Between parties and family get-togethers, staying sober during the holidays can be a challenge. Interacting with old friends and family members may stir up hard feelings, bad memories, difficult conversations, and tempting situations. But by following these tips, it’s possible to thrive—not just survive—this holiday season.
1. Have a plan in place.
Before going to a party or spending time with family, think about what will happen. Have a team of friends and accountability partners to provide support. Here are some questions to ask:
- “Who is going to be there?”
- “What feelings will this bring up?”
- “Am I even ready to go?”
The holidays are supposed to be the season to be jolly. But for anyone who comes from a toxic family, it can be painful. Is it possible to prevent the emotional pain of spending time with family members? Yes. Instead of fear or fighting, it can be a time of comfort and joy.
Begin by letting go of any unrealistic expectations. For example, it is unrealistic to think, “It would be wonderful to spend two weeks with my ex-spouse, kids, grandkids, and our pets all in one house. What could possibly go wrong?”
It is more realistic to set boundaries by limiting time spent together, learning to say no when necessary, and discussing plans beforehand. Communicate boundaries in a way that is firm but respectful. (more…)
When you’ve lost a loved one, you may feel as if the world has come to a crashing halt. Some days are hard, while other days aren’t so bad. The holidays, however, can be an especially difficult time as you see family and friends celebrating together. You may feel more lost and alone than ever before.
Here are eight ways to help you get through the holidays. (more…)
We envision having a “holly, jolly Christmas.” After all, the Christmas song tells us, “It’s the best time of the year.”
But things are different this year. It doesn’t seem very jolly. Between busyness, unforeseen circumstances, and difficult family members, our stress level is at an all-time high. Truth be told, it’s anything BUT the best time of year. Is there a way to stress less during the holidays? Yes! To help you get through the holidays and to stress less, there are three steps you must take.
Step 1: Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations
There are often too high of expectations put on us by family and friends. (more…)