Because I will be retiring soon, I thought it about time to look through my stock of articles, books, and a myriad of paperwork that I have collected over the years. Randomly included in a pile labeled “to be looked at later” was a packet compiled by the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County labeled, Coping with the Holidays and reprinted in November of 2019. I have no idea where I got this from as I live and work in Lucas County. I found this to a bit serendipitous as I had been previously debating on what to write about in this blog as I prepare for the new year.
My last entry outlined some tips for avoiding relapse during the holidays. Today I review some of the tips from the Coping with the Holidays article about being mindful and practicing self-care. We do not all experience the holidays in the same way. For many of us the holidays can be lonely or wrought with some painful memories. It is important to take special care of ourselves today, tomorrow, and yes, during the holiday season.
The article suggests scheduling time to engage in physical activities like a daily walk or other exercises. Meditation, yoga, or an enjoyable hobby was also suggested. Along with that take care of your physical health by balancing the special holiday treats with a healthy diet. Remember to get enough sleep. Taking care of your body, especially if you exercise, practice meditation and activities such as yoga will help in relieving stress. Be mindful of what triggers the stress that can feel unmanageable.
Practicing gratitude is another strategy of self-care. Writing in a daily journal to briefly identify each day a person or event in your life that you are grateful for is an example of how to express gratitude or try to take that a step further and let the people around you know that you are grateful for them.
Another tip is to tune into your feelings or emotions. We can experience positive feelings as well as some negative ones during the holidays…. think about whether you are placing unrealistic expectations on yourself or others. Set goals and plan.
I think the important thing here is to be mindful….of our feelings and emotions, our stress triggers, of the things for which we are grateful. Be safe and healthy during this holiday season. Let people know if you are struggling and let them know what you need. If you are having difficulty and need to reach out you can text 4HOPE to 741741. This is the Crisis Text Line.
I looked online and found an updated version of the article it is titled, Coping with the Holidays and a Pandemic