Coping with the Holiday Season

A Time of Stress… or a Time of Peace?

You get to choose!

Twelve ideas for coping with stress and staying sober:

  1. Be grateful for what you have.  Life is not perfect.  Lower your expectations.
  2. Most of us don't need more "stuff" but most of us could use more serenity.
  3. Make a holiday budget and stick to it.  Keeping the cash and the credit cards in your pocket will help avoid the post-holiday stress.
  4. When people give you a "wish list" ask them to establish priorities.  It will be good experience for them and it will relieve your stress.  It is an especially good experience for kids to learn that we cannot always have all that we want.
  5. Be creative in your gifts.  Your kids want time with you, so give them a certificate: "Dad will (plan a camping trip, take you fishing, read a book with you once a week).  Parents would often welcome a certificate to "Wash your windws" or one that provides "Lawn mowing services." Share your time.  It will be appreciated more than "stuff".
  6. Remember to excercise.  Get rid of the stress.  If you don't take care of yourself, on one else will.
  7. Eat right… not too little… and not too much.
  8. Increase your A.A. contacts and go to more meetings.
  9. Manage your anger.  You don't need to hold it all in, but then again it is not every feeling that needs to be articulated.  Set boundaries, but do it without anger.
  10. Maintain your humor.  Life is an interesting and pleasant journey.
  11. Maintain your sanity.  Of course, if you can maintain your sanity while everyone about you is losing theirs, you may not know what is going on… but then who cares.
  12. Be grateful.  We are the most fortunate people to ever have inhabited the earth.

Win B., December 1999