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Mastering Mental Health & Dodging Sobriety Pitfalls During the Holidays

How to Maintain Sobriety through the Holidays

Episode 32: Tips for Maintaining Sobriety through the Holidays

Most people think of the holidays as a season of joy and celebration with friends and family.  However, for some, the holidays are a time of stress, precipitated by the prospect of difficult family gatherings, financial pressures, and an array of demands which can bring sadness, loneliness, anxiety, and intense feelings of depression.   In some cases, these unwanted and troubling feelings are so overwhelming and the need for relief so intense, that substance use may be viewed as a welcome escape.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II and David Livingston, LMFT discuss strategies and coping techniques to help you and those around you stay healthy and safe throughout this holiday season.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And welcome back to the podcast to answer your questions on addiction, recovery, and mental health by Waismann Method Treatment Center and Rapid Detox. I’m your co-host Dwight Hurst, joined here by Clare Waismann and David Livingston. And it’s the holidays we’re getting into the holiday season, particularly. This is right around the USA Thanksgiving holiday for those of you listeners who live in the United States and getting into a lot of general holidays, and it brings up some very interesting, questions and specifically a question that comes up for I think anybody who’s trying to get healthy and work through things is how do I keep and maintain sobriety throughout the holidays? There’s a lot of specific challenges that come up at that time and some of which are, you know, from family and loved ones. Even so, it’s a really good question.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I am actually getting quite a few calls of people saying, Oh, I need to get in, I need to get in before Thanksgiving. I need to get in before Christmas. I think there is such an expectation to be healthy, happy and all the above on the holidays that, I don’t know how productive that is, you know.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: So there are they trying to turn around their treatment and get out again before, I mean, of course, with rapid detox, they can totally do that…

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: Correct, but I think it’s the expectations for themselves in how, how healthy and happy they will be on the holidays. So, you know, it’s again, we talked about that on the last episode is, you know, managing expectations. I think it’s a wonderful thing that they want to actually get treatment and be healthy so they can share wonderful moments with their family. But again, is the expectations of what I’m going to be during the holidays, how happy, how healthy, how is my life going to turn around its and the expectations of the families to a lot of these people have not been in a gathering for the last two years

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: With a lack of availability due to addiction that can definitely, yeah, that can definitely contribute to separation. Do you feel like there is more of an element of unrealistic expectations? Or do you think denial plays a role?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I think it’s a combination. And again, I, I think is managing both of what’s possible and what’s not possible. And if it doesn’t, what is Plan B? You know, how much should we be expecting from getting treated and B from life or meeting all the family members that we haven’t in a while?

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And you have to wonder, too. Then on the one hand, I’m sure there’s lots of family members that want their loved one to be healthy. And then there’s probably some who just want the holidays to go smoothly. I mean, there’s an element of both, right, where it would be. I would feel better if my spouse, child, friend, even I’d feel so much better if they were healthy that I might put undue pressure. And it may end up being almost, sometimes unintentionally selfish motivation. I want to feel better, I want us all to be fine, so let me kind of almost pretend we are.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: Yeah, I don’t know I I don’t know if I would use the word selfish. What do you think, David?

