#18: Using Skills to Get Through the Holidays
The holidays are a time where there is often a lot of pressure to have a certain kind of experience – one that is about family, friends, joy, and celebration. For many folks, this is more of a fantasy than a reality.
If you are fortunate enough to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays, the expectation of constant togetherness and merry-making can be a set up for disappointment.
This episode discusses common themes that come up during the holidays as well as ways to take care of yourself.
- The mythical family gathering where everyone is happy creates a lot of unrealistic expectations
- Travel can add pressure and stress
- Even in the most functional families, it’s often a lot of concentrated time together
- Old dynamics between parents and adult children arise
- Dealing with judgmental family members
- Cope Ahead is a great skill to use for the holidays
- Cope Ahead requires you to describe the situation that will prompt a problem response in you, anticipate the problem behavior or emotion ahead of time, and then plan out what skills you will use
- The skill of Radical Acceptance – that you have the family, friends, and social life that you have right now
- Acceptance does not equal approval
- Adult children can often think that they are going to go back to families and change them and this rarely works
- Loneliness, isolation, and grief gets amplified
- Creating your own rituals and traditions
- The Distress Tolerance skill of Contributing can be especially helpful during the holidays
Recap of Skills Discussed:
- Cope Ahead
- Radical Acceptance
- Mindfulness of Others
Links & Resources:
DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition
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