Creating Connection with Mazzoni's Holiday Survival Guide

  • Mazzoni Center MSW Intern Bob Pileggi
  • Mazzoni Center 2015 Holiday Survival Guide

The holidays can be a time of great joy and excitement – and also great disappointment and disconnection. Maybe you remember years past of hiding your full self in order to be acceptable to family. Or maybe your family still doesn’t want your partner to come to a holiday celebration. Or maybe you want to wear a fabulous red dress instead of a button-down and khakis, but that’s not going to happen because your family still can’t get over the fact that as a kid you liked to cook and knit more than play football. There are lots of reasons that LGBT folks can end up feeling stressed or lonely at this time of year, and we want to help.

If you are stressed or struggling, you don't have to go it alone! There are many ways to create connection and a new perspective.  And since everyone is unique, the Holiday Survival Guide provides many different ways to do both.

For example, connection is a dynamic experience – to receive connection, sometimes we need to give a little, which can increase a sense of meaning and purpose. Take a look at our expanded volunteer section to share your time and talent while creating connection that everyone can benefit from. You can volunteer for the holidays, or consider carrying it into the new year! There are also recovery and spiritual groups that are just waiting to welcome YOU in because they recognize how valuable your presence is. There are people who care and who want to share community with you.

Feeling annoyed by the holidays? Chill out! There are lots of free and low-cost events – LGBT-specific and otherwise; go have some fun! Enjoy the spirit of the holidays and perhaps meet some new people.  Through it all, notice the attitude you’re bringing to it all and consider feeling gratitude for the gift of getting to experience the sights, sounds, and sweetness of life – even if there are challenges, too.

And for those challenging moments, the Guide offers suggestions for simple strategies you can use to feel more calm and connected.

You may have seen the Guide in past years, but this v6.0 is abounding in its awesomeness. What’s new and exciting?
•      It’s user-friendly with clear sections, demarcations for LGBT-specific and free events.
•      Direct links to even more resources you may be interested in exploring.
•      Expanded volunteer opportunities.
•      Spiritual-connection section.   
•     LGBT-friendly recovery groups.
•     And even more resources at your fingertips to create connection!

Click here to check out the 2015 Mazzoni Holiday Survival Guide - and share it with others you know who may be challenged this time of year. Isn’t this the real gift of the holiday season – feeling cared for and feeling connected? Thanks for sharing this gift with others you care about by sending them this link or sharing it on social media. Together, we’ll not only survive the holidays; we’ll also find ways to celebrate connection through them.

The 2015 Holiday Surival Guide was written and compiled by Caroline Dabkowski, Niki Kulp, and Bob Pileggi, who are interns at Mazzoni Center’s Open Door Behavioral Health program. 

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