Distractions

Oh the holidays are here and my oh my how we can get distracted. Typically for therapists, this is the slower time of year as people are busy with travel and family plans. Then come January, the flood of new calls come in as the realization for needing help is awakened. During this time you can read a lot of blogs about how to cope with the holidays. Holidays can be STRESSFUL! And what is more stressful is how we don't let anybody else know what is going on with us. We put on a smile and "get through it." So this week we have Thanksgiving coming up. One of the many distractions that we use to cope with stress is eating. When we are with our families or if we are alone we may have an intensity in our emotions that we aren't used to feeling. So, we reach for some more food, zone out in front of the tv and just "get through it." Mindfulness teaches us to be aware of our emotions, not judge them, just acknowledge them. It is in this awareness that we then can cope. If you don't name it, you can't deal with it. I find that as I say to myself, "ok, I am annoyed at my aunt so and so right now," the compulsion to reach for more food diminishes. Yes, distractions are fun sometimes and seem to work in the moment. But like I said, my phone rings off the hook in January after some of the distractions are gone. The distractions don't work. They just put off what we need to deal with to be whole again. So this week, whatever your situation, just take a moment, breathe and say what you are feeling or thinking.