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Navigating the Holidays in (Emotional) Style

Posted Dec 24th, 2016 in Mental Health, Depression, Shame

Navigating the Holidays in (Emotional) Style

Diane Poole Heller, Somatic Attachment & Trauma Specialist, posted this blog offering some holiday insight. She shares a bit about each attachment style, offering suggestions for self care and ways to ease out of your style if you are so inclined.The forth attachment style not mentioned here is Secure Attachment. These people sail through the holidays with little challenge beyond the menu for dinner.  

However it is for you, I wish you well over the holidays and upcoming year. Have  a warm, peaceful, rejuvenating holiday.

Attachment Style – Avoidant

Challenges during this time may include feeling overwhelmed by activity and others joining your celebration. Planning an escape route to spend some time alone may provide relief from the bustling activities.

If you would like to practice coming out of your Avoidant Attachment style, here are some ways you can emerge from isolation:

Practice being present with loved ones
Pay close attention to others’ needs
Engage personally with friends and family
Focus on what might be the perfect gift for each person
Enjoy the love and nourishment you can gain from loved ones
Practice sustained eye contact
Attachment Style – Ambivalent

If you tend toward the Ambivalent Attachment style, you probably already possess hyper-awareness of the needs of others. You purchased the perfect gifts and worked yourself into exhaustion, making the holidays special for everyone you love. Your challenge is likely that you have likely forgotten to take care of YOU.

Practice diligent self-care
Remember to relax regularly
Delegate some of the chores and cooking
Save time for play and fun for yourself
Take a time out to refuel
Remembering to care for yourself, your joy, and your needs during the holidays will help you enjoy the season without becoming physically and emotionally bankrupt.

Attachment Style – Disorganized

The holidays can provide a number of mixed emotions for the Disorganized Attachment style, especially if you are spending it with your family of origin, who may have caused some of your pain.

Planning for triggers can help you avoid falling into old patterns. Some triggers you could encounter include: excessive drinking, loud talking or yelling, and even abusive language.

Some ways to plan for triggers include:

Meet at a neutral location, like a restaurant
Choose to stay in a hotel
Take a partner or friend to the celebration for support
You may simply decide to spend your holiday with your chosen family instead, alleviating the stress and bringing joy back to holidays for yourself.

For each of you, choosing to practice at least one skill toward Secure Attachment may deliver more nourishment and wonder to your holidays and your relationships.


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