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As October ends and Halloween marks the transition into November, we may be quick to plan for the holidays. However, I urge you to set aside time to reflect on your wins this month.
What did you learn? How did you grow? Did you rest or discover a new coping skill? Celebrating your wins, no matter how small they may seem, is a step on your trauma-informed journey toward wellness.
For many, the holiday season symbolizes joy and family. And for many others, the holiday season brings different feelings, such as anxiety, grief, fear, and loneliness.
As we move through this season, remember to be considerate to others who may not have fond memories of the holidays. This month, try to operate with universal precaution and be sensitive to those who may be suffering.
What Does Universal Precaution Mean?
In the context of trauma-informed care, universal precaution refers to a mindset that fuels your behavior. With universal precaution, we act as if everyone has trauma.
You can't know what someone else's trauma is, and you also can't expect anyone to disclose their trauma to you--they don't owe you that. When we operate with universal precaution, we are more gentle, more kind, more compassionate, and more understanding.
We approach situations differently because we look at them differently. Instead of jumping to accusations in difficult times, we stop to ask, "What happened to this person that they feel the need to act this way?"
"Bad behavior" is rooted in fear or anxiety, and when we use universal precaution to inform all of our experiences with everyone we meet, we begin to see how deeply trauma affects us. Universal precaution enables us to continue our mission to live a trauma-informed and trauma-aware life.
Acknowledging Holiday Trauma & Seasonal Depression
You don't have to fake joy to placate other people.
The holiday season can be stressful for many reasons. Whether money is tight during the season of spending, pressure at work has you working late nights, or the anxiety of traveling is creating stress in your life, it's okay not to feel happy and joyful this holiday season.
Many of us feel as though we need to fake happiness and feed into a culture of toxic positivity, especially during the holidays, which most see as a time for celebration.
Well, it is possible to be both grateful and full of sorrow during the holidays, especially if you have holiday trauma. Show up for yourself, and be honest about you feel this month.
Take it easy on yourself and others, and recognize that it's normal to struggle during the holidays. Seasonal depression and holiday trauma are real, and it's common for the holidays themselves to become annual traumatic experiences.
Trauma-Informed Spotlight: Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer
Families are the solution, not the problem.
Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer is the Founder and CEO of the national non-profit, Alia Innovations. Alia is dedicated to keeping children safe without removing them from their homes.
No matter how you look at it, the foster care system traumatizes children. Team Alia and Dr. Amelia Meyer actively work to prevent that traumatization by re-imagining the child welfare system.
Alia believes that the best way to support children is to support families: and this mission aligns deeply with trauma-informed values.
Dr. Meyer is a trauma-informed leader who is transforming the child welfare system. Learn more about Dr. Meyer, Alia Innovations, and their amazing work in the child welfare space here.
Thank you for reading our Trauma-Informed Newsletter and taking the time and energy to hold space for healing, growth, and learning. You're doing a great job on your trauma-informed journey.
Your personal and professional development doesn't end with this newsletter. Here are some more trauma-informed resources for you to use or share with those who need them (they're all free!):
Stay up-to-date with The Art of Trauma-Informed, Chefalo Consulting's trauma-informed blog. We release new content every week!
In October, we discussed:
Intentional Conversations kicked off this month, and we're so lucky to be able to offer this free resource to you! Intentional Conversations provide a trauma-informed space to network with an expert facilitator.
Come with questions, curiosity, and an open mind every Monday this November!
Reserve your seat for Intentional Conversations today!
Mondays 12:00 PM ET | FREE