While the holidays bring joy to many, they can also trigger unhealthy coping behaviors. Many of my clients feel increased anxiety during this time of year, and we spend a lot of time preparing and creating a new blueprint for "being" through the holidays.
Turning to alcohol doesn't really solve anything, does it? It's a temporary fix. It brings quick relief but doesn't last. You're not dealing with the things that are causing your anxiety, so it's just being shoved into a corner where you don't notice it for a while. These nagging worries or self-doubts will just resurface when the buzz wears off, and we'll feel particularly overwhelmed or triggered. Drinking negatively affects our mental acuity and sleep, and it can make us feel sluggish, anxious, or short-tempered in the morning.
The effort to pull it together for our families, partners, and jobs is even harder, which drains us and makes us crave alcohol again. And the cycle continues.
One client told me she'd been numbing her pain for so long that it started to escape as rage when she got cut off in traffic or when she couldn't return something to a department store.
Emotional pain that you refuse to deal with can also manifest as physical discomfort: headaches, inflammation, indigestion, and more.
Not messing with your delicate internal balance of hormones and natural feel-good chemicals will help you ride the waves of emotion you get.
Nothing feels better with a hangover. You and I both know that.
So do yourself the most loving favor. Don't use alcohol as a coping mechanism. Now, this doesn't mean you need to stop drinking altogether. This is about finding healthier ways to deal with your feelings. Here's how to get started.