Tips For Staying Sober During the Holidays
The holidays are a joyous time to reminisce with special friends, family and loved ones, take a deep breath, and reflect on the year gone by. A time to share a good holiday meal, look through family photo albums and laugh at silly family jokes.
However, we all know that the holidays can also be stressful – preparing, cooking, finding space in our homes for visiting guests to sleep, finding time to cook those extraordinarily delicious meals, finding ways to dodge the relatives so as not to have to account for the past year.
All these bittersweet feelings can be typical emotional fluctuations. Most of us can breeze through these ups and downs with ease.
However, people with Mental Health Disorders or Alcohol Use Disorders might find this roller coaster of emotions too much to bear, causing a relapse into old unhealthy ways of thinking and drinking to cope with the overwhelming stresses.
But people with Mental Health Disorders or Alcohol Use Disorders do not have to succumb to regression and relapse. Keeping minds and hands busy during parties can help keep thoughts and cravings under control.
Here are four healthy ways to help keep minds and hands busy during family get-togethers.
Help the Host
One way to stay occupied during holiday gatherings is to help the host. After dinner, grab a dishcloth and offer to do the dishes. Certainly, there is always that “one” person who is always in the kitchen cleaning up. Well, make it “two” people and lend a hand! Strike up a conversation while you clean and observe how the vibes of a good conversation keep your thoughts from overthinking and your hands from reaching for a drink.
Entertain the Kids
Another way to stay occupied during holiday gatherings is to play with the younger generation. Play a good old-fashioned game of cards, break out a game board, or strike up a game of outdoor hide-an-go-seek. You’ll be surprised at how a little bit of fresh air and young blood can keep you feeling at your best – not overwhelmed by thoughts and overstuffed bellies.
Take a Breather
As the night wears on, people will undoubtedly get louder and louder. Certainly, conversations can become somewhat emotional – whether full of laughter, tears, or even anxiety. If you find yourself in a situation that is getting louder and louder and less and less controlled, take a breather! Step away from the conversation – step into the bathroom, or out on the porch or veranda for a few deep breaths of fresh air. A few minutes away – to find some quiet – will help calm your soul and bring you back to your center.
Come Prepared with News: Be in the Know!
Keep the conversations strong and healthy! Be in the know! Sometimes family get-togethers start taking a turn for the worse when families start gossiping about other family members or friends. Be prepared to put an end to this toxic moment. Before the party, read up on the latest news, and become accustomed to what’s happening in the wide world of sports or the local government. Far better is it to solve the world’s problems than be the cause of a family problem.
Keeping our hands and minds busy during family parties this holiday season will help keep our emotions in check and alcohol out of arms way. However, if you find that keeping occupied during family parties is not enough, reach out to us – we can help.
We are experts in Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Our weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly program offers help from an on-site Psychiatrist, two private counseling sessions each week with trauma-trained counselors, and group sessions multiple times daily. In addition, we offer exceptional experiential therapy on the adjacent Appalachian Trail.
Contact Water Gap Wellness Center today to learn more about our mental health retreat in Pennsylvania.