The Skillful Podcast Episode #34: Getting Through the Holidays

#34: Getting Through the Holidays

As we close out the year, new skills may be needed to help you get through a holiday season that’s unlike any other. Marielle and Ed discuss skills to help you cope and cultivate moments of joy.

Isolation, a constant for many people these days, might be intensified during the holidays. Not being able to be around friends and family for the holidays is painful but for others, it may feel like a relief.

Naming and making space for uncomfortable emotions like sadness, loss, fear, and frustration is important. Mindfulness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance skills can help you move through some of these emotions. 

DBT Skills Discussed

  • Mindfulness of current emotions
  • Accumulating positive emotions in the short-term
  • Nonjudgementalness
  • Contributing
  • Creating meaning 
  • Comparisons
  • Radical Acceptance

Show Highlights

  • Sadness and loss as a continual theme
  • The power of the pause, knowing you don’t have to act on your emotions
  • Asking: I am feeling this? What do I need?
  • Making an effort to do nice things for yourself on a daily basis
  • Thinking about using your senses to care for yourself
  • Staying mindful when you do nice things for yourself
  • Harsh judgments can create emotional reactivity
  • Finding ways to reach out and help others takes the focus off ourselves
  • Taking space where we can observe and describe our emotions
  • Creating meaning out of what we are going through
  • Remembering times in your own life that were very hard that you got through
  • Radical acceptance as a way to bring down distress
  • Resistance to radical acceptance is often about not wanting to feel painful emotions
  • Emotional pain is intensified by a lack of acceptance

Ask us a Question

We’d love to hear from you! Where are you getting stuck with your skills application? Ask us a question for the chance to have it answered on the podcast. Submit your question here. 

Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.