Holidays: Ready Or Not, Here They Come

Holidays: Ready Or Not, Here They Come

Holidays: Ready Or Not, Here They Come

As we begin to enjoy the welcoming fall weather, we are quickly reminded that the holidays are fast upon us. For some of us it is an exciting times. For others, we do all we can to just get through it: For some, the sights, signs, and smells of the holidays bring joy and a warm feeling. But, while others are joyously diving into the season, some of us are dipping into sadness, guilt, and a sense of loss.Many of us are torn between what we want to do for the holiday, and what we feel we have to do. We may feel guilty because we don’t want to be with our families. We may feel a sense of loss because we don’t have the kind of family we may envy others have. Many of us, year after year walk into the same dining room on the same holiday, expecting this year to be different. Then we leave, year after year, feeling let down, disappointed, and confused by it all. Many of us have old, painful memories triggered by the holidays.

For some, it is a reminder of a family they once had. Reflecting on the passing of loved ones, possibly, divorced family members, or even a loved one who has a severe alcohol or drug abuse problem that historically has tended to ruin the holidays for everyone.

We cannot predict how things can go. But we can prepare for a holiday that we will not allow the losses and often painful memories to totally cloud out what family and friend we currently have in our lives. You see, we don’t have to forfeit happiness for the painful memories or loss that occurred this past year. We can grieve but also celebrate. It is a lost art. This is both doable and even helpful in moving past our painful memories.

We may not know what our joyous holiday could look and feel like.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning that we are not alone. There are probably as many of us in conflict during the holidays as there are those who feel at peace. We’re learning, through trial and error, how to take care of ourselves a little better each holiday season.

Our first  task during the holidays is to accept ourselves, our situation, and our feeling about our situation. We accept our guilt, anger, and sense of loss. It’s all okay.

There is no right or perfect way to handle the holidays. Our strength can be found in doing the best we can one year at a time. Here are a few ideas that will help make it truly a Happy Holiday Season in keeping with the tradition of Fall Festival, Thanksgiving and Christmas…

In upsetting situations or relationships, you could find refuge—a kind of center—in the answers to these questions: What’s really true? What matters most?  What’s out of my hands? What are the most important things to do, and to be?

Even when we are anxious, sad, irritated, feeling inadequate, or depressed, there is a deeper place that is undisturbed within us. Awareness keeps working, the peaceful space in which experiences come and go. Deep down there is wisdom, a “still, small voice” at the heart of you.

Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.

John 14:27

Isaiah wrote, I will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee.

Isaiah 26:3 (KJV)


Top 10 Ways To Have The Best Holidays Ever

The holiday season will soon be upon us. And with it will come the hope that this one will be truly special. However, many of us quickly get bogged down in busyness, stress and old patterns. Here are 10 ways to turn that dynamic around and create the magic.1. Give yourself a break. Perfection—even perfect happiness—just isn’t possible. Let your best be good enough. Make a budget for both your time and your money—and stick to it. It really is the thought that counts.

2. Make conscious decisions. Get clear about what you really want to do over the holidays before compromising with others. If you don’t have a clear plan and clear intentions, you might find yourself getting swept along by others’ desires. Even if you compromise later, get clear first.

3. Shorten your to-do list. What do the holidays mean to you? For many, it’s about family and friends and spirituality. If an item doesn’t add to your holiday spirit, scratch it off.

4. Say no when you want to. It’s very liberating. Try it and see. It sounds simple, but too often obligation trumps desire. When faced with options, choose the one that would make you happier.

5. Limit obligatory activities. If you can’t avoid certain events, limit the time you’re there.

6. Set Boundaries and don’t feel guilty. It is okay to say no knowing your own limits. The old standards help keep stress at bay: Schedule time for relaxation and fun.

7. Start early. To avoid last-minute frenzy that can break your budget, start shopping now. Stay away from the craziness.

8. Ask for help. Reject any notion of martyrdom. The burden of preparations should not fall upon one person. The more specific you are in your request, the more successful you’ll be.

9. Establish new traditions. If you have experienced a major life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, consider doing something you’ve never done before over the holidays, such as travel to another country or take a cruise.

10. Get support. If a glorious holiday season feels completely out of reach, you may experience the holiday blues. Many people do. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling that way. Reach out for the support you need.


Take A Look At What’s Happening At Compass

Our DUI treatment programs and Clinical Evaluations are state approved for court ordered treatment. Allow us to help you. We also do Interventions for those struggling to get help. Call today.Here are more services we provide:

  • Individual, Relationship, & Child Counseling
  • Choices: Drug & Alcohol Court Ordered Group
    • Meets weekly. We also work with your probation officer. DUI, possession charges, and other issues arising from substance abuse.
  • Challenges Adolescent Group
    • Meets weekly. Now forming for Fall 2018.
  • Anger Management Classes
  • Diversion Classes For Shop Lifting & Thief Prevention
  • Drug Screening
    • Also available on site and home kits
  • Relapse Prevention & Early Intervention Program
  • Substance Abuse Interventions for your loved ones
  • Adolescent Female Group
    • Now forming. Charity & Bethany are offering a 4-week intensive for adolescence. This is a focused group which will be held to a very limited number of teen girls. Give them a call about how to sign up your teen.
  • Counseling for drug and alcohol issues
    • We treat both the addicted loved one as well as the battle weary family. We are here for you.
  • Executive Coaching
    • Also available for the busy professional, who seems to never have time.


Our team of counselors have various licenses and degrees, so you will be sure to find the perfect match. Call 678-395-7922 today or visit our contact page to schedule an appointment or leave a message.
Dr. Rick Petronella, PhD
Dr. Rick offers a treatment program that addresses destructive behaviors such as alcohol abuse or anger management. If left untreated, these behaviors can lead to DUI’s, domestic violence, and multiple losses in one’s life. He is a also Certified Clinical Supervisor and a Master Addiction Counselor and holds a credentials in Advanced Clinical Addiction and Drug Counseling. You only live once; you deserve to live free of addiction and embrace fully all that your life has to offer.


Having practiced as an individual, family and corporate consultant for over 30 years, Dr. Rick has also been involved with specializing in the areas of leadership development, executive coaching. He also works closely with individuals, couples and families helping to make life as fulfilling, meaningful, healthy and conflict free as one would desire. He is the president and founder of Compass Consulting and Affiliates, LLC. and Choices Treatment Program.



Bethany Kinzel — MA, LPC, NCC
Bethany is an LPC focused on individuals, couples, and adolescence. She utilizes proven, clinical and educational techniques to help her clients live a more productive, meaningful and fulfilled life. Her educational techniques include: cognitive-behavioral therapy, family systems approaches, and mindfulness exercises. By practicing these techniques, the chains of repetitive, destructive behaviors will be broken, leading to a better quality of life.
Charity L Simpson, MS, LAPC, NCC, MDiv
Charity is a collaborative, relational-oriented counselor who seeks to support individuals within their current context. She integrates humanistic, existential, and systems theories with cognitive, behavioral, and solution-focused techniques. Charity seeks to work with clients to identify strengths, better utilize available resources, and work through challenges that pose obstacles to fulfilling life and relationships. In addition to traditional talk therapy, Charity integrates practices of mindfulness and creative approaches such as art, music, experiential, sand tray, and play therapies.
Bob Roland Th.M.
Bob is a compassionate and very seasoned pastoral counselor. Bob specializes in Couples, Families and Individual counseling. He also runs a successful program for pre-marital and pre-engagement couples. Give Bob a call; you will be glad you did.

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