Be Mindful This Holiday Season

Across our city, country, and the world, seasonal and religious holidays have not been and will not be the same this year.  For many, the coming weeks are always a fragile time of year, and 2020 is certainly no exception. Sadly, people have lost family members and friends in recent months, some have lost jobs, and most will not be spending holidays together for health and safety reasons. For some, absent friends or family has always made the holidays difficult, but this year, more of us will feel this emptiness. Our lives have been turned upside down, and some have gone from bad to worse. Whatever your circumstances, it is not at all unusual to feel overly emotional or act differently than you typically would during these uncertain times. While some may be able to "keep calm and carry on," there's nothing wrong with not feeling calm or finding it difficult to carry on. So what can we do to embrace this year's holiday season, try to manage our emotions, and carry on? We can start by accepting that this is a year like no other. We can: Choose not to surrender to negative feelings, accept our situation, learn from it, and find comfort in what we still have. Think back to other harsh challenges we've confronted in our lifetime and how we managed to get [...]

2021-01-02T15:28:30-05:00December 1st, 2020|Holidays, Pandemic|

Avoiding the Social Pressure to Drink

Upcoming holidays like Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, that are often associated with alcohol, can pose a challenge to people in recovery, as well as to those who are avoiding alcohol for a variety of reasons (i.e., diabetes, depression, pregnancy, taking medication.)  With alcohol and tobacco use being the two most common substance use and addictive disorders, it is important to recognize that events celebrated with alcohol can potentially affect health and well-being.   For some people in recovery, environmental triggers - such as being around people who they would typically drink with, or being in a place where they used to drink or other people are drinking - can be quite a challenge. Both direct pressure (someone offering you a drink) and indirect pressure (just being around other people who are drinking) can contribute to the tension of celebrating these famous holidays. Thoughts of ‘having just one’ or, ‘a drink will ease my anxiety’ are not uncommon thoughts, and if not managed, impulsive behavior can lead to excessive drinking, and a lapse in sobriety or avoidance of alcohol. Here are some ways to manage events such as Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day often associated with alcohol: Avoid it. In some situations, particularly these upcoming holidays where events are often centered around drinking, your best strategy may be [...]

2021-01-04T21:09:28-05:00March 4th, 2019|Addiction & Recovery, Holidays|

Opioid Recovery & the Holidays

David T. Jones, commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, spoke with KYW Community Affairs reporter Cherri Gregg about what it takes to get through the holidays when you have loved ones in recovery for opioid addiction. Listen to the interview below:

2018-12-10T18:40:30-05:00December 10th, 2018|Addiction & Recovery, Holidays|

Mental Health & the Holidays

Some people who experience holiday sadness or depression have feelings that are triggered by the holidays but go away when the season ends, while others experience a more severe depression that is triggered during the holiday season and lasts well into the New Year. The holiday blues - feelings of anxiety or depression around the holidays - can lead to long-term mental health conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness shared tips for managing the Holiday Blues in this video:

2018-12-03T18:31:40-05:00December 3rd, 2018|Anxiety, Depression, Holidays, Self-Help, Stress|
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