Financial trouble is one of the most debilitating emotional experiences there is. When you can’t pay your bills, rent, or medical expenses, a person can easily get lost in a whirlwind of anxiety, fear, and confusion. The uncomfortable feelings, the worry, and the discomfort of not being able to stay financially afloat can, in turn, lead to cravings to drink or use drugs. If you’re in recovery, this means relapse. If you’re not in recovery, this might mean contributing to an addiction. And the worry of finances can get bigger around the holidays. You might feel the need to buy gifts. You might even feel pressured if everyone at work or in your family is buying gifts. This article will provide some tips on how to avoid financial trouble this holiday season, and in turn, avoid the emotional turmoil and stay sober.
When you feel less than, you are more likely to spend more. This is a tip from Suze Orman, the financial expert of our times. She recommends avoiding letting money be a tool to feel better about yourself. She also recommends avoiding using money as a means to keep up with others. In the ends, as Orman points out, spending too much money only puts you in a bad place. Remembering her words might be a good tip for the holiday season: people first, then money, then things. Cherish your relationships above money or material things.
Be grateful for what you have. It’s easy to start to feel like you don’t have enough when you can’t seem to find the money for gifts, let alone your bills. But if you can put your attention on what you have, the people in your life, and the opportunities that exist for you, then you’re more likely to feel open-hearted and good about your life. This alone can keep away cravings to drink or use drugs.
Be generous in other ways. If you don’t have the money to buy gifts, give your time and energy to a person you love. Give where you have a surplus. Share your love, affection, and kindness. Donate your attention to someone in need. And if you still want to give a material gift, use your crafting, woodworking, or creative skills to make something. Lastly, you may want to show your love to someone by giving them something that has meant a lot to you over the years.
These are suggestions for avoiding financial trouble this time of year. And if you can do that then you’re sure to avoid those uncomfortable feelings (worry, fear, confusion) that can lead to substance use. Sobriety can be a challenging road for some people. Learning how to avoid certain situations, feelings, and circumstances – such as financial trouble – is a skill that can keep you sober for years to come.
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