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Build Healthy Distractions to Create Happier Holidays

By Leanne Rose Dorish, RCC


Right now we’re getting ready to have holidays that are going to be very different. My son is excited about the baking, the presents and that he gets to stay home from school. My husband and I are wondering what it’s all going to look like not having the rest of the family around.

While you are making new plans and preparing to make things as warm and lovely as possible, you can have the grace and the beauty you hope for weaved into everything, if you so choose. Finding healthy ways to build on what you would like life to look like, is going to be extremely important. Become aware of the old habits that don’t fit and find space to transform those habits using what I call mini-movements. Once you have found that isn’t working then your mind is going to open up a window or a door and give you more ideas and thoughts on how to make movements toward something new.

Supporting yourself, I can’t say this enough, is essential. It’s so important and one of the reasons that I promote self-care as a practice because when you take care of yourself, communication changes, understanding and empathy can be present more often and the way you adjust to situations can be done with more ease and wonder.

You might be thinking, “Oh Leanne, this is way too positive for me and I’m not interested. I just want to distract myself and get through this year.” And that’s totally up to you. It’s ultimately your choice. But building on the healthy distractions like finding new ways to do old celebrations, will help you grow and be more able to support your family and the people around you on a different level.

Another option is to get into an old or new habit. Right now I’m learning all about the magical things happening in the skies. Reading about these celestial events and the impact and history with them builds my soul and they build conversation. This new topic in my life builds the avenue for my true self to ring through. That true beautiful self that you have within you and I have within me is maybe crying to come out. Maybe it has been burdened by all of the emotion, all of the overwhelm, all of the unknowns these days. Bringing that beautiful self to the forefront of your mind, even if it’s a glimmer for now, can change the way you’re looking at these holidays.

It might be scary because there might be too many unknowns still. If that’s the case find some support for yourself, give those emotions some space to be heard. The holiday season, whether it’s Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, whatever you may celebrate, wants you to find the beauty and the real reasons that you celebrate it in the first place. It can bring you more of who you are, more of that joy, and more of a sense of connection.

Building on that and knowing that your spirit is still there helps you cope and manage through uncertain days. It’s your choice if you want to bring that part of you out. If you need some help, let me know. I’m here.

Thank you for being here with me.

Thank you for being there for who you’re caring for and for all those people who love you.



Leanne Rose Dorish, MA, RCC is the author of Loving Myself Again: Self-care from A-Z after a NICU stay – Helping NICU Families shift trauma into Love & Light.

Leanne is the proud Mama of a 2014 NICU graduate and she has her Masters Degree in Clinical Counselling. As a Registered Clinical Counsellor, she recognized the trauma that her son’s NICU stay created within herself, so Leanne has turned her 11 years of trauma work experience into building community and resources for NICU graduate families and the organizations that support them. Leanne is an author, speaker and blogger on these topics.

Find her at