On expectations and assumptions

Day after Thanksgiving. How are we all doing? I worked yesterday and today at a detox center. Holidays can be tough for everyone, especially when we are in the hospital or a treatment facility that feels far from home. Even if holidays aren’t hard for you, do you ever get the day-after-holiday blues?

The interesting thing about holidays is that we all seem to have an idea for what they SHOULD look like. “Happy, laughing groups of people sharing food and feeling generally positive about their lives and the future.” Where does that image come from? Romantic comedies? Social media? It’s hard to escape the curated versions of perfection that saturate our mind space this time of the year.

So what do you do to balance our these unattainable assumptions or expectations? How do we find space for true gratitude? My first reminder is to reach out to people and truly ask how they are doing. You might be surprised what you find. Share your feelings with the awareness that there is nothing wrong or uncommon with feeling a little isolated, alone, or empty this time of the year. And if that feels too hard, then maybe do something where you can help or support others who might need it. Nothing gets us out of our own cycle of comparisons than connecting authentically with another person.

Of course there are times when our own resources are not enough, when self-care, sleep, exercise, or journaling just don’t do the trick. That’s when it is necessary for us to get help from the right places. Contact a professional, call a hotline, set up an appointment with a therapist. It doesn’t have to be an ongoing engagement, but if you are in crisis, one or two sessions can often help bring clarity and a plan for a more sustainable next step.

If you are feeling like you need immediate support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255. NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) has resources and local chapters at 1-800-950-6264.

DM me if you are looking for someone to work with regularly. Phone consultations are always complimentary. 🧡 📸 @heatherkincaidphoto #anxietyrelief #deppression #recovery #mentalhealthrecovery https://ift.tt/2DHQUDL