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Thanksgiving is three weeks away.

Christmas is only 6 ½ weeks away.

We are in the season of what is called

“The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”

But for many, it means the stress of:

  • Being with family that you don’t get along with.
  • Trying to stay on your healthy eating plan.
  • Trying not to drink too much.
  • Not getting enough sleep.

Then on top of your regular work and family schedule, you add:

  • Decorating the house and tree
  • Shopping for presents
  • Baking
  • Extra work, church, and social gatherings

It’s no wonder experts tell us that during this time of the year

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicide

Are on the rise.

It may seem impossible to not give in to the pressure of:

  • Old family/childhood roles
  • Over-drinking
  • Overeating
  • Lashing out at others

But I promise you help is here!

Just use the following steps to take back your power.

  1. Think of a past holiday that didn’t go the way you wanted it to go.
  2. Write down what happened.
  3. Find the one Circumstance (fact) in what happened. (Remember a circumstance is something that everyone can agree on. Example: The outdoor thermometer reads 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone looks at the thermometer and can agree on the outdoor temperature.)
  4. Look at what is left over after you find the Circumstance. Most likely they are your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions.
  5. Separate out your Thoughts from everything else.
  6. Ask yourself which single Thought is upsetting you the most.
  7. Ask yourself what you could think instead for and about yourself (not anyone else) that would have you feeling better
  8. Practice this new thought by writing it down where you will see it and say it out loud several times a day.
  9. What will be challenging about your upcoming event?
  10. What do you want to do at the event?
  11. What is your decision ahead of time?
  12. What is your commitment to what you want to create for yourself?
  13. What is your specific plan to carry this out?
  14. When you get to the event, how will you justify or excuse yourself for not following this plan?
  15. Anticipate and plan for obstacles to your plan and come up with strategies to overcome these obstacles.
  16. Visualize three scenarios where you are challenged, and you take the action you want to take.
  17. If it gets really hard, what is your plan?
  18. Write a message to yourself that you could read at this event to remind you of how you want to be and what you want to do.
  19. Write a mantra that supports your plan that you can say quietly in your head.
  20. Take your message and mantra with you to the event. If you start to feel stressed or upset, going into the bathroom and read your message and mantra while taking several slow deep breaths.