Holidays and Addictive Behavior

Published in ‘South Bay Woman’ magazine, Dec. 2008 issue

By: Kristin Whitelaw

Holidays bring opportunity for joy and celebration; however, they can also provoke anxiety, depression, stress and worry.  These stresses can stimulate emotions that are challenging and negatively affect our ability to truly embrace the gifts available to us from the holiday experience.  It is common to turn to coping mechanisms that do not support our health, strength and positive state of being. We might cope by indulging in food or alcohol or by shutting off what we feel or directing feelings outwardly, at other people or situations.

It is possible for all of us to experience the holidays with innocent excitement, wonder and fulfillment – to wholly express the energy of what the holidays represent.  To do this we must engage every thought, word and action from a place of self-awareness.

Here are some helpful hints on how to positively deal with anything that might prevent you from having an
extraordinary holiday experience.

* Take time for yourself. Nurture yourself with love, acceptance and appreciation.

* Remember the true meaning of the holidays. Stay connected to what has heart and meaning.

* Deal with your emotions – don’t eat, them, drink or stuff them. Instead, listen to, value and communicate them.

* Don’t stay in situations that do not support your well-being.

* Let go of expectations – be flexible to the outcome. Keep a good sense of humor.

* Being around family members can trigger old feelings and unresolved issues. Be aware of what comes up.
Don’t deal with present situations from a past wound.

* Anger is fear – fear of not being enough, making a mistake or disappointing. Realizing the fear will empower you to
appropriatelyhandle any feelings of anger.

* Take time to stop, breathe, center, connect, comfort and release.
Remember, you can handle anything.

* Attitude is 90% of the experience…and the solution.