A dry Christmas is a challenge and anxiety levels can be at their peak. Hell, a wet Christmas can be full of anxiety so we all need help to get through.
The responsibility to make it special, the food to cook, the presents to wrap. It can be overwhelming.
It’s a wonderful life (for now)
But right now, as I sit in my kitchen on Christmas Eve, life seems incredibly simple. The sun is streaming in as I write this post and I am thinking,
‘It’s a wonderful life!’
If I could bottle this moment then I would. I could keep it on the shelf and have a little tipple when I felt the need for joy. A bottle of completeness. A fine vintage.
If you haven’t worked out that I am crowbarring this scene into a drink metaphor then please subscribe. I need more readers like you! 😉
How to get through anxiety without alcohol
Life isn’t always this simple though. Any bad news and resolve can be rocked, inner peace shattered. Christmas can be a very tricky time for so many people and it’s significance as a family occasion can feel majorly heavy. Some people will reach for a drink to deal with their anxiety. I prefer this contemplation.
When your thinking takes a turn for the worse, quickly take yourself off to a quiet place: the bathroom; a bedroom; the garden. Go anywhere you can be alone for a few moments without fear of being disturbed. It can be 4 minutes or as much as you have.
Close your eyes. Take deep breathes: so deep that they fill your whole tummy and then your chest. Hold the breath for a second and then allow it all to leave your body slowly and fully before taking the next inhale.
As you breath deeply, relax your shoulders, allow the corners of your mouth to turn up slightly into the faintest smile and roll these words around your mind,
As you chant the mantra in your mind (or aloud if you are able) think of your whole life-force shrinking in an instant to the darkness between your closed eyes.
You are reduced utterly to the inner you that is calm, satisfied and happy. The ‘deep down you’ that holds all the courage, wisdom and faith you need. This is all you are and all you have in the world. It will endure.
If thoughts crop up then let them pass, returning to the mantra ‘happiness, calm, peace.’
Say these words with absolute conviction. That you are part of a greater consciousness, which longs for your happiness and fulfilment and knows that no matter what, everything will work out for the best. It’s called faith.
When you feel calmer and strong enough to return to the real world, end your contemplation with a ‘thank you’.
You can go back to the rest of the family restored to your stronger self, reminded of the fleeting nature of anxiety, cravings, panic. Reassured of the love that envelopes you and how much you value your life, without alcohol.
Bottle your inner joy and sneak off for a secret tipple
Much like the bottle of joy I would take from today, this contemplation is a bottle of strength that you can sneak off and sip from without anyone seeing. It’s private and all yours.
You can use this contemplation to overcome cravings, anxiety, panic and just about anything. God knows, you may need it a lot over these long days with your extended family!