Yes, the holiday season is a busy and exciting time, but it can also be hard. Whether you’re an individual in treatment or recovery or a support person for a loved one, you’re bound to face some roadblocks between now and the New Year. I recently spoke with my colleague Roxanne Sardone of Grounded Nutrition Therapy about this topic, and I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you. In today’s blog post (as well as the video above), we discuss why the holidays are hard as well as five tips to help you handle the most challenging moments.
Why the Holidays Are Hard
To start, with the holidays comes a disruption to your regular routine. It’s difficult to know what to expect, how to eat, and what to do in the days following. “It’s a total change in your daily schedule,” Roxanne explains. “Life can be hard enough to navigate even with the predictability of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”
On top of the uncertainty, there are a lot of emotions associated with the holiday season. The pressure to make the holiday just right raises everyone’s anxiety. There’s also an increased need to show up and navigate social situations, which can make you feel both uncomfortable and exhausted. As you begin making plans, it’s important to set boundaries about what you can and can’t do.
And, of course, there are family dynamics at play. Given the increased stress, conflicts during the holidays are normal. It’s not unusual for you to feel tension among your family members. If you have a large family, I recommend splitting your time among a few smaller groups to help you all stay calm. When needed, practice your breathing techniques to ground yourself.
I also want to add that the holidays can be a time filled with loneliness. You may be reminded of a loved one that you’ve lost or relationships that have changed in recent years. Give yourself space for these emotions. It’s okay to have a cry about your loss or to take some down time and just be alone with your grief.
Five Reflections to Help You Navigate the Holidays
Here are five tips to help you navigate the challenges of the holiday season:
Watch the video above for more tips to help you navigate the holidays during treatment or recovery. It is my hope that these ideas allow you to handle this season with optimism and give yourself some much-needed grace!
For more information, check out my website or reach out to me via my contact page. I offer free, 30-minute consultations to new clients.
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Bonnie Brennan shares thoughts, inspiration, skills and resources for recovery