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The holiday season is often regarded as one of the most happiest times of the year. The decorations are up. The lights are shining bright.

Families are gathering. For a lot of us, it’s a time of joy and merriment. However, the holidays can be one of the most difficult times of year for a lot of people, including many of you in the CNJ church family.

Whether it be due to the stress of handling the pressure of feeling overwhelmed by growing lists of responsibilities, anxiety about family gatherings, worries about the state of the world or coping with grief after the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be a time of despair.

If you find yourself feeling a little blue this time of year, know that you are not alone. In fact, doctors and mental health professionals have been documenting patterns of increased rates of depression during the holiday season for years. The National Alliance on Mental Illness found that 64% of people living with a mental illness report that their conditions worsen around the holidays.

Symptoms of seasonal depression include: tiredness or lack of energy, no longer enjoying activities you previously liked, persistent feelings of guilt or hopelessness, change in sleep patterns or appetite, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, difficulty working and general irritability.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider these tips:

If you are someone you know is need of prayer during this time of year (or at any time of year), please reach out to the CNJ Prayer Ministry by emailing Mitzi B. Welborn at, contacting the church office at (704) 332-9137, or completing one of the prayer request cards in the church sanctuary. You can also join us for Prayer and Devotion each Tuesday and Thursday at 7am by dialing the prayer line at (617) 691-8220.

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