Are You Worried About Staying Sane On The Holidays?
You are not alone!! I don’t know anyone who isn’t anxious about something this holiday season. Also, if you’re in recovery or sober, this is an especially stressful time. Holidays are triggering for a million reasons, so knowing you have coping tools to use when you need them should come as a relief. I pulled a few of my favorite tips from my book, 100 Tips For Growing Up, to help you stay stable and keep the peace over this complicated time. From having a few tricks on how to de-escalate when tensions are rising to a couple of ideas on how to cool off when you feel like you want to punch someone, take what you like, and leave the rest!
When you feel out-of-sorts or you feel like you are getting anxious, stop and consider whether you might be hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. We use the acronym HALT because it reminds us to pause when we are agitated and see whether a quick fix will make us feel better. I know that I get hangry and irritable but a quick bite will make that demon go away!
Be A Hero To Someone
‘Tis the season to do good! Do you know what makes this recovering person feel good no matter what else is going on in my life? Helping someone else. There is nothing else like it. Find someone or an organization that can help you pay it forward. Be of service to your community, to your meetings, and to anyone who will welcome the help. Self-esteem is built through esteemable acts. If you don’t like yourself right now, that’s OK. But, by doing something good and seeing yourself through someone else’s eyes, you might just get a new perspective on yourself.
Stop Being A Fixer
Are the family member who steps in to fix anything that’s going wrong? Do you protect people and overcompensate for others lacking? Stop it. You don’t have to do that. This crazy thing happens when you stay in your own lane. Life goes on. The party goes on. The world is not going to come to a crashing halt because you are not fixing other people or their problems. If you find yourself stressed about other people’s issues, then that’s something to look at. But, they don’t need you to step in and it’s time to take a break from that behavior.
Manage Your Triggers
What are the things that people do that drive you crazy? Instead of being surprised by things you already know annoy you, plan for them and have some coping tools ready. For example, I have people in my life who are controlling with food. It makes me nuts, especially because I’ve overcome my own unhealthy eating habits over the years. I’m capable of screaming at someone for telling me when or what to eat, but that is not helpful to anyone, particularly myself who feels like a jerk after I yell. What’s the answer, having a few polite party lines ready to go. If I’m prepared, I can handle things. Prepare yourself for what’s going to bother you. It will help.
Speak Less Listen More
Do you put your foot in your mouth? I sure do! But, this year, I’m not in the mood to apologize for what comes out of my mouth. The trick is to not say anything that will piss anyone off. So, speak less and listen more. I’m sure everyone at the table has a travel story to tell so ask everyone about their favorite trip or movie or whatever else will keep you safe.
Start The Day With Gratitude
There are a lot of people who are suffering all over the world. In my opinion, if you are safe, have enough food and a place to live, and no one is abusing you, you’re doing pretty well. Write down the things you are grateful for, even if it’s coffee and sleep. Get in the habit of feeling good about what you do have. Gratitude will change your perspective. But, like everything else, you have to do it and practice. All of these tips will help you stay sane on the holidays so I hope they help!
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Tips For Growing Up
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