“With the holiday season in full swing, it can be a joyous time. It can also be difficult — filled with struggles with grief, holiday blues, or heightened levels of stress,” Samaritan resident psychotherapist John Schaller says.
“Whatever emotions the holidays stir, I think we all deserve a happy holiday. That often begins with being honest about what we can handle during this time and setting healthy boundaries around those beliefs,” John says.
To help manage the holidays and the seasons beyond, John suggests using the four “A’s”: AVOID, ALTER, ACCEPT, ADAPT.
Avoid unnecessary stress
- Know your limits and learn to say “no”.
- Limit relationships that seem to stress you out.
- Shorten your “to do” list. Distinguish between the “shoulds” and “musts.”
Alter or change a situation you can’t avoid
- Learn how to express your feelings instead of keeping them inside.
- Be assertive.
- Learn better time management skills. Prioritize your responsibilities.
Accept the things you cannot change
- Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
- Try to look at challenges as opportunities.
- Learn to “let go” and forgive.
Adapt to the stressor
- Reframe problems.
- Look at the “big” picture. (Will this matter in a week, month, or year?)
- Change your standards. (Perfectionism causes stress.)
- Focus on the positives!
John Schaller is a resident therapist who joined Samaritan Counseling late this summer. He strives to work with his clients wherever they are in their life journey and foster healing and overall wellness of mind, body, and spirit.
John works in collaboration with his clients to help them overcome their challenges and reach their personal goals. He enjoys working with children ages 12 and up, adolescents, adults, couples and families on a variety of issues including depression, anxiety, trauma, relationship concerns, grief and loss, among others. John see clients in our Menasha Samaritan office and students at UW-Fox Valley.