David Livingston, LMFT: I’m just orienting myself here. It’s I just think it’s hard to. The holidays have expectations, people want to relax and enjoy themselves. What do you do when someone’s not in a good place or they’re vulnerable in a way? And how do you manage that with them? I think ultimately the goal is to get things settled in one way or another. So that kind of so to speak. All things considered, you’ve kind of made the best decisions possible. And then everybody can kind of whether maybe somebody needs to go to treatment over the holidays, and that’s hard. But it’s settled and it’s considered that’s the thing that’s really necessary. And even though it’s not ideal, everyone might like to be together. Maybe that’s the thing that is really is best and to at least settle that. And then once it’s settled, even if somebody is not present it at home, they can participate from afar and they can take part, and everyone can feel good about whatever they’re doing, I think. I think the goal is to get things settled as well as possible and in all the potential variations that what that might look like. And then so so there’s some semblance of some peace during that that people can be and just relax. And, you know, so something like that, I know that’s pretty broad and vague, but without going in and creating specific scenarios, that would be how I think about it.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: I remember the advice that I always hear with health management. If people say that the holidays are a bad time to start a diet as they say, you know, you’re going to indulge, indulge and then work on being healthy most of the time. And I wonder if someone is, “I want to get serious about getting into treatment now”? Is it premature or is it better to, well, gosh, I mean, this is, I don’t say, blanket advice or whatever. But is it better for some people to say, “Let me get through the holidays as safe as I can and then start looking at treatment options? Am my setting myself up?” Are there scenarios like that?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: You know, Dwight, I think that there’s always different scenarios, but I think when we make those statements at this time in our lives where fentanyl is so predominant everywhere – we can’t think like this anymore. And again, I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years and there was a time where, you know, I would tell patients, “No, timing is everything. Let’s see when you have less stress, when you’re able to come…” It has changed. You know, the threats, the risks have changed. And I think if holidays is an excuse to get them in or a reason, nowadays, any reason is a good reason because safety is not something you can count on, regardless of what drug you’re buying if you’re buying illicit drugs – it’s a Russian roulette every day.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: It’s a really good point, I think that’s a really good point, so it’s better, maybe better to focus on the expectation piece of saying, am I thinking I can shake free of my addiction for the holidays? I mean, in a way, a way to stay sober in the holidays is to try to take the pressure of the holidays out of it. Is that what we’re saying?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: It could be.

David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, I think. Sorry, Clare, go ahead.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: No, that’s okay. I think that there would be more, “Should I stay in treatment during the holidays?”, “Should I stay, you know, in a safe environment?” So if it is the holidays or the gathering or the expectations, that is something that cannot be managed then is what I, you know, said in the beginning. Let’s look at Plan B or C. Something that is not going to impose such stress on the person, but, uh, on the same hand will be within a safe environment, whatever that is.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And so, yeah, it’s all about that safety management sort of regardless. And you have to take that in. What are some thoughts about the holiday traditions that involve substances? I mean, whether it’s the glass of wine or if you happen to be in a family, that indulgence or having alcohol is a huge part. I mean, I’ve met people who have a huge alcohol table. Everybody’s got to bring something, you know, to drink, and sometimes that is a big part of a tradition that people have. Even a rite of passage, you know, I’ve known people, I had friends growing up and just people I know who’s like, “Oh, the holidays, the one time you take a sip of wine”, you know that kind of a thing, even if you’re young. How does that enter in and how does that affect people?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I’m going to let David speak to that because, um yeah, I think my thought process on that is very different than most in the addiction field. So, David, please…

David Livingston, LMFT: Now I’m curious. Yeah, I

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: Know that’s a loaded,

Clare Waismann, RAS/SUDCC: Right? Yeah.

David Livingston, LMFT: There’s no wellbeing and no peace if you’re out of control. And any point in your life and whether it’s Christmas or any holiday or whatever it is. I don’t. From my perspective, I think there’s a danger and creating a rationale that isn’t good for you. And you know, and there’s no question that when people are together, there can be a feeling of wanting to celebrate. And kind of as we relax and our guard goes down, there’s just kind of a feeling of wanting to kind of be able to do what we want to do. But, you know, I don’t give that much, even though that may be true. First of all, the chemicals in alcohol and substances are all overrated. They’re just overrated. And they do far less than what people think. And the narrative around it is part of the problem. And so I try to sort of talk about that because just create a different narrative that puts you at some peace like, Oh, I’m not going to do that and I’m going to enjoy my family. I’m going to be right. I mean, it’s the people being together and feeling good with each other that really creates the holidays. And so that’s what you want. And I think it’s to just create a narrative that’s more realistic and more true to what actually allows people to enjoy themselves and enjoy each other. And so. At any rate, I look at it more from that perspective.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I have a question. I mean, and again, I might be fully mistaken on this question, but that is, don’t people usually relapse or use alcohol or drugs because of bad reasons, not good reasons, because they are not handling, you know, unwanted feelings and not because they are celebrating.

David Livingston, LMFT: It’s probably a lot more often and certainly getting together with family. There’s always ambivalence, even in the best families and the best relationships.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: Isn’t there some data around that, like alcohol sales go up the day before Thanksgiving? Like considerably?

David Livingston, LMFT: Right, right.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: My father used to always joke that that was so people could handle their relatives.

