You want to survive during the holiday season without drinking too much.
You have likely overindulged in holidays past and it has left you feeling exhausted, annoyed, and sick. This year, I encourage you to try something different.
Have you have used drinking as a way to cope with the emotional triggers of stress and families? There are different options to try this year.
If you start practicing new habits as the holidays approach, you will be strong in your routines, when faced with the added stress of holiday time.
Start by creating a tool kit of coping strategies. I have thousands of ideas saved here for inspiration.
One thing that helps me keep my sanity is taking time for myself. Even if we are staying with family over the holidays, I make it a point to get up early for coffee alone, exit for a long walk around the block, or ask to peel potatoes in the kitchen with my headphones on while the others play a game in the living room. Taking some time for myself and a break from the energy of others helps me stay mindful during the chaos.
The next piece of advice has to do with your feelings. We can feel all sorts of things during the holidays. Take the advice of Mayo Clinic if you are feeling stress and depression, at what is labeled, "the most wonderful time" of the year.
Feelings pass. It is ok to feel whatever you feel, try not to attach too much to any feeling, knowing it is temporary. It helps me to express my feelings by journaling. It may also help to find a trusted friend or family member to connect and share your feelings with. You may want to step out of the room and find a place of privacy for a short phone call if your support person is not with you. Exercise is a great way to let your feelings move through you, while increasing the feel good chemicals.
Another bit of advice with feelings is to know that it is ok to feel uncomfortable. Although we are inundated with media telling us this should be the happiest time of year, for many people it is not. Do not expect yourself to feel only good feelings. It is also a time of reflection, which can lead to feelings of grief, resentment, overwhelm and disappointment. Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel, without adding to the pressure of what should be. Set realistic expectations so you don’t get out of sorts when difficult emotions arise.
Finally, prioritize your health. When you put your health first, you won’t be swayed into overindulging at the cocktail table. Bring a healthy, substitute drink for yourself.
There are many versions of holiday mocktails, but I think sparkling water with a splash of cranberry and a sprig of rosemary is my favorite. This way you can enjoy the celebratory aspect to toasting the holidays and also wake up feeling good. You might inspire your other family members to join you.
With these tips you can manage the extra everything of the holidays.