It’s Holiday Season! Time to eat special foods, decorate the home, throw some snowballs, and spend extra quality time with loved ones. Especially after COVID-19 created isolation and distance from family and friends, it can be tempting to run back with open arms to anyone and everyone we’ve ever considered close. Below are a few tips in navigating these sometimes-tricky waters:

1. Listen to your gut and set boundaries accordingly. You’ve learned a lot over the years about what you want/don’t want and are/are not comfortable with. You may find yourself in
pressured or guilt-induced situations to spend time and energy with folks you don’t actually want to engage with; give yourself permission to listen to your gut and respect your own

2. Reach out to those you do want to spend time with! It is common to have some extra time off work this season, so connect with folks you enjoy being around and who feel warm and inviting.
Don’t be afraid to ask them first, as they could be wishing for the same thing, but too shy to ask. If they are busy, you are no worse off and maybe the door has been opened for future
invitations to spend time together.

3. The holidays can bring up grief and loss feelings about who is missing around our kitchen table. Take a moment to honor this grief in whatever way feels meaningful to you, instead of pushing
these feelings under the rug. If it becomes too overwhelming, follow below #4.

4. AA, NA, CoDA, and other support groups meet regularly around the holidays, as this can be a triggering time of year for many people. Some are happening virtually and some in-person; I
suggest a quick Google search for a group near you that suits your needs. There are also mental health-specific resources and support groups available, such as:
– Warmlines:
– ReachOut App; more info here:
– Anxiety and Depression Support:
– Anxiety Sisterhood (available for any gender):
– CO Crisis Line: 1-844-493-8255 or Text “TALK” to 38255

Eat some pie and stay safe!