When we think of the holiday season, we think of family. Of coming together, gratitude, and quality time spent with those we love. But what is too often overlooked is the emotional part of the season, the potential for stress, arguing, and excessive drinking.
Stress During The Holidays
Holidays, for the most part, are thought of as “the best time of the year,” and they should be. But with this usually comes high expectations. Making sure to get the best gifts, pulling off the perfect party, making up to or getting along with family, and trying to maintain a great attitude through all of it. But many people can become overly stressed while trying to live up to these heightened expectations, and are left feeling devastated when they fail.
Drinking During The Holidays
Everywhere you go during the holidays, especially to family get-togethers or parties, there is alcohol involved. It comes with the season. But alcohol more often than not brings along with it a host of unfortunate and unintended consequences with its consumption.
Though never an excuse, alcohol is perhaps by far the leading reason for the increase in incidents of domestic violence during the holidays. Regardless of the time of year, it almost always is involved in some way, shape or form. It is no small wonder that alcohol is typically prohibited during a domestic violence case. When a case is pending, the defendant will almost always have to attend 12 step meetings and provide clean drug and alcohol screenings.
What Can You Do To Manage Stress of the Holidays?
Set realistic expectations.
Don’t think you can ace everything you do. Being a perfectionist during the holidays will damper your spirit. Do everything with love and care, but do it because you enjoy it, not to make everyone happy.
Manage your time effectively.
Don’t take on too much. Going hand in hand with your expectations, make sure you get everything done you want to but be sure not to rush it. It will take the enjoyment out of it!
Avoid drinking “over” situations.
Many people, alcoholic or not, believe wholeheartedly that drinking will make them feel better about something they are upset about. This is an illusion. Work it out, stop it before it turns into something you regret. Enjoying alcohol and abusing alcohol are two different things.
Be the “bigger” person.
If you find yourself in a confrontation or argument with someone, be the bigger person. Step away, cool off and don’t let your feelings run your actions. If you see a situation escalate between other people, be the one to step in and say something instead of being an onlooker.
Offer Non-Alcoholic Options
While hosting holiday parties, offer a selection of non-alcoholic beverages and stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends. Consider attending Alcoholic Anonymous or Al-Anon if you or a family member have struggled with alcohol dependency.
There is Help Available
There is help for persistent stress, worry, anxiety, depression, or overall negativity during the holidays. Finding the right meetings or therapy where you can have a safe place to get support and empowerment during difficult times can be helpful. Therapy can help with stress management, mood and relationships, and confidence and empowerment.