The most wonderful time of year is over. Wait, what? Let’s unpack that for a moment before we move on. For most of the world, the holidays are a bunch of hype. I hear many people say they enjoy the food, revel in the merry atmosphere, and enjoy time off. But, all that comes with a host of other problems, even when it goes well.

For one, most of us don’t have a “fully realized” most wonderful time of year, so the weirdness starts there. Maybe we don’t feel thrilled when with our families, maybe that great food came with seven unwanted pounds. You hear me, Aunt Karen, sending your three holiday pies? Maybe that time off led to a tough readjustment this past Sunday night and the Monday blues hit hard.

Point is, when you’re expected to have a good time and enjoy family, and you’re a person in recovery, things can become quite fraught. We often don’t have the perfect family experience or can’t indulge in the kind of festive merriness that most people do throughout the holiday season. My holidays went particularly well this year and I’m still struggling with the following:

  1. Holiday “taking it easy” turned into laziness and I haven’t seen a gym in weeks
  2. I was “this” close to being a pescatarian before Thanksgiving and now I’m in a meat relapse
  3. Missing a regular recovery schedule of mtgs and such destabilizes me and makes me feel wonky
  4. Having a nice holiday left me with a bit of wanderlust and now I don’t want to work
  5. A relapse in anxiety over income and finances 

Again, I reiterate that this is the result of a good holiday. Everyone I know had some issue over the holiday—money troubles, love troubles, alcohol troubles with a partner or friend. The holidays come with a price! Just know, you’re not alone. Most of us feel let down a bit as we slide into this new decade. The current state of the world definitely doesn’t help calm us down either.

What’s the answer?

Feel your feelings. It’s OK to feel bummed. It usually passes pretty quickly.  Try and feel nurtured by the things you care about and definitely be kind to yourself. If all you did was make a pot of coffee today, congratulate yourself on that incredible task. The world is too messy and upsetting for us to bring more anxiety to the table. Stay calm and know that you’re doing your best. Remember what the Dalai Lama said. “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” So, go forth in peace and heal, restore, tell your story, and love as much as you can. It will make you feel better.