Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board

CONTACT INFORMATION: Emergency - 703-573-5679 / Detox - 703-502-7000 (24/7)
703-383-8500 TTY 711
8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Daryl Washington
Executive Director

Thriving Through the Holiday Season

The end of the year is a busy time for many. Between various holidays, celebrations and gatherings, it is easy to begin to feel overwhelmed. 

The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) remains available every day of the year for behavioral health support and emergencies. For less severe behavioral health needs, the CSB offers over 50 different services to support individuals with mental health issues, substance misuse or developmental disabilities. You don’t just have to survive the holidays, you deserve to thrive. 

a white mug with coffee rests on a white blanket with gingerbread cookies next to it and holiday lights in the background

There are a few simple steps you can take to make sure you can enjoy yourself, your time and those around you during this busy season. 

Acknowledge Your Feelings

If you notice that you don’t feel like yourself or that completing your to-do list feels like climbing a mountain, take a moment to acknowledge how you feel. Allowing yourself to feel how your body and central nervous system respond to the demands of the season will provide a level of relief. Additionally, if you have been diagnosed with a mental health or substance use disorder, give yourself the gift of acknowledging that the holidays may trigger certain emotions. You can get ahead of these triggers by making a plan. 

Make a Plan

Whether your level of overwhelm is mild or severe, making a plan is a great way to set yourself up for a successful season. Consider what events and gatherings are going to be nourishing for you and which ones may be depleting, and plan to participate accordingly. Plan out your holiday season as much as possible to reduce the likelihood of agreeing to something that may negatively impact your health. 

Practice Stillness

Be. Still. And breathe… Even one minute of slow, deep breathing can calm our central nervous system. The more often we can take some time to be still, the more we cultivate a safe and stable central nervous system. This sets the stage for a better mood, more appropriate responses, and feelings of joy and connectedness.

Be Realistic

Be realistic about what you can confidently commit to and show up to in a way that is encouraging and fun. If you’re concerned about finances during the holidays, don’t feel obligated to spend money that will negatively impact your personal finances. Pull from your internal resources (gratitude, graciousness, creativity, etc.) to share with those you care about. 

Access Help and Resources

You don’t have to do this alone. There is an abundance of resources to support positive experiences, especially when mental health and substance use can be a challenge. Below are some useful local resources:

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