David Livingston, LMFT: But oh well. Well, that’s it. Because I mean, look, there’s more love and hate and that happens in families because there’s nobody you spent more time with and developed with and had to work more out with than you do with family members. And so there’s just kind of more built into it. So like you’re saying Clare there, and if things aren’t good or things haven’t been, the air’s never been cleared around problems or sometimes even worse than all of that. It can be a really hard time. And you know, and the idea that I have to cope to be able to be home with my family is really hard on many, you know, and maybe that’s what you’re talking about.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: Kind of an unhealthy self-narrative, even though I just made a joke about it. I think that that’s it’s reinforced in movies, sitcoms, you know, just the culture at large. It’s kind of what we say about relationships or family in general, right, is that’s the old ball and chain or it’s the, you know, “Going home to mom’s. Oh, gosh!”, you know? And yet I think there’s a tremendous amount of people that if they put the energy into changing that narrative, they actually enjoy their family.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: So I mean, then the result here is that the issue is really not the substance itself is the relationship. So that’s what needs to be worked is and the, you know, concentrated on is dealing over the issues within the relationship. So when Easter comes or whatever the next holiday is, you know, there will be less stress.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: It’s interesting how, once again, as they say, the addictive behavior is more of an attempt at a solution than it is a problem in and of itself. Right. And so if we address the underlying problem, it can make a huge difference. Now, I guess that doesn’t mean that if I have, especially if there’s opioid addiction, which and David, I can see what you think. And Clare also, you know, I find that that lends itself to alcohol abuse after someone stops using opioids because it’s a downer and they can gravitate to it, it’s socially accepted. If I am someone who is in that situation, then being around all my uncles and cousins is, they’re all, you know, wasted may not be a good idea for some people. Absolutely. Even if they’re addressing those underlying problems, right?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I think if you’re going to, you know, join a group of wasted people, I think is a bad idea, anyway, you look at it. Right? Yeah. But uh, I think families will drink on holidays and again have a glass of wine or, you know, be happy and merry. Now, if you take it to the level of being wasted, I think an unhealthy group for you to be with any way you look at it.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: That’s a good point. I mean, that’s a really good point. Sometimes when we don’t have a problem, we don’t stop and question, do we? Unless we have A.. And I’ve known tons of people who, with their own addiction experience, will find that because they lose a job or lose a marriage or get arrested or it just gets out of control. And in treatment, I’ve heard people comment that, “Oh, you know, my fill-in-the-blank family member, they drink a lot more than I do. They use pills, but now they’re judging, you know, me and they’re holding it against me because I can’t handle it, supposedly. And so you’re right. I mean, sometimes that system is unhealthy anyway for reasons.

David Livingston, LMFT: Right, and I think that. Um, it’s really important to work individually, people come to understand what’s really the right thing for them because this system kind of does what it does and other people do what they do. It’s how you take care of yourself and how you want to go through the holidays. I think it’s really important to think that through on your own and just get that clear inside yourself and then have some peace about it. You know what people really want is just to feel better and to have some peace. And, you know, and so to be conflicted or to be unsettled about what you’re going to do tends to. You know, one of the things that we see just is a, you know, is that when people get a Vivitrol shot where you can’t, that’s an opioid blocker for or they’re on a blocker and it takes away for 30 days the potential of using they don’t have any cravings because it’s settled. It’s done. In their mind, they know it’s off the table and they don’t even think about it then. And they and they’re much happier. So doing that on your own is harder. I think that there are multiple ways to do that, and one of the reasons people get a Vivitrol shot is so that option is gone. So maybe part of what you’re talking about is when you’re in an environment where things are kind of more open and people more relaxed, it feels like there are more options. But there are many ways to take things off the table and be at peace. And I think when it’s understood and felt maybe most importantly, felt in that way, that makes it a lot easier to go through the times. And then what other people are doing or not doing is just, you know, it’s not so important.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I agree with David a thousand percent. You know you. You don’t like a certain food or a certain movie because your brother liked it or your friend liked it, um, I think our sense of pleasures, our limitations, our emotional makeup are very different one from the other. So we shouldn’t be worried, you know, because he drank two glasses of wine and he was doing fine and you drank one and somebody judge you. You know, you should not worry about others. Worry how you’re feeling about yourself, you know? Are you putting yourself at risk? Are you drinking because you did lose your job or because you are under stress or, you know, you had a glass of wine because you had a glass of wine? So I think as you know, somebody else should not be, you know, where you judge yourself from. But how you feel within, you know what, what you want for yourself, what do you expect of yourself? Is this part of your goal of reaching, you know, the things you want in life?

