Guide to be Alcohol Free
Whether its Dry January or a total lifestyle change, everyone has the choice and ability to be alcohol free! If this is your path, here are some tips to keep in mind along the way:
1. No one cares that you aren’t drinking. Sure, they may ask and be curious because they see a change in your routine, but you not drinking has no bearing on them. And if it does, might be time to reconsider the time you invest in that relationship.
2. Mocktails are delicious! Thank God its 2023 and there are many delicious and not super sugary options in the world, along with some great local establishments that have booze free options. Check out Mingle Mocktails (https://www.minglemocktails.com) and Spiritless (https://spiritless.com) for drinks at home and The Volstead (https://volsteadzeroproof.com) is a great hang out in Philly
3. Create a menu of coping skills: Alcohol is the go-to stress reducer for many. It’s also a social lubricant. Being alcohol free means you have to change your automatic responses to certain stimuli. What’s going to be your new way to unwind after a hard day? How are you going to celebrate a siblings milestone birthday? Get out your menu:
1. Hot bath or shower
3. Guided Meditation
4. Get Outside/ Be active
5. Praying/ Spiritual connection
6. Get creative/ Find a hobby
4. Move your body! Moving your body is one of the best responses to stress and coping skill available to you at any time. I specifically use the phrase move your body as opposed to exercise because going to the gym feels like a chore. Moving your body can mean yoga in your living room, snow tubing with friends, dancing in your kitchen, or shooting hoops at the park. Moving your body releases endorphins, makes you feel good, and makes intoxicating drinks less attractive.
5. Remember your WHY: Slap a post it on the bathroom mirror or set reminders on your phone. Keep your eye on the prize… reasons might include:
1. Sleep better
2. Less anxiety
3. Support heart health
4. Increase focus
5. Clarity with decision making
6. Increase patience
7. Engage in mindfulness (see benefits here: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner)
8. Be a trailblazer among your peers
If your use of alcohol feels out of your control, these tips may not be effective for you. Be sure to consult with a therapist or physician.Learn More
Mental Health during the Holiday Season
These are supposed to be happy times during the holiday seasons. Between everything that may be going on holiday parties, family get togethers, vacations, and celebrating the new year. The holidays can be full of joy, but they can also be stressful and challenging for those impacted by mental health, devastation, or loss of a loved one.
According to NAMI, “You are not alone”, as a 2021 survey showed that three in five Americans feel the holidays negatively impacted their mental health .
So, what are ways that we can care for our self during the holiday seasons?
Here are some tips to prevent holiday stress and depression:
- Take care of yourself. This can be done through self-care and forming healthy habits. For example, going on a walk, doing yoga, going to the gym, watching a movie, reading a book or something that can help you feel less worried and take your mind off a stressful environment and help you boost your mental health and deal with stressful activities.
- Ask for help. Talk with a therapist or make plans with a trusted individual, best friend that you can trust, or a trusted family member. Asking for help is not a weakness, it shows that you are strong and have the courage to do so you matter. If you are sad, anxious, depressed, stresses please don’t be afraid to ask for help. BCA Therapy has therapists in Wayne and Yardley that can help you today!
- Focus on what you can control. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. If something is bothering, you that is out of your control quit worrying about it and thinking about it, there is nothing you can do about it. This will help you relieve a lot of stress and help you focus on what is in your control.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Just because everyone around you is drinking doesn’t mean you have too as well. If someone offers you a drink and you don’t want to drink say “NO”. It is important to set boundaries for the holiday season no matter who is around. By avoiding drugs and alcohol you avoid an increase in depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Identify holiday triggers. Triggers could be people, places, and things that remind you of past trauma or upsetting events. Examples of holiday triggers could be traumatic memories, a narcissist family member, a loss of a loved one, stressful family relationships, or emotional breakups. To avoid holiday triggers put a plan in place ahead of the holidays to avoid these emotional holiday triggers. These plans can put a plan in place to avoid those triggers and help you reduce holiday related stress.
 Mental Health During the Holidays: 8 Tips That Can Help | NU
Every Step Matters in Recovery
Don’t forget to pause and take in your progress. Appreciate each step of your growth! When you appreciate the process of whatever you’re striving for you create a better outcome for yourself.
Here are some small things you can do to recognize your small steppingstones in recovery, because THEY DO MATTER:
- Write down your small accomplishments: This will help you see your progress and recognize as you excel in your recovery process. Keep a journal or a list of accomplishments you are proud of. Every win, every step matters no matter how big or how small.
