Episode 18 Using Skills to Get Through the Holidays

The holidays are a time where there is often a lot of pressure to have a certain kind of experience – one that is about family, friends, joy, and celebration. For many folks, this is more of a fantasy than a reality.

If you are fortunate enough to enjoy time with family and friends during the holidays, the expectation of constant togetherness and merry-making can be a set up for disappointment.

This episode discusses common themes that come up during the holidays as well as ways to take care of yourself.

Show Highlights:

The mythical family gathering where everyone is happy creates a lot of unrealistic expectations
Travel can add pressure and stress
Even in the most functional families, it’s often a lot of concentrated time together
Old dynamics between parents and adult children arise
Dealing with judgmental family members
Cope Ahead is a great skill to use for the holidays
Cope Ahead requires you to describe the situation that will prompt a problem response in you, anticipate the problem behavior or emotion ahead of time, and then plan out what skills you will use
The skill of Radical Acceptance – that you have the family, friends, and social life that you have right now
Acceptance does not equal approval
Adult children can often think that they are going to go back to families and change them and this rarely works
Loneliness, isolation, and grief gets amplified
Creating your own rituals and traditions
The Distress Tolerance skill of Contributing can be especially helpful during the holidays

Recap of Skills Discussed:

Cope Ahead
Radical Acceptance
Mindfulness of Others


DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition (https://www.guilford.com/books/DBT-Skills-Training-Handouts-%20and-Worksheets/Marsha-Linehan/9781572307810)

Would you like to ask a question and have the chance for it to be answered on the podcast? If so, please use this form (https://bayareadbtcc.com/podcast-questions/). Please note that asking a question and this podcast in general is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.


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