DOES SEEING RED & GREEN MAKE YOU BLUE?

holiday depressionReady or not, the holidays are approaching! It’s likely you are seeing signs of the season. Zealous shopping destinations have already decked the boughs and wrapped the aisles in ribbon and garland.

While many look forward to the holidays, for others, the season can trigger feelings like depression, loneliness and other deep emotions. These types of feelings can be especially challenging for those who are in substance abuse treatment or recovery.

Nick Turner, Clinical Supervisor at Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment in Chicago River North offers some helpful reminders to help improve your mindfulness and your outlook:

Think about what you can do to have a holiday you will appreciate rather than getting caught up in thoughts of what could happen during the holidays.

  • Carry your values with you, like the love you have for your family and friends, and remind yourself how you want to behave around them.
  • Be mindful and aware instead of ruminating about how unpleasant the holiday event can be.
  • Practice putting less focus on others and more attention towards what you can control, such as your thoughts, attitude and actions.
  • Think ahead to when you’re driving home from the gathering, how do you want to feel about your actions and behavior towards your loved ones?
  • Exercise the tools you favor for reducing anxiety and depression, such as positive self-talk, journaling, exercise and meditation.
  • Attend recovery support meetings and alumni events to share your feelings with others and stay grounded in your values.

For more information about recovery support and upcoming alumni gatherings, please visit RecoveryGateway.org/Alumni.

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