3 Ways for Therapists to Stay Sane During the Holidays

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Although the CDC has debunked the myth that suicide rates are higher during the holidays, there is still plenty of stress during these jingly, jolly days. Since we spend most of our time helping others manage their emotions, we can often forget to take care of ourselves. However, as the widely used airplane mask metaphor reminds us, we must care for ourselves if we want to be available for others.

So, in the spirit of keeping ourselves in tip-top giving condition, here are three key ways to keep stress levels under control this holiday season.

Skip The Social Media Comparisons

As this new, rigorous study confirmed, using Facebook makes you feel worse about yourself. Part of the reason for this is because we see only the best parts of our friend’s lives, while we live with all of the not-so-great parts of our own. These unfair comparisons become exacerbated during the holidays, when it can look like everyone else is enjoying perfect sleigh rides, while we are home dealing with broken trees and lights that just won’t work.

What To Do Instead

We know this might sound crazy, but, get out and see some actual friends. In Real Life. That way you can dish on all of the imperfectly amazing things that are truly happening, and you won’t have to wonder whether you are just looking at filters.

Avoid Overdoing It

By overdoing it, we mean overdoing anything to an extreme. For example, it’s normal to have more dates on your social calendar during this time, but if you run yourself ragged, you won’t have fun at any of them. As you probably tell your clients, “No is a complete sentence.” Only you know how much you can truly do without depleting your inner resources.

What To Do Instead

Balance things that you are doing for others with things that you want to do for yourself. Don’t skimp on the parts of your routine that make you feel grounded. In other words, don’t skip yoga just because family members are in town. Take them with you, or go alone and savor every quiet moment.

Don’t Expect People To Change

As therapists, we have a tendency to look at other people as projects. However there is a reason that we don’t treat family members! Most of the time, our objectivity will suffer when it comes to seeing family members clearly. Plus, being around our family of origin can make us feel like we are 8 years old again.

What To Do Instead

Regardless of how immature you feel around your family, remember that you are an adult with a great range of coping skills. This is a wonderful time to practice the art of detachment, which, of course, is the ability to pull back and watch a situation as an observer, rather than a participant. This can be an extremely useful tool, especially at those highly charged family gatherings that are the hallmark of the holiday season.

Here at Therapy Hive, we are committed to helping you maintain your best professional self. Contact us, if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you and your practice.

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