- November marks the beginning of the end of the year. Scheduling intentional time for yourself through therapy or on your own might fall to the bottom of your priority list. Don’t let it.
- Take time to look at your schedule and communicate any travel plans with your therapist in advance.
- The holidays can be stressful. Allow yourself to acknowledge that the holidays can be a time for joy and a time for stress.
We have entered – or for some, are solidly within – one of the most hectic times of the year. The beginning of November marks the beginning of the end…of the year, and with it a smattering of holidays, deadlines, family and friend gatherings, travel, and more. And on top of all of that, you are also trying to find time to care for your mental health!
While this does sound like a lot of variables to balance, it is absolutely possible and this blog post will address some helpful places to start.
Keep in mind that your therapist is also a human who is likely taking time off here and there over the holidays. It is likely that your therapist will open this conversation with you in the upcoming weeks, but if you have an idea of what your holiday plans are, you should feel empowered to volunteer that information in your next session. This will help you solidify your therapy appointments over the next few months, and will be helpful for your therapist’s planning purposes as well.
Remember that if there are weeks when you are out of town and cannot meet with your therapist, you can always maintain the 1 hour slot in your calendar – or find a new one if traveling or turkey interferes – and take that time for yourself. However you use that time is your choice, but do not assume that just because you are not meeting with your therapist you do not have to set aside intentional time for yourself. Talk with your therapist about different ways that you can use this time to maintain or deepen your progress – they might have suggestions for exercises, breathing practices, or writing prompts.
And finally, the holidays can be a time where mental health progress or stability might feel ruffled. Allow yourself to acknowledge that the holidays can be a time for joy and a time for stress. Consider the different variables that this season might feel activated for you – finances, family, and travel, to name a few examples – and bring them up in your therapy sessions. And remember that progress is not linear or predictable. If you begin to feel unstable or triggered, remind yourself that what you are experiencing might be situational, rather than a personal failure. Be gentle with yourself and ask for help when you need it.
Therapy and mental health is all about finding a balance that feels fulfilling, satisfying, exhilarating, and peaceful. Ask yourself how you plan to find balance this holiday season.
Author: Rachel Levy, LLMSW
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*This blog was created with the help of Anton Babushkin
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