For some people, the holidays are a time for celebrations, excitement, and precious traditions. Others associate the holidays with negativity, trauma, and complicated relational dynamics. Many of us experience a mixture of both and, as a result, we may struggle to stay healthy during this time. Maintaining holiday health may feel intimidating but, luckily, we’re here to help. The three keys to remaining in a healthy mental state are to know your triggers, set boundaries, and stay connected.
One of the most effective ways to support your mental and physical health during the holiday season is to recognize your triggers. Triggers are different for everyone, but they’re usually people or circumstances that bring you to an unhealthy state of being. This may look like certain family members who openly use substances, knowing that you are in recovery. Or, it could be friends that convince you to go to parties you’re not comfortable going to.
Situations will vary, however, it’s important to know what triggers you to go into an unhealthy mental state. If you aren’t sure how to figure this out, a licensed professional counselor (LPC) can help. They’ll be able to help you determine unhealthy patterns, relationships, and behaviors that may negatively affect your mental and physical health. An LPC will also be able to equip you with tools to set healthy and appropriate boundaries.
One important thing to remember about boundaries is that they can change as you need them to. Boundaries don’t have to be forever. For example, if you know that being around family members who openly use substances will tempt you to use them again, you probably need to set up some boundaries. You could host family events at your home and request that they be sober gatherings. In addition, you could skip any family get-togethers where alcohol and/or drug use are present. These types of boundaries don’t have to be permanent, but they can be if needed.
Having someone you trust to talk to about the things you’re going through is critical to your mental health. As humans, we’re made to connect and bond with others. If you don’t have that connection with others, it can severely impact your mental and physical health. As a result, connecting with others during this season is very important, especially if the holidays are a difficult time for you.
While there may be times that it feels more comfortable to retreat into solitude, you can get creative with the way you connect with others. If you don’t feel like you can leave your home, you could invite friends over for a:
One of the most effective ways to maintain your health during the holidays is to ask for help. If you know that your mental health tends to decline around the holidays, it’s probably a good idea to have regular check-ins with an LPC. They will be able to help you prepare for the holidays as well as healthily process any difficult emotions, memories, or circumstances that arise.
LPCs can help equip you with the proper tools that can help you healthily get through the holidays. It may not be enjoyable all the time, but an LPC will be able to support you through it all.
If you feel like you and your family could benefit from opening lines of communication, you could attend family counseling together. This may both rake up uncomfortable feelings but also open the door for healing. Your LPC may do family counseling or you can contact us at Sage Recovery to use our family counseling services.
Another way to make sure your mental health stays in a good place during the holiday season is to attend a support group or group therapy. This can be especially helpful if you are going to be celebrating the holidays away from your family or loved ones. Attending a support group or group therapy session will provide an opportunity for you to make connections and build relationships with others who are in similar situations.
Here at Sage Recovery, we understand how difficult it can be to maintain your health during emotionally and mentally challenging times. That’s why we purposefully plan events that allow people in similar situations to connect, like our alumni events and weekly group therapy sessions.
Additionally, we only employ masters-level clinicians and, as a result, our counseling services are top-notch. Whether you need individual, couples, or family counseling, we can help. Our clinicians are extensively trained in both evidence-based and innovative techniques, so you can trust that you’ll have a treatment plan that is customized to fit your unique needs and goals for recovery.
Here at Sage Recovery, we care deeply about every part of our patient’s lives. If the holidays are difficult for you, you are not alone. We are here to support you, whether you need to utilize our counseling services to work through anxiety and depression or you need addiction treatment services to heal from substance use. Every single person on our staff is trained to provide trauma-informed care, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what you’ve been through. We’re ready to support you when you’re ready for us. Reach out at (512) 306-1394 to learn more about how we can help, today.