Do the holidays stress you out? If so, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to dread the timeline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, also known as the holiday season. The holidays often usher in unnecessary stress that can cause you to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief. Constant drinking at parties, family gatherings, and while alone can easily lead to addiction – all because you are having trouble dealing with stress.
However, there are positive ways of managing holiday stress. You can claim some much-needed alone time, engage in activities that you truly enjoy, and delegate your responsibilities to others at home or work. If you are struggling with addiction, now is the time to get help. A Midwest Detox, our individual therapy program can give you the support necessary to reduce and manage your holiday stress.
5 Holiday Stress Tips for a Relaxing Holiday Season
1. Practice Simple Generosity
If you are a type-A personality, you may equate doing good works with overseeing a massive holiday project. However, some of the kindest acts are small, simple, and unplanned. Instead of organizing a food drive for the poor, why not do a little grocery shopping and donate? Don’t offer to host the Christmas party this year. Instead, let another family member do it and bring a dish or help set up. You may quickly discover that helping others or engaging in small acts of generosity is far more fulfilling than taking on one big project.
The holidays are a time for relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. It is also a time to reconnect with friends and acquaintances you have not seen in some time. What better way to reconnect than a simple act of kindness: pay the tab for dinner and drinks, offer to be the sober driver for friends who are partying, or help a shy or reserved family member engage more fully with the rest of the family.
2. Attend Support Groups
If you recently completed a substance abuse treatment program, your therapist may have put you in touch with a support group in your area. A support group can be especially valuable during the holidays. When you feel stressed and have trouble managing your triggers, you can attend a meeting and let off some steam or get encouragement from others. Remember, some groups meet on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Feel free to drop in for a bit of holiday cheer to keep you on track.
Remember also that being part of a support group means you get to give as well as receive. What could be more symbolic of the holiday season than that? If you are going to travel for the holidays, you may find yourself attending a support group with strangers. However, that may be the very thing you needed: a different perspective from a group of judgment-free strangers. Likewise, they may have really needed you. An outside perspective can be enlightening, but it is also a reminder that there are people everywhere living a life of recovery and understanding the effort it takes.
3. Stay in Shape
Before your New Year’s resolutions, you may be tempted to participate in the holiday binge, indulging in sugar and fattening foods. While there is nothing wrong with treating yourself during this time of the year, don’t get in the habit of unhealthy eating and neglecting your exercise routine. This is because a lack of discipline could result in a loss of self-esteem and serve as a pathway to relapse. Taking care of yourself can keep you mentally strong and help relieve stress. So, make time for exercise and follow a balanced diet during the holidays.
4. Stay Active
Whether you are coming home from college or taking a few days off work, the holidays can cause you to spend too many days on the couch. Something you may have learned in your drug addiction treatment program is that laziness can lead to boredom, which leads to relapse. So, stay active during the holidays. Some fun activities you can engage in between Thanksgiving and New Year’s include:
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Get together with friends for a day trip
- Attend a local holiday festival
- Make homemade gifts
- Go Christmas caroling
- Clean out your closet and donate some personal items
If nothing else, go online and check out the city calendar to determine what events are happening in your area. Staying active can help you alleviate some stress.
5. Carve Out Some Alone Time
One of the best things you can do to get rid of holiday stress is to carve out some alone time. Alone time is time spent doing something you enjoy on your terms. Obviously, different people have different and varied interests, but some common activities for alone time include:
- Reading a book
- Playing computer games
- Fishing and hiking in nature
- Napping the afternoon away
- Catching up on TV shows
- Driving through the countryside
Whatever your chosen hobby is, the goal is to do it alone. This ensures you will not feel pressured by another person’s timetable or preferences.
Got Stress? Contact Midwest Detox Center
If holiday stress is triggering an addiction or relapse, it may be time to get professional. Contact Midwest Detox Center at 833.647.0392, or contact us online to get professional help. We offer various addiction treatment therapies to help you recover from addiction and get back on track during the holidays. Call us today and let us help you get clean and stay clean for life.