The supermarket might provide the ham for the table and the ribbon to tie up boxes, but a designer purse or an XBox gift card won’t offer our kids the same valuable gifts that will keep hearts happy beyond the New Year.
For many of us, the holidays are a season of peace, joy, gratitude, and family, but reality often looks quite different...Family dysfunction, past trauma, anxiety and other mental illness, loneliness, finances, grief--these are only a few of the stressors that can quickly pile up for anyone during this time of year. For those people living with a substance use disorder, these many stressors may compound and overwhelm the addicted brain and the person in recovery, making it an especially difficult time of year to stay sober.
The way we celebrate the holidays causes stress, current events are stressful, and COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on our communities’ mental and physical health.Ask yourself…How are you sleeping? Do you feel a sense of panic? Do you have racing thoughts? Are any bad memories replaying themselves?If your answer to any of those questions was yes, your body is having a stress-response to the things that are causing fear or worry in you. While so many of our stressors may be out of our control, we can still be intentional about our exposure to controllable stressors and how we manage our responses to stress. According to the Good News Science Center, repeatedly consuming negative news stories is detrimental to your health. It keeps you in a constant state of alert (stress!), which is damaging to your body. It can lead to distrust and negative feelings about other people and communities.