The holidays are rolling in, so let’s enjoy this season. You don’t have to drown in frustration and drama. There is a way to survive and even enjoy the hustle, bustle and stress. Don’t allow guilt, anxiety or other emotions drag you down or hamper you. We are complex beings, guided by our hearts and mind. Emotions and logic driven by our upbringing as well as DNA-contributing tendencies.
How do you move past emotional and mental challenges?
Take a tip from a computer keyboard: ctrl-alt-del. That is how you reset a PC, so why can’t you do that for yourself also? Here’s how:
Most of life is out of our control. To help avoid further emotional nervousness, stop for a minute and assess the present environment. What in your surroundings can you control? Ignore the pieces that are out of your control. Focus on what you can.
Find alternative solutions. Often, the best solution is not the most obvious one. When you are trying to solve a problem, you may need to get creative. Take another minute and breathe. Breathing will help the anxiety drop as well as bring down the “Fight or Flight” endorphins that is flooding your brain and overwhelming your logic.
When you figure out what you have control over, and can think clearer, your logic will kick in so you can find the best alternative solution to resolve a breakdown. Delete things you cannot control, clearly see your solution and act on it.
Also, here are 3 tips to help avoid emotional breakdowns:
Have a “self-regulation” survival pack
When you start feeling ‘off’, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom or an area away from your group, etc. Breathe and play a quick game on your phone, pop a stick of gum or your favorite hard candy, etc.
This can be a ‘mental’ pack as well, and not a real bag. You can zone out, or even play a solitaire game when you are sitting.
– Find signs and count letters.
– Find patterns in the carpet or wall paper, and see if you can spot a ‘mistake’ or place where a piece or color is missing.
– Play a drinking game by yourself, amid conversation around you. How many times is a certain word used? Or go through the alphabet and grab the next word that starts with the next letter.As a parent of an anxious-prone child, have a small backpack filled with fidgets, earplugs, small candy, favorite items etc. The “heavy work” of carrying the bag can help too.
Take frequent breaks
Walking around will give your body and mind a ‘different environment’ than the one you’ve been ‘stuck in’ for the last hour or so. A change of scenery break will help refill your batteries.
Whether you are travelling to a familiar place, or going somewhere for the first time, be prepared for delays etc. Give yourself extra, extra time. The holidays is the busiest season of the year for travel, especially in the US. Families and friends are all trying to get to their destinations within a very short period of time. This is already a stressful time of year. Do not rush. Give yourself as much time as possible. Avoid road rage, etc. Be safe, for your sake and those around you. No one wants to spend time with a raging lunatic or grumpy pants.