It’s that time of year! The Holiday season is filled with lots of joy and lots of pressure. Pressure to show up to all the holiday parties, spend all the money and see people that you might not of had to see in these last few years (due to COVID-19). So, let’s talk about an adapted Acronym from DBT skills that will help us to get through this holiday season and make sure our Mental Health is not wrecked.
The acronym is GRACE. Grace will be something you need for yourself and those around you. To begin:
G – Give back – Find ways to contribute to those around you. Find a way to Donate, Volunteer or just make cookies for your neighbor. This does not have to be something too big or expensive.
R – Rest and take care of your physical body and emotional health. If you know anything about “doing the basics” we need to be ok with doing that on some days. We call this the PLEASE Skill. Rest during this season and do not feel the pressure to run around all the time.
A – Ask for help – Resist the urge to do it all and aim for effective, not perfection. With social media it is easy to look at what everyone else is doing and think we need to do it all for there to be some sort of magic. If you feel the need to host this year, ask for help and keep it simple. Tell people what you need and don’t be afraid to say no.
C – Cope Ahead– How can you set boundaries and plan ahead financially and emotionally. This is for those holidays that you have decided to see people or family that might “trigger” you. Set time boundaries for how long you will spend somewhere. Also set financial boundaries so you don’t over spend or feel pressure to give due to the holiday season. Set emotional boundaries with what you will and wont talk about with people.
E – Enjoy the company of safe and secure people. Who are your people? Who do you enjoy spending time with that you do not feel the pressure to be someone your not. Feeling alone? This is where finding your community or getting an emotional support animal might be a good idea. Don’t feel pressure to be around people who are unsafe, just because you are feeling lonely.
Want to talk about this more with a counselor? You can reach out to someone in our office by texting 816.500.2070 or you can check out Psychology Today or Therapy Den for a therapist in your area.