The holidays can be wonderful, enchanting and filled with joy! They can also be stressful, overwhelming and chaotic...set yourself up for success by reducing your vulnerability with the DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) acronym PLEASE! Marsha Linehan teaches this skill in the DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets.
DBT is a approach to counseling that helps teach skills to better manage emotions and increase ability to manage stress and more! It's exactly what we need this time of year! When things get chaotic, it's very easy to forget about your own self care and wellness.
Do your best to make time for you, even if it's just increments of 1 minute to be mindful, relax, and set an intention. And offset your vulnerability with PLEASE:
Physical ILlness: Take care of your body! See a doctor when you need it, take prescribed medication, take your vitamins, etc.
Balanced Eating: Eat a balanced diet (don't eat too much or too little). Eat regularly and mindfully throughout the day. And don't forget water!!! It's so important for both physical and mental health to stay hydrated! AND it helps keep our energy up!
Avoid or Limit Mood Altering Substances: Stay off illicit drugs and avoid or limit alcohol. Alcohol can add to our emotional vulnerability and reduce our ability to manage situations well.
Balance Sleep: Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, or the amount of sleep that helps you feel good and refreshed. Work toward going to sleep and waking up around the same time.
Get Exercise: Get active! This doesn't need to be a trip to the gym or an exercise class. Maybe it's mindfully walking through the grocery store while you are doing your shopping or taking a short mindful walk to break up the day. Our bodies feel best when they have been active for some part of the day.
Last but not lease, it can be easy to overcommit ourselves over the holidays. So start SMALL. Say you are going to sleep ten minutes earlier or setting your alarm ten minutes later. Go for a walk around the block. Drink water throughout the day to feel hydrated. Be mindful of your needs as they come up, tune in...notice...and go from there!