10 Recovery Survival Tips for the Holidays

Are the holidays stressing you out? Are you worrying about how to navigate some of the pressures and situations that may arise?  Here are some survival tips to help see you through:

1. Take time to relax. No matter how busy your holiday plans are, create some time just for you. Breathe, relax, de-stress. Just a couple of minutes to decompress from the pressures of the holiday can make a world of difference.

2. Choose your battles. The good intentions of family members and friends can often leave you feeling trapped and outnumbered during a time that stress levels are already at peak capacity. Adopt a take it or leave it attitude. Take from it what you can use to help you through, and leave behind what doesn't. Remember that you don't have to own everything thrown your way.

3. Plan ahead. Though you cannot plan ahead for every scenario that may arise, knowing your options in advance will lessen anxiety, fear, and stress. Know what your options are beforehand. If you're attending events with someone that you trust, let them know that you're struggling with a safety word or phrase (that you've agreed upon in advance) and have a plan of action set in place.

4. Allow for imperfection. Don't hold your holiday, or yourself, up to standards that are impossible to attain. Nothing is perfect. Expecting everything to be so sets yourself up for disappointment and failure. Let the events unfold as they will and enjoy the unexpected. Some of the best times are created when things fall apart and people come together.

5. Keep things in perspective. Sometimes we read more into a comment or action than is intended because of what we are carrying around with us. Our fears, emotions, and trials can influence our interpretation. Take a moment to remove yourself from your initial feelings and give yourself a chance to see if what you're hearing/witnessing is what is really being said/done.

6.  Create a positive, supportive inner dialogue. Your thoughts create your reality. "I am capable of handling any situation with grace, confidence, and compassion." Don't dwell on negative possibilities. Keep your self-talk supportive and positive.

7. Get plenty of rest. Get a good night's sleep the night before. Everything is easier when you're not already dealing with an overtired, sleep-deprived body and brain.

8. Count your blessings. All of them, right down to the tiniest one you can think of. We all have our fair share of burdens but count your blessings and you'll find they tip the scales in your favor.

9. Know your limits. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may still find ourselves in a situation that exceeds our ability to cope. If you find yourself in a situation that you can't handle or that posses a threat to your recovery give yourself permission to take your leave.

10. End the day with a good helping of self-love. At the end of the day, whether it was good or bad, remember that you are worthy of your own love and acceptance. We are all imperfect beings on an imperfect journey. That's what life is. We strive to be better, do better, and achieve more but at the end of the day remember to love yourself no matter what.

Here are some links to help you navigate through the holidays: 
(please note that some are entitled Thanksgiving. The techniques are still the same no matter what holiday it is)
Links to Help See You Through This Holiday Season
Eating Disorders and The Holidays: Links To Help See You Through
Surviving Thanksgiving When You Have An Eating Disorder

Have a wonderful holiday!