Preparing yourself

While the holidays are a stressful time, they don’t have to be unbearable if you are prepared. People all deal with stress in different ways. Some people get sadder around the holidays. Others get anxious. Some are just irritable or tired. Regardless, if you plan and put yourself in a better position, you can often avoid a lot of these issues from the start.

holiday stressMaking a Plan

It’s all about making a plan. For those of you in recovery, you know all too well the power of a good plan. Take the time to think about exactly what it is that triggers your emotions or brain about the holidays. Can you avoid that situation or event this year? If not, how can you make it less stressful or sad for yourself? Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Positivity begets positivity. It’s annoying at times, but it’s painstakingly true-- if you are positive, it will be easier to stay that way and see things in a better light. It is also an uphill battle for most, so don’t beat yourself up too much if you can’t quite get the hang of it every time.
  • Create new holiday traditions if your existing ones are too stressful. The holidays are supposed to be full of love and joy. There’s no reason to stress about enjoying yourself, so just take the time to figure out what works for you. There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy the holidays, so long as you’re enjoying it.
  • Don’t panic. It’s easy to start thinking about the holidays looming ahead and get yourself worked into a funk or anxious panic only to realize that there’s nothing to panic about. Yes, there may be some stress or depression during the holidays. However, it’s not usually serious and can be taken care of in many ways.
  • If the family is part of the problem, don’t visit. Yes, the holidays are about being with family. However, if your family is not functional or causes more stress than joy, you might want to avoid spending your holiday with them. This can sound harsh, but there’s no reason to put yourself in a dangerous emotional place just for the sake of familial obligation.

These are just a few tips to help get ahead of the holiday blues. It’s all about planning and being prepared in every way you possibly can.

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