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Creating Emotional Safety During The Holidays

Emotional safety is the state of our emotions in which we feel safe and secure enough to be open and vulnerable with others. For women in recovery, this is an exceptional challenge, especially during the holidays. Holiday celebrations can be overwhelming and triggering, particularly during the first few years of recovery. Creating emotional safety for ourselves is essential so we can stay present and positive during the holiday celebrations. Most importantly, we protect our precious sobriety and our state of serenity.

Signs you are not feeling emotionally safe:

  • People are asking you for your opinions or you feel the urge to express yourself, yet find yourself restrained. Not feeling safe enough to speak up and speak your mind is a sign that you are not feeling emotionally safe. Being and feeling silenced is a major trigger for many women who were forced into such a submissive state through emotional, mental, or physical abuse.
  • Despite being around some of your closest family and friends, you are feeling tremendously alone. Women who have experienced the isolation of drug and alcohol addiction know what it is like to walk through a room, but feel like the room is really walking around them. Not feeling part of when you are surrounded by people is a sign you are not feeling emotionally safe to be present and be fully integrated into your surroundings. Feelings of dissociation and isolation in this way can be triggering.
  • Holiday celebrations are fully of love, affection, adoration, and thankfulness. Through treatment and recovery, you have worked hard to open yourself up to giving and receiving emotion and love. Learning to love yourself is the great challenge of every woman in recovery. Learning to let others love your for being yourself is another great challenge. It takes a certain sense of emotional safety to feel emotionally vulnerable in order to let people in and give in return.

How to create emotional safety

Take a moment to retreat to yourself. Find a space of quiet privacy and tune into your breath. Use mindfulness to help yourself practice some grounding techniques, like noticing your feet on the floor and giving awareness to the fact that you have a moment alone. Mantras and affirmations can help you remember who you are, how far you have come in your recovery, and how strong you are in your sobriety. You are capable of tremendous feats, the holidays being just one of them. Call a sponsor, mentor, or trusted friend. Take a brief walk outside. Spend a few moments journaling to write about the specific fears that are coming up for you. Above all, remember that the holidays are just one season of the year, often only lasting for just one day.


Villa Tranquil Recovery offers women the unique opportunity to continue their care and program of recovery after primary treatment. Our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida offers women the safety and serenity they need to develop into the compassionate, authentic women of sobriety they can be. Call us today for information:  214-799-3080