It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, for some people. Most people don’t typically associate the word trauma with the holiday season, but it is not uncommon for the holidays to be some of the most challenging times of the year for many people. It can be a time when strained family relations comes back up to the forefront of people's minds. It can be things from the past that remind the person of a traumatic time or event. On top of that, the expectation and cultural image of it being the most wonderful time of the year can make it even more difficult.
But we are not here to dampen anyone’s holiday spirit, rather, ask that everyone practice grace and forgiveness. That can be with other people or with yourself. During a time that may be your very favorite time of the year, be aware that some people may struggle, and that is okay too. Offer support to loved ones you notice who seem to be less moved by the holiday spirit. People experience things differently, and something that is not traumatic to one person may be traumatic to another. We all have a right to feel the way we feel, and allowing people safe space to feel is so important in their healing journey.
These are some helpful tips from STEPS (Stress and Trauma Evaluation and Psychological Services) for helping survive the holiday season (the rest of the article can be found here):
-Practice Self Care
-Limit social media
-Focus on the things you can control
-Be aware of the things that make you anxious, and plan accordingly
-Stop trying to live up to someone else's perfect
Sometimes the most powerful thing that a person can do during times of high stress is to say no. Maybe this year, there is one less cookie exchange, or this year, instead of going to a stressful family event, you choose to stay home and watch your favorite movie in your pajamas. If that is what is best for you, you have the right to take care of yourself. If you need some help unwinding at the end of a busy day, we are including a link to peaceful piano music and outdoor scenery for you to enjoy. Here at the Hope Project, we hope your holiday season is merry and bright, and if it isn’t, that’s okay too. We hope everyone is able to find peace and joy, however that may look for you.
Hope Project Holiday Hours: We will have some upcoming holiday closures. We will be closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr Day (January 20th) and Presidents Day (Feb 17th.) We will be open 9-5 on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.
For some additional resources about taking care of yourself during the holidays,
check out these articles:
How to Keep Calm and Carry on During the Holidays
A Holiday Guide for Abuse Survivors
Strategies for Survivors This Holiday Season
A Guide to Surviving the Holiday Season: Tips for Managing Sadness
and Stress when Everyone (else) Seems Happy
If you are a survivor, we offer three support groups a month. The first Thursday is a self-care group for survivors over the age of 18. There is an additional drop-in support group for adults on the third Thursday of the month. The fourth Thursdays are drop-in groups for teen survivors and parents of survivors of any age. All of the groups start at 5:30 pm. For more information, please contact Jessenia at email@example.com or call 360-703-3762 ext. 10
Learn how you can make a difference!
Hope Project volunteers support survivors at the hospital or support advocates at the office with preparing for hospital calls and getting ready for groups and presentations
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or call 360-703-3762 ext. 17.
Hope Project also provides free presentations on sexual violence awareness and Hope Project program information to schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations.
Email Calebl@esshelter.com or call 360-703-3762 ext. 16.
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360-703-3762 M-F 9 am to 5 pm
360-425-1176 After hours/Weekends