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Using Spiritual Practices to Cope with Difficult Emotions During the Holidays

November 30, 2017

While the holiday season is an exciting time of year, for some the holiday bustle can elicit difficult or uncomfortable emotions. At Skyland Trail, we offer various spirituality groups throughout the week to help individuals navigate the holiday season in a healthy way.

ACTing on Values
In this group, clients identify their values and the values of their loved ones. Once we identify places where a client’s values overlap and diverge with others, we begin to look at conflict though the lens of differing values in hopes to facilitate mutual understanding. Our goal in this group is to view conflict through the lens of differing personal values, making it easier to engage in conflict in a more humanizing way.

Grief and Loss
In the Grief and Loss group, clients use a diagram to identify things, people and places that add to their wellbeing as well as things, people and places that feel draining. During the group, clients identify aspects of the holidays that may be draining, particularly from the lens of grief and loss. Clients also identify things from their lists that they can do or experience to take a break or boost their energy.

Loving Kindness Meditation
In the Loving Kindness Meditation group, clients practice building a compassion practice, directed towards their self and to others. This practice can be a helpful tool when the holidays are stressful or difficult, due to grief or any other difficulty. The meditation can also be helpful for individuals encountering challenging relationships over the holidays.

Experiencing Spirituality
Around the New Year, clients in our Experiencing Spirituality group have the opportunity to set intentions, as opposed to resolutions, for the upcoming year. In this group, clients are given reflective prompts to use as a guide while focusing on their spirituality and personal growth.

Pastoral counselor, Sarah Collins, M.Div., BCC, leads individual and group spirituality sessions throughout the week. She is an integrated member of our clinical treatment team of psychiatrists and therapists, with experience in pastoral care in medical and mental health settings.

Interfaith pastoral counseling is part of the holistic approach to recovery at Skyland Trail. It plays an important part in addressing a client’s spiritual needs alongside programs focused on mental and physical health. The program integrates spirituality into clients' treatment and helps clients find the spiritual practices that work best for them during their recovery.