Parties, family gatherings, tasty food, liquid cheer, commitments to friends and work – love them or hate them, the Holidays can get stressful. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)*, 64% of people suffering from a mental illness say that the holidays make it worse. But this is the case for everyone, not just those already suffering. It’s a challenging time and we often set unrealistic expectations for ourselves as well as others. This can be an especially trying time for those recovering from an addiction. That’s why it is important to remember to give yourself the gift of “self-care.” Here are a few tips to help get you through the Holidays and even clear the way for 2019.
Exercise, Preferably Outside
Whether it’s Yoga, walking on the beach, working out in the gym or some other class, find a way to get moving, even for just a little while. And if you could do it outside, even better. Sunlight produces Serotonin which can help boost your mood and calm you down.
Don’t Over-Commit. It’s Ok to Say No.
You don’t have to go to every party, and if there are some commitments (like work parties) you feel obligated to attend, make an appearance, and then coordinate a graceful exit. The more you over-extend yourself, the more stress you’re adding to an already tumultuous season.
If You Need Help, Ask
Listen. You’re not the only one that suffers from Holiday blues. If you’re involved in AA or any other support group, be sure to make those a priority. Being around others struggling with the same pressures can provide tremendous relief and an opportunity to talk without feeling guilty about sharing during a time that is “supposed” to be joyous.
Slow Down, Reflect, Set New Intentions
As we’ve often said before, not everyone has a “Norman Rockwell” portrait of a family this holiday season. But waiting to slow down, reflect or set new intentions for the new year can be a mistake. Do it now! It will help keep you focused on your own self-health.
Limitless Potentials is a center for Psychotherapy, Mindfulness Training, and Yoga led by Kathy Shafer Ph.D. Known for her expertise as a certified EMDR practitioner and her mindful approach to cognitive behavioral therapy, Dr. Kathy is also a Certified Addiction Professional, and yoga therapist (C-IAYT). She is the author and creator of the FUN(TM) program which challenges thinking and behavior in her tool box of clinical skills to address trauma, challenges in relationships, mood disorders, anxiety, pain, parenting, family dynamics, and chronic health issues. She gives presentations, conducts workshops on these and related topics, and when appropriate, integrates mindful skills in sessions. Group and family therapy are also offered. To learn more, please call (561) 799-6789.
* Mental Health and the “Holiday Blues”: 64% of people with mental illness report that the holidays make their conditions worse