This morning we launched our latest segment on the show called "Dear Robbie". Think Dear Abby, but for radio. We opened up the phone lines and invited people to call into our Holiday Advice Line.

While the Holidays can be a magical time, for many people they can also be a very difficult time. We took some amazing calls this morning and we send out our heartfelt thanks to those who called in!

For those who didn't have a chance to join us this morning, Rob Cameron LCSW (a.k.a. our "Friendly Neighborhood Therapist")  came up with 10 tips for getting through the holiday's.

 

  • Maintain a balanced schedule:

    Make sure you are making time to exercise, meditate, laugh with friends...all those things that contribute to self care.

 

  • Keep clear boundaries and don't be afraid to say "no":

    This is a time when we are often overwhelmed with invitations and requests on our time, make sure you are only doing what you can, don't overextend yourself!

  • Stay within your budget:

    Nothing causes more holiday stress than maxing out your credit cards. Do yourself a favor and spend in moderation, remember that the best things in life are free.

  • Do something for someone else:

    It can give you an enormous sense of well being to help another, volunteering your time can be a remarkably rewarding experience and an effective way to shake off  the holiday blues.

  • Go easy on the eating/drinking/partying, etc:

    Remember, overindulgence can lead to all sorts of negative feelings including guilt and shame. Stay within your limits and you'll ultimately have a much better time.

  • Avoid Comparisons:

    Comparing your holiday experience (who gives the best and/or most gifts, who has the most festive house decoration, etc.), to someone else's is never a good idea. Enjoy what you have and live in the moment.

  • Accept some sadness:

    Remember, just because we are told that this is the happiest, most wonderful time of the year over and over again doesn't make it so!! Please take time to feel your sadness, grief, mourning etc. and don't place pressure on yourself to create a "perfect" holiday. Just accept what you are feeling without judgment.

  • Avoid the dreaded "Should":

    "I should have family around me, I should have more lights on my house, I should get my kid the newest electronic gadget". There is nothing that kicks off feelings of inadequacy more than the dreaded "should", just do your best for yourself and others and let yourself off the hook. You are you! You shouldn't be anything or anyone else.

  • Create your OWN holiday experience:

    Surround yourself with a "Family of Choice" if you don't have support in your family of origin. Create a new way of enjoying the season including new traditions and plans.

  • Stay Connected:

    Seasonal depression can lead you to isolate which will, in all probability, cause the depression to worsen. Make sure you are staying connected to friends, family of origin, family of choice, neighbors, church groups etc. to stave off feelings of loneliness

 

If you'd like to talk to Rob or set up an appointment to chat with him directly you can reach him with the information below:

Rob Cameron LCSW
Partnership for Trauma Recovery
(207) 317-2763