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Surviving the holdays

With a little help – you can get through this Holiday season!
Here are some tips and guidance from a few of our providers. 

GENERAL TIPS TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS

Nima Alinejad, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Behavioral Health Solutions

  • Sleep, eat and limit alcohol consumption to stay healthy – especially during COVID-19. Self-care is often set aside during busy Holiday times, yet it is important to maintain routines of care and actively work to reduce stress.
  • Don’t spend what you do not have. Gifts do not have to be the focus of your holiday celebration. Financial stresses that result from Holiday gift-giving create ongoing burdens for many people. Establish a spending plan and stick to it. Communicate expectations and consider a gift exchange instead of gifts for all when you have a big family or network of friends.
  • Focus your attention and gratitude on your family and friends. Take the time to “stop and smell the roses.” Often the holidays get so busy and hectic we lose sight of those closest to us. Gratitude is healing and grounding. Be certain to find time to turn your attention to the family and friends who enrich your life every day.
  • Not every family member requires your attention – pick your fights. You already know who in your family can push your buttons. You don’t have to subject yourself to those who bring negativity or aggravation into your life. It is ok to allow space in your family gatherings and avoid confrontation.
  • Even the strongest still need support every now and then – please contact BHS when you need our support.

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RELAPSE PREVENTION STRATEGIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS 

Dr. Kristina Kovacs, Clinical Psychologist
Executive Program Director, Behavioral Health Solutions

The holidays can be a time of increased stress especially for those struggling with substance abuse disorders. While the holidays are a time to celebrate, for some holidays can cause increased stress brought on by feelings of loneliness, financial stress, and social pressure. Here are a few strategies to help prevent overindulgence in chemicals and alcohol as a means of coping with holiday stress: 

AVOID TRIGGERS: Stay mindful of your personal holiday triggers and limit any environmental factors likely to cause increased stress (people, places, and things that trigger unhealthy thinking patterns and behaviors). 

ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE: Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and taking time for yourself. Read a good book. Meditate. Focus on your needs. 

SEEK OUT HEALTH SUPPORT SYSTEMS: Whether this is a sponsor, increased 12-step meetings, therapist, or supportive family and friends. Reach out and share if you are feeling overwhelmed or are having thoughts and feelings that lead to unhealthy coping skills. 

SET BOUNDARIES: Plan ahead and do not put yourself into situations likely to cause relapse. Say no to invitations involving people, places, and things associated with substance use. Don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings.  

If you feel that you are losing control, reach out for help. Call BHS at 702-608-1976.

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TIPS FOR DEALING WITH GRIEF/LOSS DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Erica Biro, LMFT
Clinical Supervisor of Outpatient Services

Dealing with grief and loss during the holidays can be particularly difficult and painful.  But, there are strategies to manage it.

Set personal boundaries- know your limits. Decide what your boundaries are before entering a situation, whether it be a holiday party or family event. It will be easier to enforce your boundary and not do something you feel uncomfortable about.

Tune into your Grief- Pay attention to your feelings and give them space. Allow yourself time to check in with how you’re feeling. Be present and acknowledge the feeling rather than suppressing it.

BHS is here to help you through your challenges…Call us at 702-608-1976.