Do you dread the holidays? Do they bring out the worst in you or your loved ones? Are you not sure how you’re going to survive visiting (or visits from) your family? What is in your holiday survival kit?
Here are some items from my and my friends’ holiday survival kits:
- Plan ahead
- Take Al-Anon literature with you.
- Talk to Al-Anon friends or your sponsor — get numbers you can call if you need to. Make sure they are in your phone or carry a phone list with you.
- Talk about your anxiety or fears with a program friend.
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations.
- Don’t try to meet others (or your own) unrealistic expectations.
- Take care of yourself.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat properly.
- Get enough “self time” — don’t spend all the time with your family (toxic or not!)
- Have an exit plan.
- Where can you go to be alone?
- Have a way to leave if you need to (drive yourself, for example.)
- Stay at a motel instead of in the family home, if possible (see above about others’ expectations!)
- Go for a walk.
- Make a phone call.
- Stay only as long as you want to.
- Sit at the “kids table” (they’re usually more sane than the adults!)
- Plan to attend meetings.
- If you are traveling, check the local Al-Anon district website for meeting times and locations. (Google “Al-Anon in city” works pretty well.)
- Take the podcast with you.
- Pray and meditate — keep up your recovery routines.
- This can be hard when you are not in your own space. Maybe you can’t do it exactly as you do at home, or for as long, but you will feel better if you keep up whatever P&M you normally do.
- Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time.
- Remember, “this too shall pass.”
Upcoming topics include Concepts 11 and 12. Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.
Music from the show
The Pogues: Fairytale of New York
Dolly Parton: Hard Candy Christmas
Over the Rhine: Darlin’ (Christmas is Comin’)