Seize the Holidays
With this holiday season in full swing, it can also mean added stressors as the whirlwind of our year cascades with back to back holidays. It is always a good idea to practice humility and to express gratitude in our lives, but this time of year it can be especially important when the demands placed on us can be higher. If, in the years past, you’ve found yourself stressed during the holidays, there are things you can do now to change how you endure this time of year. Maximizing your happiness and making the most of what the season has to offer is a choice we can actively make to get through the hustle and bustle with both grace and joy!
When we look at change, we must look at what we are doing each day that is preparing us for a good day and the things we are doing that may be weighing us down.
Positive self-talk. One of the things we can do is begin each day with developing an affirmation or a mantra that sets the tone for a healthy frame of mind rather than a set up for failure or defeat. Don’t let a critical inner voice be your life’s guide. Think positive.
Know thyself. Know your stressors, know your buttons and allow your insight to work in your favor. If you understand the times in your day in which you are under the most stress, you can better manage these circumstances. It is better to be prepared for the stressor and therefore act with more reason, rather than react to the situation at hand.
Ask for help. Something simple, yet something a lot of us don’t do well, is to let someone know we need help. Whether it’s family, friends or a co-worker, simply asking for what we need increases the chance of getting those needs met rather than having the unrealistic expectation that others will understand and know what our needs are. Communication is the key!
Live in the moment. Allow your time to be focused on the “here” and “now” and not the “there” and “later.” Live and enjoy your moments as they happen, such as the holiday event you’re attending, the movie with your significant other, the conversation with your children, the book that you are reading, and the desert you are eating. Focus less on the distractions of social media, technology and the concerns you have for later. The ideas are endless. It can begin as something as simple as not allowing the phone during meal times or starting a new holiday tradition. The moments are yours. It’s your life to create. Create it well.
Above all else, practice gratitude. Retrain your brain to focus on the positive by making a list each day for the things you are grateful for. It can be a word or a phrase, nothing time consuming, but rather a moment to recognize the good things in your life. We all have blessings, so let this holiday season be about just that and make the most of our lives!
Written by Heather R. Necaise, MS, LPC-S
Program Director of Admissions, Assessments and Outreach Centers
About Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services
Located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services is one of the nation’s most comprehensive treatment campuses. Pine Grove’s world renowned programs treat gender specific substance abuse including specialized tracks for co-occurring eating disorders and trauma. Additionally, Pine Grove offers an Intensive Outpatient substance abuse healing program for adults and a separate treatment program specifically for those who are age 55 plus. Other Pine Grove specialty programs include a dedicated professional’s treatment curriculum and a comprehensive evaluation center. Pine Grove also features a program for patients with sexual addiction. Inpatient Services including an Adult Psychiatric Unit, along with a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit, and Outpatient Services are other components. Pine Grove is a division of Forrest Health, a partnership of healthcare organizations across South Mississippi, and the behavioral healthcare extension of Forrest General Hospital, a 547 bed, level II Regional Trauma Center. Established in 1984, Pine Grove has provided nationally and internationally recognized health care for 37 years. For more information, please visit www.pinegrovetreatment.com and call 1-888-574-HOPE (4673).