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Could Your Habits Be Adding To Your Holiday Stress?

In recovery we hear the saying “one day at a time” quite frequently. The adage is designed to help us take on life one thing at a time, which is more challenging than it sounds. Those of us in recovery, whether that be from trauma, addictions, mental health, or more, tend to bite off more than we can chew in terms of our thoughts. We want to see the endgame before we see the journey, but instead of taking on the journey, we fret about how we’ll reach the endgame. Distracted by our anxieties, we enter survival mode to get through the trenches without taking consideration to our actions and behaviors. Eventually, we reach an exhaustion point and realize it isn’t the trenches which hold us back from living and being the way we want to but the way we’re getting through the challenges- our habits and behaviors- which slow us down.

The holidays are one of those seasons in life where we truly have to take our days one hour at a time and tackle our to-do list one task at a time. One of the best ways for us to slow down and move through the holiday stress efficiently is to take a look at how we’re handling that stress, the behaviors we turn to in order to cope with stress, and whether or not those behaviors are actually helping us. Until we take an outside look at our attitudes and behaviors, we might think them to be “normal” and “natural” responses to holiday stress. While our stress behaviors may seem normal because so many other people do them, that doesn’t change whether or not they are helpful to us.

Harmful Holiday Stress Behaviors

For example, if we don’t plan our holiday budget ahead of time, we’ll find ourselves in a constant state of financial worry and possibly spending more than we can afford to do. If we don’t work with our trauma therapist and our support group to prepare ourselves for dealing with challenging family dynamics, we could set ourselves up for fights, drama, and being triggered more than necessary. Due to all of our building stress, we may not be able to sleep, we may not adhere to our daily routine, our self-care, or even or basic needs. Entering survival mode pulls us out of the way we’re practicing thriving on a daily basis for our recovery,

Checking In

Check in with yourself, your therapist, and your support network, take a look at your behaviors and how they’re contributing to your holiday stress. More importantly, take a look at how they’re affecting your wellbeing, and if they’re triggering something deeper. The holidays are a common time for relapse into addictions and problematic behaviors as people lose sight of their thriving skills and dig into their survival skills instead. Remember, recovery is always here for you.

If you or someone you know has struggled immensely with trauma, help is available. Call The Guest House Ocala today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues. 1-855-483-7800