I know holidays can be really stressful in some instances ....weddings, funerals and holidays bring out the best and the worst in people. Being very good to yourself will help you keep your sanity when Uncle Harry has too much to drink and starts acting like an ass, trust me. Let his energy stay with him; you stay centered in yours. Don't let him make you carry his energetic crud around in your consciousness for him.
Ground, center and shield yourself as much as possible. Meditate daily. Cut cords
. Do some of the practices in the Empath Resources post in the Ask Elisa forum, even if you're not an empath
. Bath soaks before or after "challenging" social engagements are especially cleansing and refreshing. Check out these decadent bath recipes posted years ago by an EUTM member: Chesire's bath recipes
. That is, by far, my favorite thread on this entire message board!
Best of all, enjoy nature. As of this writing, she's shedding the vestiges of the old year (her leaves are falling off the trees, etc.). Find things in nature that strike your eye, and bring some of it inside the house if you can. That's what my mother used to do. She practiced ikebana
(it was compulsory in Japan for girls to learn at one time; they probably don't teach it anymore), so if it was flower blossom season, she'd make a flower arrangement. If it was fruit-bearing season, she'd make a fruit arrangement. If it was winter season, she'd make a pine branches arrangement, like the one below.
We had no tokonoma
, an alcove in a Japanese home where you'd normally display such arrangements. So she improvised using our kitchen table. What a treat it was for me to see this little microcosm on the kitchen table, reflective of the seasons, magically transforming before my eyes year round. I didn't think much of it growing up, but I appreciate her efforts now. It was one of the many beautiful things about my mother. It seems last night my mother's spirit influenced my daughter or something, because my daughter said out of the blue, "hey, let's decorate the house with pine branches!"
All holidays are pagan when you think about it (esp Christian ones, though they don't know it, as I posted in this post
). All holidays mark the passage of time, the rhythm of nature and existence. If nothing else, think of the rhythm of your own growth and existence. In thankfulness reflect on how far you've come as a person since this very day
last year, how much you've learned, and how much you've taught others around you.
The best of you however, is certainly yet to come.Added Dec 6, 2009:Holidays and Recovery
(This was taken from sunlightofthespiritbooks.com
The holiday season can be a time of joy, celebration, and connecting with loved ones. It can also trigger increased stress for many. For those committed to recovery from addiction, the holidays can present special challenges due to holiday parties; hectic schedules; food, drink/drug, relationship and/or emotional triggers. Below are 12 suggestions for maintaining serenity during the holidays:
1. Spend time during the holidays with those who support your recovery.
2. Many groups host 'marathon' meetings during the holidays-find one in your area.
3. Ask for support from family and friends who encourage your recovery.
4. Keep a phone and a list of people you can call if you feel the urge to drink/use with you.
5. Get regular exercise as an essential component of a balanced recovery program.
6. Stay away from slippery places - nightclubs, parties where there's likely to be drinking/using.
7. Create new traditions to replace old negative patterns.
8. Write a daily gratitude list.
9. Volunteer at a charitable organization - a great way to take your mind off yourself.
10. Write a letter to yourself - How I Maintained my Recovery through the Holidays. Include activities that will help you have a healthy and happy holiday.
11. Avoid H.A.L.T. - becoming too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
12. Live One Day at a Time and enjoy your recovery this holiday season!!