For many of us, the holiday season can be a time for gathering and celebrations with friends and family, but it can also be a time of anxiety, frustration, and disappointment. The stress of hosting events, cooking, shopping, or spending time with extended family can bring another, less festive, side to the season.

To help minimize the stress that accompanies this time of year, some of our Josselyn clinical directors and supervisors have offered to share tips, ways to cope, and tools as we enter the holidays.

“No matter the circumstance, the best way to navigate these issues is to take time before the event to reflect on what your boundaries are and try to enforce them to the best of your ability. Be realistic about what “holiday time with family” looks like—it isn’t always like the Hallmark movies—and try and be patient with yourself while choosing to focus on gratitude during this season.”

Nina Becker, LCPC, Clinical Director

“I encourage everyone to let their emotions come up if they surface. If the holidays bring up grief or sadness about loved ones lost or not being able to be with certain family members, acknowledge those emotions. I also encourage everyone to not let themselves isolate and try to connect (even virtually) with family or friends. It is also healthy to try to stick to a good routine by continuing with healthy habits and continuing to set healthy boundaries as needed!”

Chloe Brodner, LCPC, Assistant Director of Clinical Services

“When it comes to family time around the holidays, I encourage clients to lower their expectations. It is okay if things are not perfect, it really is just another day or two out of the year. I encourage them to be kinder to themselves and make time to be alone to recharge when necessary. Regarding the pandemic, I encourage clients to accept that there is not a lot in our control when it comes to this, and ultimately everyone needs to do what they are comfortable with, and be accepting of other’s comfort levels, even if they may be different than their own. I encourage clients to use the holidays as a time for reflection—a pause in our regular busy lives.”

Heidi Kalman, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor

“Take time out for yourself each day during the holiday season and always to protect your body from the effects of stress. Deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, imagery and progressive relaxation are all soothing ways to help yourself attain calm during this time.”

Linda Weiss, LCSW, Clinical Supervisor

“Create a plan for stressful moments and how you will respond. Remember that the only thing you can control is your reaction!”

Vanessa Wolters, LCPC, Clinical Supervisor

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