Straight Up Guide To The Holidays

These guides were born out of Noah and Christine’s frustration with overly complicated and jargon-filled articles, newsletters, books, and therapy websites. Our mission is to create clear and practical guides in order to learn, grow from challenges, and lead more meaningful and impactful lives.


Concerned about your sanity and well-being during the holidays? We get it. Here are five tips that can help you ride the wave of emotions that the holiday season can bring.


1) Realize the Holidays are overrated. Our culture puts way too much emphasis on the holidays and making them “special.” Like many things in life, the anticipation of the holidays is usually better than the real thing. Remember that in the general scope of things, the holidays are only a few days out of the year. It is also ok to not like the holiday season or even to skip them all together.


2) Avoid comparing your holidays to others. As therapists, we get to hear the brutal truth about what people’s holidays are really like and can attest that the idea that other people are out there having a better holiday season than you is largely a myth. That being said, if you are sensitive to comparisons with others, keep your fear of missing out in check by staying off social media during this time.


3) Create your own family and traditions, or don’t. Family can be a group of friends or neighbors. A tradition can be anything you do more than once. Don’t get caught up in other people’s constructs – create your own! What if you’re alone? This could be a great time to go to a movie by yourself, take a yoga class, or read a good book.


4) Put your needs first – Your health and sanity are more important than what other people want from you. If attending a family event or obligation weighs down your spirit and interferes with your well-being, then skip it or leave early. Self-care is not optional during the holidays – it’s imperative.


5) Give Back – if you don’t have plans and the idea of spending the day alone doesn’t appeal to you, try volunteering at a homeless shelter or other organization. This is a great way to give back and also meet a lot of new friends.


Christine Izquierdo and Noah Laracy are the co-founders of Straight Up Treatment, an anxiety disorder specialty treatment center. Straight Up Treatment utilizes a variety of cognitive-behavioral approaches to treat anxiety-based conditions such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social and Performance Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, and Generalized Anxiety.



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