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Help! It’s the Holidays!

Dr. Sandra Clavelli, Allendale’s Senior Director of Clinical and Outpatient Services, shares some ideas and suggestions for coping with holiday stress.

“Often during the holidays, we tend to focus on getting things done, making sure we go to all the events, make the holidays “magical” and put high expectations on ourselves to do it all and have a picture-perfect season. However, to cope with the stress, it is important to remember to wrap your holidays up in BOWS!” says Dr. Clavelli.

B- breathe!  Take a moment away from the stress and manage your expectations for the holidays.  Keep expectations realistic.

O – OK – it is ok to say no to things, ok to not be ok, and ok to do less than you think you should. Holidays may not be the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone, particularly those who have had a loss or other difficult memory associated with the holiday. It is important to give yourself permission to be human and to set limits to handle the holidays in a way that works for you.

W – Watch for the small moments and be present. Holidays are not just about getting things done, attending events, and presents – they are about enjoying and being present with those you care about. Make space to watch for those moments and enjoy them.

S – Self-care. Don’t forget to do all the self-care that works throughout the year – not just the big things like attending a party or getting a massage (though those may help, too!). Focus on some of the small things you do to take care of yourself – having your favorite blend of coffee in the morning, taking a deep breath of crisp winter air, belting out your favorite song in the car on the way home. Keep doing what helps you all year, and if in doubt – go back to breathe!

If you or a family member need help, please reach out to our Bradley Counseling Center at 847-356-3322 to complete an intake. We offer services in our Lake Villa and Gurnee office locations for your scheduling convenience.

It’s okay to ask for help. Our therapists offer a broad range of experience to help you address many of life’s challenges. In fact, this year marks Bradley Counseling Center’s 40th Anniversary of committed service to our community. The staff celebrated with a breakfast and having commemorative t-shirts made by Allendale’s Career & Technical Education program students.

Bradley Counseling Center began providing outpatient services out of a small building on our main campus in Lake Villa that 20 years later expanded to a large community counseling and professional training and development center, in addition to a second office located in Gurnee. Over the years, we have helped thousands of clients and families find a path toward resiliency and build a healthier way of living by focusing on aligning with clients regarding their goals utilizing various trauma-informed and evidence-based therapeutic interventions including the REStArT (Relational Re-Enactment Systems Approach to Treatment) treatment framework that developed here at Allendale.

At the Bradley Counseling Center Outpatient Program, we’re committed to fostering mental health for individuals and families. ​​We understand that developing resiliency is a very individualized and dynamic process that when successful, offers clients empowering opportunities to make changes, head in a new direction, and discover a fulfilling personal path. Bradley Counseling Center’s Outpatient Program is grateful for the last 40 years of helping support our community and looks forward to many more years to come!

A tradition of care and service.

For 125 years, Allendale, a private, not-for-profit organization, has led youth with serious emotional, mental, and behavioral health challenges and their families on a journey towards resiliency.

At Allendale, our aim is to offer every chance for healing and growth – through myriad programs and services and a continuum of care including 24/7 therapeutic residential treatment, therapeutic day school programs, outpatient counseling services, foster care and community support services. Allendale is a place where kids and families have the opportunity to restore their lives and discover a better future.