It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or is it? We all see the happy families without a care, all getting along on television but is that really how it works? The answer to that question is no.

Especially last year with the pandemic, and this year it’s not going to be much better. Not only do we have the covid19 less-lethal variant to deal with, but now inflation and products are stuck at the dock.

So how do we deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and or recovery from substance abuse? The first and most important thing to do right now is lower expectations. It is ok to have a less-than-perfect Christmas.

Be happy with the blessings you have; family, friends, food on the table, heat, etc. If you have children you are worried about providing presents for, hit the thrift store for puzzles or old board games. Make presents for them; sock monkeys, wooden trucks, etc. there are tons of patterns and directions on the internet.

Second, stop comparing your life to the perfect lives you think others have. You must realize that there is always someone out there in worse shape than you, and no one has a perfect life. Let go of the misconceptions.

Stick to your recovery plan. You may also want to consider adding extra counseling sessions or meetings for substance abuse if you have co-occurring conditions.

Third, take extra care of yourself with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Exercise makes you feel better physically and mentally. It also reduces stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. If you do not want to go to the gym, ask a friend to go hiking with you or join you for a walk.

Fourth, make a plan to help you through triggers and stick to the plan.

Last, volunteer at the local food bank, soup kitchen, or shelter if you are alone at Christmas. Not only will you provide a blessing to those less fortunate, but you may experience the blessing of helping others.

You can cope with co-occurring conditions like stress and addiction or other co-occurring disorders at Christmas. At 449 Recovery, our therapists can help you with your treatment plan. Contact us today 855-735-7449