Let’s face it; it has been a rough two years with the Covid 19 pandemic. Now add into that inflation and empty store shelves from products not moving off the docks, and it is stacking up to be a very stressful and uncertain holiday season for us all.

You can survive it, though. Use these tips to help you get through another strange holiday season.

  • Eat healthy foods and leave processed foods alone.
  • Exercise daily with long walks, go to the gym, grab some friends and play a basketball or football game, anything to get you moving and exercising.
  • Practice meditation for serenity.
  • Volunteer at the local food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter, even the pet shelter.
  • Let go of unrealistic or high expectations; keep it real.
  • Go to meetings, counseling, or both.
  • Every day, wake up, count your blessings, and be genuinely thankful for your recovery from substance abuse, mental illness, or co-occurring conditions. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it is true if you begin each day, being thankful for where you are and what you have the rest of the day compared to those blessings is not nearly as bad as it could be.

Having a plan to deal with stress and triggers always helps you get through the rough spots. The holidays are no different; make a plan and stick to it. Decide which parties or dinners you will attend, if any, and stick to it. Decide how long you will stay and when it is time to leave, say your goodbyes and go for a walk to relieve the stress.

Shopping can be extremely stressful and cause anxiety if we let it. Try making homemade gifts this year. For example, you could give your friends homemade gift certificates for any of the following;

  • Cleaning the apartment
  • Washing dishes for a week
  • Raking their leaves
  • Shoveling their sidewalk when it snows
  • Movie night and they pick the movie

There are plenty of things you can do that cost nothing but make a nice heartfelt gift. The best part is you do not even have to deal with the stress and anxiety of shopping in stores.

Happy Holidays, may the season bring you many blessings.