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By Lisa Caplan

Holiday time can be very challenging. This holiday season may be especially challenging with  COVID-19 and the blanket of stress that we have all been feeling since the pandemic started.  In addition, there are lots of different demands from family, friends and work that can pull us  in different directions.  

Here are some tips to help you navigate and survive the holidays:

  1. Keep your regular routine as much as possible. This will help you feel grounded during these changing and challenging times.
  2. If you are not comfortable visiting with family and friends in person, then have virtual celebrations.
  3. Don’t use holidays as a time or place to repair old wounds or expect people to change.
  4. Put the “fun” in dysfunctional. Embrace the holiday energy and busyness –  Bring on the busy schedule.  Holidays are a time to connect with others even if it is virtually. Make sure you are staying busy with the people and things you enjoy. 
  5. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. It’s ok to say, “No” to holiday events.  
  6. Ask for help. Holidays are a time when we attempt to take on too much. It’s okay to ask for help from family and friends. Whether for decorating, shopping, cooking, or a shoulder to lean on.
  7. Don’t be alone if you don’t want to be. Try volunteering and accept invitations.
  8. Have a budget and stick to it.
  9. Think moderation when it comes to gifts, food, alcohol, and time spent with family and friends.
  10. Enjoy what is going on at the moment. Focus on today, not yesterday and not tomorrow.
  11. Appreciate what is good in your life.
  12. Be realistic and try not to expect the perfect holiday. Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice, or even to enjoy the holidays.
  13. Don’t obsess about your  diet – make choices with intent. 
  14. Try something new like a new recipe, start a new tradition, or learn something new like ice skating. 
  15. Be good to yourself.  If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself. Do what feels good, and what you want to do.  Remember, this is your holiday too.

For more tips on wellness check out the Wellness Portal https://www.msba.org/wellness-portal/

For assistance, please contact the Lawyer Assistance Program for free, confidential counseling. We have a network of counselors that can assist you no matter what state you live in. Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C, Director, (443) 703-3042, lisa@msba.org.Toll Free 1(888) 388-5459.  We offer financial assistance for mental health and substance abuse treatment. Please feel free to reach out to our LAP Committee Members and Volunteers https://www.msba.org/health-and-wellness/

Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C has over 20 years experience in her field, and extensive experience working with lawyers and judges in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and trauma. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, paddle boarding, sailing, rock climbing and doing triathlons.