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And that’s interesting because you’re discussing there’s something that I think comes up a lot, which is a positive outlook like in and when I say positive, I guess I mean more additions like where I’m adding good things instead of just subtracting pills or alcohol or whatever. And instead of just subtracting and focusing on that then if I’m following your feedback, I’m adding a concern of how happy can I be and how healthy can…

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: Correct, that is actually the opposite concept from most addiction theories, you know, because you actually are in control of a lot of things in your life. So you can make decisions and you can make healthy decisions and you can make decisions that are not going to contradict, you know, your inner feelings. So it’s just learning how to cope and make good decisions for yourself.

David Livingston, LMFT: Right. That’s right. It’s if you’re full at the end of the meal and somebody says and you say, “Oh, you should have some dessert”, but you don’t want the dessert. You don’t have to eat it. And if they say, “Oh, it’s so it’s fantastic, you should have some.” You say, “Oh, it looks great. Enjoy!” And you can do that with anything. And I and I think that we have. We do not emphasize the importance of what this is, the psychological term of what I call “hard objects” like the hard part of ourselves that is settled things in ourselves that that doesn’t do things we don’t want to do. Or that’s and there’s almost a fear or thinking at times where somehow that you’re going to lose a friend or your people won’t like you if you don’t drink or you don’t do this. I’ve never seen it happen. I know I can’t think of anybody I’ve lost as a friend because I didn’t have dessert. And you know.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: So far!

David Livingston, LMFT: Right? So so far and listen, I get it. I get it that, you know, people like it when people are joining in, but there are a million ways to join it. You can say it looks fantastic. We know who made it so forth. I’m so full. Tell me how it is. You join in in a million ways. Don’t what? When did we become so lazy and so complacent that we’re not able to just hold our ourselves accountable to what we want to do? I think. I think it’s the way forward. And a lot of that, a lot of building a good life in many ways, including is is really understanding restraint. I think probably the thing that is most undervalued and that creates more happiness and more peace for people is restraint. And it’s never talked about. You know, when people restrain themselves and do less and are at peace with what they’re doing, their mind is relaxed. They feel at ease. They’re not conflicted. There’s so much peace and restraint. And I think that so any rate that’s that, that’s a piece of what I think has got to sort of be talked about and sort of internalized over time.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting as you’re saying that it reminds me of a coworker I had years ago. He used to take people through this scenario, especially when they were maybe just coming out of a detox situation and they were starting some therapy or they were just barely they were trying to break free from use. And he would walk them through this scenario and say, you know, do you think? And he said, I want you to be honest in your heart of hearts, do you believe me if I describe this? And he described a scenario and he would go into it and kind of be flowery and creative about it, but basically saying that there are people out there that if you were spending time with them and you had a good time and you said, “Hey, do we want to take this to the next level? Let’s use some drugs or let’s get, you know, drunk.” And he said even if some of those people use intoxicants recreationally, there’s a lot of people in a group that would say, you know, that would ruin our good time, though we don’t want to do that. And he said, in your heart of hearts, where are you today? And a lot of people would admit, I have a hard time believing that, but I’d like to believe it. And that was where he started to work. Work on that, you know,

David Livingston, LMFT: That they have a hard time believing

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: That when they’re stuck in that pattern of using is such a big part of life. It’s like, really, I just thought healthy people were using and enjoying it. I thought that was health or whatever. Not, not necessarily intellectually right, but emotionally having a hard time wrapping their mind around that. And I just thought calling it out was a great way to start the conversation in some ways.

