stressors, but one truth I am clinging onto is Immanuel. God is with us.
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Mt. 1:23
I’m sure we all have experienced the spiritual dry seasons where God seems so far away. No matter what we do or say His presence feels out of reach. What we must always remember is God is with us through the peaks and valleys of life.
Here are a few go-to techniques I have found helpful when going through spiritual struggles.
• Keep on praying no matter how you feel. Despite the urge to forego prayer, maintaining a commentary with God can help us move past our feeling of isolation and forlornness.
• Although it may be easily inviting to lapse in Mass attendance and receiving the sacraments, sometimes going through the motions is precisely the jumpstart we need. Whether it’s Confession or receiving the Eucharist, these important fundamentals of our Catholic faith are like a refreshing cleanse for our souls.
• Maybe it’s the social worker in me, but self-care is imperative to wellbeing. Make sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep, eating healthy nutritious foods and an appropriate amount of exercise. It is like a domino effect; if these areas are lacking our spiritual health can begin to take a turn for the worse.
• Always have a spiritually-related book by your bedside. I’ve found when I do not have the words for how I am feeling or thinking, talented authors unlike myself are not only able to articulate my thoughts, they can provide helpful insight or energetic encouragement to push through my spiritual struggle.
Know you are thought of and prayed for,

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