• Kat Schultz

DBT Skills for Your Pandemic Holidays

Life is especially hard this year. Let's acknowledge that. Holidays are traditionally a difficult time for many people. This year proves to be no different. Perhaps even more stressful. Many of us are stuck miles from family and loved ones, facing the prospect of celebrating the holidays on our own. We can get through and make it special but we'll need some Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills to do so.

Wise Mind

Wise Mind is a key DBT Mindfulness skill. The idea behind it is that our brain is split (metaphorically) into two halves: Emotion Mind when we are guided by emotions and Reasonable Mind when logic guides us. It's okay to spend some of our time in each mind but problems occur when we start to spend all of our time there. Wise Mind is the synthesis of the two minds. It is where emotion meets logic. It's intuitive and often what we refer to as our "gut feeling." Wise Mind helps us be effective, an important term in DBT.

It's crucial to be in Wise Mind this holiday season. We may be upset about not being able to see family. Wise Mind allows us to acknowledge those emotions but not get lost in them. It lets us see the facts; that we need to stay safe and keep others safe. If we are in Wise Mind, we can go about our business without getting stuck in our upset.

Radical Acceptance

Once your Wise Mind tells you the truth, you have to accept that truth. That can be extremely difficult. Radical Acceptance is a skill that encourages you to accept what you cannot change. You have to keep your mind and heart open to that acceptance and to that reality and Turn Your Mind back towards the truth when you wander away.