The holiday season is considered the “most wonderful time of the year” for many people, but for some, it can be a time consumed by anxiety, pressure and isolation. Whether you are trying to safeguard your sobriety or simply enjoy the holiday season to its fullest, here are some tips for reducing holiday stress and creating a healthy balance during such a busy time.
Maintaining a healthy balance around the holidays can be challenging, but it is crucial. It is important to realize as our schedules get busier with invitations to attend events and parties – and the need to decorate, shop, and plan – self-care is ever so necessary. Find time each week to take care of yourself! If your self-care entails weekly yoga classes or a self-help meeting, make an effort to maintain your routine. You may find that your invitations to attend events and parties overlap with your routine. It is ok to say “no” to an event that would impede your ability to maintain your self-care. There is no party or event more important than taking care of yourself! Now, learning to say no can be tricky, so here is some help. One of the benefits of texting is that you can simply shoot a text to your friend and say “thanks for the invitation to the holiday party. I have a prior commitment so I will be unable to join. Wishing you a great holiday!” Keep it simple and just extend gratitude for the invite. It’s ok to say “no.”
Another way you can create a healthy balance is to determine what your boundaries are, and this can include the company you will keep and your financial abilities. If you determine that a family member or a friend is toxic, consider the cost if you chose to spend time with them. When we surround ourselves with positivity, we are more grounded and content. When you determine your finances, stick with them. Your holiday season can be filled with joy without being filled with gifts. If purchasing gifts is important to you, stay organized. Keep a list of who you need to shop for and as you shop, add the gift and amount spent to your list. This list will help you maintain boundaries around your spending.
Lastly, develop an exit strategy to help you plan to leave an event or party that is causing stress. Perhaps you can bring a sober companion and agree on a way in which you can alert your peer if you want to leave. This will allow the comfort of knowing that you can leave the party with ease when you are ready. It will also help you to become aware of your surroundings and ensure you understand your power in making the decision that is most comfortable for you. If you are unable to bring a sober companion to an event, there are still plenty of ways that you can leave a party that is unsafe for your recovery or simply, not an enjoyable experience. You can approach the host and thank them, while also mentioning that it’s time to leave for another commitment or to get some rest before a busy day tomorrow.
Creating a healthy balance, setting boundaries and taking care of yourself are essential methods for having a stress-free holiday!
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