David Livingston, LMFT: Well, what’s interesting is if you were to really ask somebody, you know, it’s so much of it is more the narrative of it than it is the action that the actual sip of alcohol. Most people don’t even taste it right. And whatever happens at a certain point in time where they get a little, you know, relaxed or this or that, yeah, OK, there’s there’s a chemical response that is that happens and so forth. But it’s far more subtle than people think, which is why people end up often doing a lot, a lot more is because it is so little. And, you know, and I think the thing to come to terms with is, is it’s not that big a deal. And one of the things I’ve seen with long-term treatment of people over time is they actually come to that on their own. “God, you know, I relapsed. I went back to it and I was like, What am I doing? I don’t even like this. This is this is what? Why am I even doing this?” Right? So the narrative of it carried this, this impression that had a weight internally, but the actual experience of it begins to sort of bear out what I’m saying. And you and I see it constantly when people start to just where you’ll see sobriety take a different hold inside them. It’s like, “Oh, I really don’t. I really don’t want it!” And they can feel it. So, you know, that’s that’s like you’re saying, Dwight, it’s there’s a lot of things that can contribute or, you know, that’s not necessarily the easiest place to get to. I’m saying it in a way, but I also know it’s not the easiest place to get to very often.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: What do you think is the starting point for people to start to get there? You know, Thanksgiving is next week or whatever in a couple of weeks. And I know that I’m not quite there yet where we’re saying, what’s a good place to start?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: I believe it’s just believing. That you can control it, that’s believing that you have the power that is not bigger than you. Um. That you can control your actions. I think the addiction world is constant, telling people that they can’t control it. It is beyond, you know, their power. And I think that’s crippling.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And that could be the downside of the powerlessness philosophy, right?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS / SUDCC II: That that’s what I’m trying to say. Correct. I think, you know, and I hear this probably, David, here much more than I do, but I hear, you know, from people we treated that, you know, the first time, you know, they went to a doctor after treatment and they were all for opiates and they said, no I can deal of Advil. And they walk out of there. They fell an inner strength that they didn’t know they had it, and it was much easier than they thought it was going to be. Yeah. And I think it’s just you know what, um? What is taught, what is pushed into people now, if you, uh, read most things that just came out the last three months by a number of different organizations that deal with addiction is “Addiction treatment should last much longer than it does or patients are at higher risk of relapse.” “Maintenance drugs should be given for a long term or patients can relapse.” Um, if you really read what these things are saying is people should be locked up as long as you can so they don’t relapse, OK? They are not going to relapse if they are locked up, but obviously, they’re not going to have a life either. Yeah, we should give them maintenance drugs as long as we can so they don’t relapse. How can they relapse? They’re still on opioids. So the whole system is geared for people not to trust their own inner power, their own ability to be happy and healthy. I know there is, it’s not that simple and I know there is mental health, you know, issues that so often go undiagnosed or untreated, and this is one of the major issues. But there is a huge, huge number of people that are able to make good decisions for themselves, and it’s unfair to tell them they’re not. It’s cruel, actually.

David Livingston, LMFT: I couldn’t agree more, I think that the process of getting better is always about empowerment and discovering who you are and what your abilities are and you know, so to kind of speak to the question that we’re saying, like, you know, one of the things I ask people a lot is what do you want? And I can’t tell you that most of the time what I hear is either “I want to be happy” or “I don’t know”. And I want to be happy isn’t good enough. Like, everybody wants to be happy. Ok, that’s fine. But that’s not a real answer in terms of putting a life together and so forth. So but the question you start to ask that and when you start to “What do you want to see happen when you go home with your family?” “How do you want it to go?” And once you begin to empower people when they have when they answer the question, “What do you want?” “Well, I don’t like this has happened with my family. I always have to do this.” “Well, what do you want to do when you’re home?”

David Livingston, LMFT: “Well, you love hiking. Why don’t you go for a hike that day? Why don’t you tell everybody you’re going to? You’re going to head out once you go for a hike for a couple hours. So if you’ve got to do a few other things, at least you got something in that you want to do.” “Oh, I never thought about that. I guess I could do that. Right. So you begin to which is empowerment. And because if you’ve got to do a bunch of things you don’t want to do and you’ve already been on a hike and you got the endorphins going on and you’ve you’re relaxed, more could put up with a lot more. And if you know and so it’s like you’re saying it’s all about empowerment and then, you know, and then part of life is we do have to deal with some ambivalence we have. There is some frustration. There are things we have to put up with the times and and so forth. But finding the balance is really it’s that that’s what it should be about.

