Season’s Greetings From Suncoast Rehabilitation Center: The holidays are here! This can mean many warm, heart-felt moments and can also mean many opportunities for awkwardness and potential unhappiness. At Suncoast Rehabilitation Center we want to wish you all a safe and happy holiday season, with an emphasis on SAFE.
Here are a few tips to help you to stay happy, healthy, safe and trigger-free over the holidays:
1. Do Try to Keep the Drinks Non-Alcoholic
If you have a relative that is known to have one drink too many and make things rough for the rest of the party, then cook up some great nonalcoholic drinks that everyone will want to try.
There are some really good non-alcoholic eggnog recipes, apple cider recipes, cranberry drink recipes, etc. Get creative. If time is short, you can also find some mixes at the store to add to water or juice.
2. Do Take the Time to Seek Out Friends
Holidays are about love, friends, family, gratefulness, and appreciation for the good things we have. Let people know you are thinking of them. Find a person you haven’t spoken to in a long time and reach out to them. This can lift your spirits and lift the spirits of the other person. If you can, take the time to meet with them face to face.
3. Don’t Stress About Big Presents
Sometimes buying the “perfect present” for friends and relatives can not only break the bank, but can also be depressing, add to stress and lead to yet another trigger. If you step back for a moment, the holidays are truly not about who buys the most expensive presents. Despite all the advertisements on TV and the radio, most friends and relatives don’t really care about the cost or the size of the presents. “It’s the thought that counts” is what rings through the ages almost as much as “Happy Holidays.” So take a moment and see what the person may really need or want, or something that may remind them of you. It could be favorite coffee from that coffee shop back on the West Coast or a framed picture of you and them. Think out of the box and be creative. A friend told me one of the most meaningful gifts she ever received over the holidays was a collage of pictures of her and her best friend’s favorite moments throughout the year.
4. Do Something Different
If getting a big ol’ Christmas tree and having that big ol’ holiday dinner is a reminder of bad things past, then skip it. Do something else. Find a restaurant that will take holiday reservations; see if you can meet up with some friends that you haven’t seen for a long time. Some families rent a cabin around the holidays. With everyone pitching in, the cost becomes quite affordable. Maybe you can take that time off work and take that vacation you have always wanted to take. The point is, do something DIFFERENT that will get you into trigger-free circumstances over the holidays.
5. Don’t Wear Yourself Thin
It’s easy to get sucked into saying “yes” to everyone and everything. In the end, though, this will likely turn you into a frazzled mess. Instead of adding extra stress to your life, gracefully bow out of any parties or gatherings that will make you uncomfortable or which cause too much of a time crunch.
Your time might be better served taking a nap, exercising, making up your card list, or getting organized for the holidays. You can always send a card to the host of a party you missed or see if you can catch up with them over coffee or lunch some other time when you are both less busy.
6. Do Pay Kindness Forward
The holidays can be tough on others. There are still soldiers deployed overseas, young people may be struggling, or older people may not have anyone to spend time with. Think about all those moments of kindness that have helped you along in life and then pay it forward. You can pay off someone’s layaway items at your local store (this is becoming quite the newest thing), buy a coffee for a less fortunate person, pay for someone’s parking. There are so many ways to do this – try one out and see if it uplifts you!
The most important point about the holidays is that you make it through being safe and happy. It is our hope that these tips will assist you in doing just that!
The holidays are a time for celebration, a time to give thanks for those we love, those that love us, and all that we have in our lives that make holidays so special. Holidays can also be a time when people over-indulge in too much of that “holiday cheer,” which can turn any celebrated holiday into a time of family feuds, legal issues, court appearances, hospital stays or worse. So, whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or ringing in the New Year, remember to be responsible and ensure your loved ones do the same. A family together; happy, healthy and safe; are the best gifts we can give and receive for any holiday.
In Health and Happiness,
All of us at Suncoast Rehabilitation Center