Anxiety and Depression: Your Cope Ahead Plan for the Holidays

What do you get when you struggle with anxiety and/or depression and combine lots of family time during the holidays, too much entertaining and a dozen cookies? The opportunity to make a Christmas Cope Ahead plan to help you take control of your holiday experience!

The importance of making a “Cope Ahead” plan for the holidays.

A Cope Ahead plan is a coping skill you can use BEFORE you are about to go into a situation that in the past has caused you to have a really intense unwanted emotion.

Let’s say you struggle with symptoms of social anxiety, and your family holiday experience includes about 25 of your closest relatives. A Cope Ahead plan will help you envision your method for coping, so you don’t have to spend the whole season dreading these gatherings.

The beauty of a Cope Ahead plan is that it allows you to…

  • Name the emotion most likely to cause you a problem before it gives you problems.
  • Helps you rehearse what your effective coping will look like AHEAD of any stressful encounters.
  • Create new and effective ways to manage difficult emotions while in a calm and wise frame of mind.

By creating and practicing effective thinking habits to prepare for the worst case scenarios ahead of time, you’ll be in a better position to know how to cope with whatever those holiday gatherings have in store!

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