Surviving the Holidays with Distress Tolerance
“Holidays are an expensive trial of strength. The only satisfaction comes from survival.” – Jonathan Miller
The holidays at year end are a time of peace and reflection. There is also a lot of HOLIDAY STRESS. If you are able to relax by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and shop online, you are one of the lucky ones. Many of us dread this time of year for several reasons:
- The bills
- In-laws, or politely put – “having to spend time with difficult-to- tolerate family members”
Here are helpful ideas to get you safely through to 2015:
There are so many this time of year. If you have been avoiding holiday parties, plan to go to at least one or two. Why not socialize a little to take your mind off all that is going on for a few hours? Exercise to get ahead of holiday weight gain. See a holiday movie with friends for some entertainment.
Holidays are a great time to give back. Volunteering, helping someone, giving and being thoughtful are great ways to feel good and spread the holiday cheer. Even if you aren’t giving gifts, you may give a card and exchange positive feelings with others inexpensively. Giving someone a .20 cent candy cane can do the trick.
To be avoided. Comparing ourselves to others, we all do it…and it can leave us feeling lousy. When making comparisons we all have a tendency to compare ourselves to those who appear to be more fortunate. When comparing, try to make even comparisons. Compare yourself to those less fortunate as well to keep things in perspective.
With Opposite Emotion
Feel your mood going south? Try engaging in something that brings about opposite emotion. Feeling blue? How about playing some Christmas music and singing along to change your emotions. Read some Christmas cards, send some out, put on a holiday comedy or feel good movie such as It’s a Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Story.
Focus attention on the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feelings of the holiday season. Notice the sensation on your skin of your favorite snuggly slippers or a warm blanket. The smell of a holiday scented candle, or scented lotions on your skin. Savor the tastes of the season, pumpkin pie, egg nog, and cranberry. Use your senses to really experience each bite, every texture and taste. Notice the details of the holiday decorations, the lights, the sound every note of holiday music. When you are fully present, you are more available to enjoy positive experiences.
And don’t forget to Have a Happy Holiday!!!