The holidays are an exciting time of year, no matter what you celebrate. It is a time for reflecting upon beliefs, sharing time with loved ones, and acknowledging what has changed over the past year. Although this season brings comfort and joy, it is no secret that time with family, holiday parties & meals, and recognizing change can increase stress, particularly through treatment for an eating disorder.
When facing an upcoming stressor, it can feel very easy to abide by the, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there” philosophy, and ignore the stress until you are facing it head on. Sometimes, this may be effective, while other times, it may leave you feeling overwhelmed when the situation arrives. This holiday season, try coping ahead – or planning for how you can handle potential holiday stressors using skills and supports.
Think About What Has Worked Before. Just a few weeks earlier, adolescents in Walden’s Braintree Intensive Outpatient Program spent the night before Thanksgiving brainstorming ways to cope with family struggles and challenging meals on the holiday. Thinking back to a recent holiday gathering and identifying helpful coping skills and social supports that were effective may assist in planning for upcoming celebrations. If it worked before, it may work again!
Plan Your Supports. As one adolescent shares, “The most helpful coping skill I had