Tis the season…and for so many folks, the season is one of tumult, anxiety, triggers and temptations. For a lot of guys though, the issues don’t really show up until the dust settles down.
For many men, the ability to power through seems innate. The holidays become another gauntlet to navigate, much like the obstacle course that work can be. We become pretty darn good at just putting our heads down and bulling through the shenanigans of shopping, cooking, Christmas lights, put up, tear down, in-laws and outlaws. I was just talking with a pastor about this the other day. He was explaining the necessity of working til 1:30am to get the music and nativity scenes right, and how the last few weeks have been the big, final push of the year at the church. He’s running on adrenaline at this point, it’s activation being 1 part pride of work and commitment to the Gospel and the other part being caught in the frenetic pace of the Holidays.
But soon the hoopla will be over. And for those of us who simply medicated our emotions with a few too many eggnogs, the dust settling can mean the anger and temptation begin to click up. So I wanted to give you a couple practical tips for navigating the aftermath.
- If you’ve been powering through, remember that your emotions have been affected. Your heart has been impacted. Just because you didn’t take time to engage it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. So this weekend, give yourself some time to engage your emotions. Journal. Pray for God to illuminate what needs to be dealt with.
- Schedule time with one or a couple of your guys to download how it all went. Be in community as a part of your process.
- Celebrate surviving. Hey, it can feel that way sometimes! Especially if you’re part of the production at church and cranked for the last month, give yourself a chance to celebrate. Go out to eat at your fave restaurant, go to the shooting range, play a round of golf, go to a movie, grab a good book. Something. Something besides celebrating the old way, if you know what I mean. Too many guys in recovery don’t know how to celebrate wins in a healthy way.
- Remember that if you’re in the marital reconciliation process right now, you can’t afford to check out. You can’t take too much time to just veg out. Your downtime is as important as your uptime. Passivity cannot win.