Pretty as a Picture: Setting Realistic Expectations During the Holidays
We’ve all been there. We need some holiday gift or decorating inspiration, so we log onto Pinterest or Instagram. Instead, we’re overwhelmed with images of people that seem to be living perfect lives. With immaculate homes, loving relationships, perfect children, and interesting jobs. We tell ourselves it’s all an illusion, that a perfect life doesn’t really exist. But it has an effect, and if you’re in recovery it can feel like the last straw during an already stressful holiday season. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when the pressure to have a perfect holiday season gets to be a little too much.
1) Acknowledge your feelings
You can’t force yourself to be happy during the holidays.
2) Accept Change
Be realistic. Families and individuals grow. No two holidays seasons will ever be the same.
3) Set a budget
You really can’t buy perfection online or in a store.
4) It’s OK to Say No
If you’re faced with a situation that will challenge your mental health and sobriety, it’s always ok to say no.
5) Keep up the healthy habits
- •Eating a healthy snack before the holiday party may help you stay away from sugary treats or beverages.
- Get lots of sleep.
- Remember to exercise.
6) Take care of yourself first
Whether it’s taking a walk or carving time alone to read a book, check-in with yourself frequently.
7) Ask for help
If things have really become too much, now might be the time to seek some professional help.
8) If You Need Treatment for Alcohol or Drug Addiction, Give Yourself the Gift of Recovery
The holiday season is stressful and can often bring a substance use disorder to the boiling point. There is no better gift than the gift of recovery and no better time than now to get into action. If you feel any guilt or shame around this please remember that you are not alone.