Feeling Frazzled and Alternatives to Misusing Alcohol
The holidays are in full force, and we still have unknowns and supposed to’s to protect the most vulnerable from the dreaded Covid. Holidays can be enough to drive us to misuse alcohol. Add any additional stressors and screw it; give me the whole bottle.
RETIRE THE FORTUNE TELLER
Even though I don’t have the habit of turning to alcohol for a pressure release, I can still find myself feeling like I’m going to lose my mind with all the stories I concoct. See what I did there? I took responsibility for creating a narrative of events that had not happened yet. And exhale… It’s time to retire the fortune teller. You’re welcome. But wait, there’s more…
WHAT IS YOUR INTENTION
Most days, I spring out of bed at an unusually early hour, 4 am, and many nights it can be 2 or 3 am. Depending on the day and activities, I will get to work on an inspired project, or I’ll lie there and do breathwork and get another hour or so of sleep. I rarely feel stressed or replay horror films back of my past mistakes like so many do. It’s as though if we can feel bad enough about it, it will go away. But it never does. It can’t. It’s the past.
Last night I wasn’t worried about the past; I was anticipating the future. Hello, anxiety; welcome to my head.
Rich’s parents are coming to town. In fact, they will be arriving in about two hours. My house isn’t perfect the way I was hoping it would be. I don’t know why I think it needs to be, I’m not perfect, but my home is always clean and comfy. We had a notary to our house the other night, and she asked if I was an interior decorator while admiring our home. I responded with no and went on to say I want people to feel comfortable when they visit, and she said, well, you’ve accomplished that. I don’t say this to brag, but to remind myself that this is our home, and it’s filled with love and an intention for others to feel welcomed, not to impress or meet other people’s expectations.
I’m in no way suggesting Rich’s parents expect us to be perfect, but they are both retired military, and everything has a place. Uh, not so much at casa de, Teresa’s. I have notebooks, books, pens, reading glasses, art projects, pillows, and throw blankets throughout the living space. I leave my shutters partially open, so my cats, Raven, and JuJu can sit on the windowsill. It looks a bit disheveled, but we live in, love, and enjoy our home. Ahhh. I feel better already.
Their room has been cleaned and cleared, and fluffed for their enjoyment. My mom-in-law was born and raised in Alabama. She doesn’t appreciate our cold weather the way I do, so I made their bed with flannel sheets and added an extra blanket. On the bedside table, they’ll find each of their favorite sweets. And, I left flower arrangements in both the bedroom and their bathroom with a dash of vibrant purple, my mother-in-law’s favorite color.
SEE WHAT I DID
I’m practicing an exercise I want you to consider during this holiday season and beyond. Don’t focus on all the stuff that could go wrong or you didn’t get to. Be deliberate in reminding yourself about all the positive aspects of your loved ones, events, meals, memories, and more.
I was frazzled when I sat down to write this morning. I wanted to be sure to connect with you but couldn’t slow down my million-mile-a-minute mind. So, I just started sharing with you what was on my heart. And I feel so much better.
Writing these words and remembering my love and gratitude for their visit really helped put things in perspective. I’m much calmer now and again excited, not anxious about their arrival.
I love my in-laws. My father-in-law is the closest I have ever had to a father, and my mother-in-law, Deborah, talks so fast it’s like she’s in a race to see if her mind can keep up with her mouth, and the stories she tells and expressions she uses have me rolling in laughter. I’m so fortunate that she is honestly one of my best friends.
If, or should I say when, you find yourself under pressure, do what I just modeled for you, write it out.
What are your intentions for the interaction or event?
What are the positives?
How will the world combust, be specific, if perfection is not met?
BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT
Here’s a simple little breathing exercise that can return you to calm. Partner it with the writing prompts, and you have a winning combo.
Sit with a straight back.
Breathe in for a count of four.
Hold for seven.
Exhale for eight.
Repeat two more times.
You’ve got this! It takes time, intention, and practice to change your habit of relying on alcohol to take you away. And if you drink, or drink more than you planned, please for the love of all that is holy, do not attack the loving being that is you. I promise you beating the crap out of yourself will only push you further away from sober freedom.
You only know what you know until you know more and that takes exploration. I can help you with that. I’m always just a click away. You can always connect with me through the contact page by either emailing me directly or scheduling a free consultation.
I love you and wish you a pleasant and calm holiday week.