- Celebrate your recovery with self-care: This should be a priority no matter how you intend to reward yourself. You pick how to reward yourself for accomplishments you make in recovery!
- Practice mindfulness: Don’t worry about the past or the future, work on living in the moment. This will help you focus on what you are doing now and bettering yourself now. Focus on one step at a time! When you think about thoughts from the past and future, this will promote anxiety and it will contribute to relapse because only you think about bad things.
- Tell a friend: Telling a friend about your small accomplishments in recovery is a way to celebrate success, no matter how small it is to the closest friend who always celebrates my wins with me.
Doing all these small things to recognize your small accomplishments can help brighten your day and push you further in recovery.
So, in conclusion, it might not feel like it right now, but it’s all going to work out. You just have to believe and DO THE WORK! Then you will see results.
Protect Yourself from a Narcissist!
What is important to a narcissist is CONTROL. A narcissist needs control over the situation they’re in. Whether that’s in a relationship, in a social scenario, or something else, a narcissist will manipulate the circumstances to maintain control.
Here are ways to handle a narcissist:
- Set Boundaries. Make sure to let the narcissist know what you are comfortable with and what you are not comfortable with. Just because they don’t care about their boundaries, doesn’t mean you don’t care about your own boundaries. SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES!
- Don’t Engage Emotionally. It is easier to protect yourself from a narcissistic rage if you are out of their reach. You just block a narcissist on social media and change your phone number. But unfortunately, it’s not always possible for everyone, such as ex-spouses who are stuck in co-parenting. If you are in a similar situation hold your inner composure. Stay calm and don’t take it personally. Image you are separated by a mental wall from a narcissist and only use dry facts when talking to them. 
- Ignore them. Ignore their rudeness, it gives them no satisfaction, and then they won’t be rude to you and move onto someone else.
- Protect yourself. It is your right to protect yourself and your happiness. Don’t feel wrong because you blocked a narcissist out of your life. They hurt you and did not care how you feel in the first place. Remind yourself that!
- Don’t fight them, it will make the situation worse. Don’t fight a narcissist, as there is no win when fighting a narcissist. They enjoy fighting, and their goal is to control you. They won’t let you have an opinion, and they are always right. Fighting a narcissist is a win for them, and a loss for you.
- Remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with respect. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. Be an example for your kids, friends and family. 
How can therapy help you with narcissistic abuse recovery?
- Therapy can help you address acute symptoms (self-care, boundaries, and cognitive dissonance).
- It can help you with a divorce from a spouse, who was/is a narcissist.
- Therapy can help provide you with tool and homework for your recovery.
- It can also help identify narcissistic behaviors that are causing problems in your life.
- It will help you exercise your mind.
- It also can offer guidance to help you heal.
If you are looking for therapist that treats narcissistic abuse recovery, gaslighting, trauma, and PTSD. BCA Therapy has therapist that specialize and treat this. Visit BCA Therapy, to learn more about our therapist and schedule an appointment today. Let’s DO THE WORK and recover. We are here with you every step of the way during your recovery.
 How To Protect Yourself From A Narcissist | Arcadian Counseling
 8 Tips to Protect Yourself From a Narcissist | Psychology TodayLearn More
Narcissists Can Impact Your Life for the Worse!
Recovering for narcisstic abuse is possible, but it requires an incredible amount of strength and courage. Courage that you absolutely possess, if you’re willing to “Do the Work”. At BCA Therapy we have therapists in Yardley and Wayne, Pennsylvania that specialize in narcissistic abuse and are here to support you on this journey of recovery. Yourself respect has to run deeper than your feelings. Loving someone isn’t a reason to stay with someone who is continuously hurting you and disrespecting you. This is what is called a toxic relationship. If you do not take the first step and do the right thing by leaving the narcissist this will affect your mental health.
How can a narcissist impact your life? Let’s look at the jar here is how:
How much more are you going to take from a narcissist? Don’t you think it’s time to get away from them? The answer is you should take no more from them and get away from them. They are ruining your mental health. The jar can only hold so much just like your emotions! Don’t let it get that full before it overflows. This requires courage and strength to stay away from narcissists. But at BCA Therapy, we believe everyone is capable of doing this if you are willing to put the work in and do so. It will be so worth it, and the extra baggage will be lifted off you mentally.
Visit BCA Therapy we are located in the Bucks County and on the Main Line in Wayne, Pennsylvania! We have therapists that specialize in narcissistic abuse can help support you on your journey to recovery.Learn More