Coping as an Emotionally Sensitive Person over the Holidays
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a webinar presented by Optimum Performance Institute with Robert "Bob" Fischer, M.D. (a psychiatrist) and April E. House, MA, MFT (an eating disorder specialist).
We talked about the various, usually quite inevitable triggers that we encounter over the holiday season as emotionally sensitive people. Whether you have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or are in recovery, you probably are all too familiar with the scenarios: needing to go to anxiety and panic attack provoking holiday events and parties that are crowded, being expected to be joyful when you may not be feeling that way, and you may also have issues around your body image and food.
In years past, I thought I needed to push myself over the holidays to endure activities and situations out of cultural and familial expectations.
I would be left feeling dysregulated and often needing intensive emotional support come January. With DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), I've learned that I can respect the good intentions and invitations of others while also taking care of myself as an emotionally sensitive person.
In the webinar, Dr. Bob talked about how we really need to evaluate whether it's more effective to use opposite to emotion action to attend certain events or to be present at family gatherings where there might be a triggering family member or other triggers, or whether it would cause more suffering than do us any good. If the latter, he gave suggestions for making a "mindful exit," being skillful in respecting those who have invited us to attend while at the same time being sure to take care of ourselves so that we stay emotionally balanced.
Also addressed were issues around getting to the bottom of the issues that are causing us anxiety about the holidays and various helpful strategies for dealing with eating disorder issues.
The replay of the 90-minute, free webinar is now up and live on the OPI site.
Click HERE to watch it now.
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Thanks for reading and watching.