070 -Relapse Prevention During the Holidays

 
 
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Relapse Prevention During the Holidays
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director, AllCEUs

A counseling continuing education course on this topic can be purchased at https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/348/c/

Objectives
~Define Relapse
~Identify exacerbating and mitigating factors for relapse
~Explore unique relapse triggers and traps during the holidays

What is Relapse
~Relapse is the recurrence of symptoms
~Emotional
~Cognitive
~Behavioral
~Relapse warning signs are when the person starts down that path

Relapse Warning Signs
~Living mindLESSly
~Overcommitting
~To avoid feelings
~To get approval / not disappoint
~Sleeping too much or too little
~Eating too much or too little
~Failing to relax and include pleasurable activities
~Getting stressed over things you cannot control
~Withdrawing from positive social support

Unique Triggers Around Holidays
~Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years
~Family and social gatherings
~Loneliness
~Abundant food and drink
~Lots of additional time demands
~What do I have to be thankful for?!?!
~Beaver Cleaver Christmas
~Reminders of losses
~Financial stresses
~Another year SSDD

Unique Triggers Around Holidays
~Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years
~Family and social gatherings
~If you have to be there, figure out how to cope with the people you don’t want to be around
~Positive mantras
~Don’t give them your power and reward them by feeding in
~Rehears coping strategies and refusal skills
~Identify 2 or 3 people you want to shadow
~If it is an unsafe situation
~Rehearse how to politely decline an invitation
~Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind (Dr. Seuss
~Identify a legitimate reason you cannot go

Unique Triggers Around Holidays
~Loneliness
~Invitations always ask for a +1
~People are shopping for everyone else
~Shop for the less fortunate
~People are going to family gatherings
~Find other people without a place to go and invite them over*
~Go hiking
~Commune with your higher power
~Skype/Facetime
Unique Triggers Around Holidays
~Abundant Food and Drink
~Don’t go famished
~Stay as far away from the buffet table as you can
~Eat mindfully if you have to eat
~Avoid eating out of stress
~Choose lower calorie options
~Get very small helpings
~Bring a lower calorie dish to potlucks
~Actively sip on water or low calorie drinks
~Have a battle buddy
~Play the tape through
~Cook at your own house (and send the leftovers away)

Unique Triggers Around Holidays
~Time Demands
~Time management is a priority
~What can you let go to make time for the seasonal demands
~You don’t have to stay for hours
~What Do I have to Be Thankful For?
~Volunteer at a soup kitchen or habitat for humanity
~Hand out blankets to the homeless
~Go to a meeting/ 12-step celebration
~Review your gratitude journal
~Visit the sick*

Unique Triggers
~Beaver Cleaver Christmas
~What is it about it that you envy?
~How can you meet those wants?
~Avoid holiday specials that will get you upset
~Reminders of losses
~Even years after a death, holidays can remind you of someone.  How can you celebrate them?
~Try to focus on what you have and where you want to go
Unique Triggers
~Financial stresses
~Identify free activities
~Make something for someone (crafts, pictures, picture books, slideshows, humor book, digital scrapbook)
~Explore why material possessions are important to you and whether that is in your top 3-5 values
~Another year SSDD
~Identify what you want to be different next year
~Learn how to set SMART goals
~Identify reasons past goals have failed and address them
~Learn how to maintain your motivation

Prevent Vulnerabilities
~The risk of relapse will decrease as people’s capacity to self-regulate thinking, feeling, memory, judgment, and behavior increases.
~Leading up to the holidays get plenty of rest
~Don’t like crowds, shop early and/or online
~Identify what has to be done and make a plan
~Don’t grocery shop hungry
~Schedule in FUN
~Reach out to social support…even online

Summary
~Media tells people that this “should be” the happiest time of the year
~Holidays highlight losses, loneliness, financial stresses
~Relapse prevention involves
~People knowing what their first signs of relapse are
~Preventing getting rundown and vulnerable
~Setting healthy boundaries
~Addressing issues of rejection, isolation and failure
~Setting positive, proactive goals
~Emotional
~Cognitive
~Behavioral

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