Dwight Hurst, CMHC: And that’s going to do us for today. Happy U.S. Thanksgiving and holidays in general to everybody out there who is listening and be safe and make sure that you are reaching out. I think there’s a lot of things we talked about today that can be very helpful if you or your loved ones have anticipatory anxiety about the upcoming holidays. This show is a production of Waismann Method Rapid Detox and Opioid Treatment Specialists and is also produced by Popped Collar Productions, where you can learn more about starting your own podcast. Learn more about opioid and addiction treatment at opiates.com to learn more about the Waismann Method. Or email us info@opiates.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter @opiates The music for this episode is all of our episodes as the song Medical by Clean Mind sounds for David Livingston and Clare Waismann. I’m Dwight Hurst and grateful to be with you all. Make sure that over the holiday season, like always, as I always say, keep asking questions because if you ask questions, you can find answers, and when you find answers, you can find hope. Thanks again for listening.

6 Ideas on How To Maintain Your Sobriety During the Holidays

The holiday season is often a time of year when it can be harder than usual to stay on the path of sobriety. There are many reasons this can be the case, depending on the person. Sometimes, the holidays bring up sad memories or time alone when it seems everyone else is happy. Time spent with family and friends are not always positive, as it can create tension, arguments and other problems. Despite how hard you have tried to grow and change, family members might not recognize that growth, or you might be reminded of how they have not experienced the same growth as you. It can also be a time of added stress through extra financial burdens and responsibilities to other people.

On top of these types of difficulties, holiday gatherings often include plenty of alcohol. There may even be other kinds of excess, in the form of eating, drugs and other temptations. It is a time when people tend to let loose a bit. This atmosphere can make it extra difficult when you are trying to stay sober. You are surrounded by more triggers than normal, and people might encourage you to relax and just have a little, which you know can be the start to relapse. So what can you do to make it through the holidays without relying on substances? Try the following six tips for some extra support.

Choose a Healthy Environment for Sobriety

You might want to stay away from holiday parties that will include people who will discourage you from sobriety, and go to ones where the people are more supportive. Also, ask a like-minded friend to come if are not feeling secure. Sometimes holidays can be too emotionally involved and is good to take things in as lightly as possible. If things take an unexpected turn, consider the source and be compassionate with others’ present situations and feeling, as you hope they will be with you.

Be Aware of Your Triggers

Understand the people, things and situations that could trigger cravings for self-medicating, and take steps to deal with them. One of the best methods is to simply avoid the situation altogether. Since it’s not always possible to do that, plan ahead by talking to your therapist about what is causing you anxiety. Try to learn tools to deal with uncomfortable feelings and healthy ways to deal with stress, which could both help you now and in future situations. Also, understand that you are much stronger than you think, and your present choices are what will define your future.

Step Back From the Situation

If you’re having difficulty with a situation you get into, such as a meal with family or a party with substances, take a break from it. During that time, refocus with activities such as enjoying the natural world around you and taking some deep breaths. Try to remember why you stopped using substances, and just understand that the discomfort of the moment is short and temporary unless you make it part of your feelings. Realize that life is not all about you, and you don’t have to make every situation personal or grandiose. It’s important to learn to handle different feelings in life; having bad feelings can help you know and appreciate the good ones. It is really not about the situation, but about how you handle it.

Be Helpful

Helping the host of a get-together is one way to get yourself away from triggers and to be part of what’s positive and productive around you. It always makes you feel great to help and give. It can improve your self-esteem, and it helps you remember that there is more to life than your own wants and needs. Ask if you could help make or serve food, or with anything else that could add positive vibes to the celebration. If the host doesn’t need help, see if there are any guests at the event who could use a friendly ear.

Be Thankful

The holiday season is the perfect time to appreciate what you have and be grateful for what’s in your life. Focus on feeling this way, and take the time to notice the things around you that you can be thankful for. See how much is at your reach — small things like a warm home and a beautiful dinner can be all that’s needed to warm the heart and soul. Allow these kinds of moments to turn into soothing feelings you cherish.

Remember Every Day Is a New Beginning

Throughout this holiday season, you might find challenges and obstacles to overcome. Remember that you have succeeded in beating the hardest of fights before, and you can do it again. The great thing is that every time you get through a tough situation, you will gain more inner strength. Don’t allow insecurities and anxieties to take over your holidays. Celebrate life!!!! Have a healthy and blessed holiday season!