Our Latest Blogs

Combating Holiday Season Loneliness When You’re in Recovery

Black family cutting Christmas tree

The holiday season, often considered a time of joy and celebration, can be a challenging period for many individuals, especially those navigating the twisting path of addiction recovery. For those who have embarked on the journey to overcome substance use disorders, feelings of loneliness during the holidays can be particularly troubling. The struggle to maintain […]

Seasonal Changes and How They Impact Mental Health: Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

red berries on snowy background

If you’ve ever woken up on a dark, rainy day in the fall or winter and instantly felt like pulling the covers back over your head, you’re not alone. Seasonal changes can have a significant impact on your mood and mental health. Many people find themselves experiencing sadness, fatigue, and other symptoms during the colder, […]

Effective Strategies for Maintaining Sobriety During the Holiday Season

young woman in holiday street scene.

Navigating the holiday season while in recovery can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Here are effective strategies to help you stay sober during the holidays, allowing you to embrace the joy and connection of this season without sacrificing any of its special qualities. Acknowledge Triggers and Practice Proactive Steps Being mindful of potential triggers, […]

Ways to Manage Stress Over the Holidays (That Don’t Involve Drinking) 101

For many people, the holidays are a time for celebration and gathering of loved ones. Whether you are hosting or visiting your family or friends for the holidays, there are always a few essential items included for the celebration, such as food, presents, and a common one: alcohol. If you are opening a bottle of […]

A Seat for Ed at the Holiday Table: How to Cope with an Eating Disorder During the Season

For individuals struggling with eating disorders, holidays can be challenging. Bright holiday lights are shining, mom’s cookies are baking, and a festive spirit is filling the air. But then they see it—a table card lying gently on the table with a name in bright red letters. A seat is reserved for an uninvited guest, their […]

Showing Gratitude on Thanksgiving: How a Favorite Holiday Can Help Your Mental Health

In the United States, Thanksgiving is traditionally viewed as the start of the holiday season. However, the rising popularity of Halloween has lengthened the season by at least a month. Between the decorating frenzy of the highly devoted “spooky season” lovers and the inflatable Santas, lights, and wreaths that start appearing in early November, Thanksgiving […]

7 Secrets on How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution: Personal Goals and Ideas for the New Year

two young women share a secret

Every year we decorate our home for the holidays, sing seasonal tunes, and bundle up by the fire to exchange gifts with loved ones. Before we know it, the new year is upon us, making us think about our New Year’s resolution list. Most of us know how hard it can be to keep a […]

13 Ways to Deal with Loneliness During the Holidays

Christmas kitten tangled in lights

The pandemic made it harder than ever to connect with others and meet new people, triggering a sense of loneliness in many. Now the holidays are upon us, making some of us feel lonelier than ever. This is especially true for those struggling with mental health issues or separated from their loved ones at this […]

How to Maintain Mental Health during the Post-COVID Holiday Season

friends wrapping holiday gifts

Over eighteen months into the COVID-19 crisis, life looks a little different. After a year of lockdowns, video calls instead of physical meetings, and so much more, we could potentially end up with a mental health crisis to boot. This certainly isn’t helped by the shorter, darker days as we head into the winter months. […]

Getting through the Holidays 2021: Difficult Choices and Triggers for People with Substance Use Disorders

snow on spruce tree

The Holidays can be stressful times.  Last year, we faced a raging pandemic that put many people’s holiday plans on hold.  Families were forced to make difficult choices and often forgo seeing their loved ones and friends during what is normally a time of joyous celebration and large gatherings.  Public health authorities advised people to […]

7 Benefits of Gratitude and How Being Grateful Can Make You Happier

grateful blessed sign

Thanksgiving is a time of year to show gratitude for all your blessings in life. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget to take a moment to reflect and give thanks for everything we’ve been given. Being grateful can provide many benefits to overall well-being, which can help […]

Six Ways to Stay Sober this Holiday Season

holiday self-care with book

All the fun and festivities aside, the “most wonderful time of the year” can be rather challenging for many people. There are added responsibilities, long shopping lists, draining activities, and numerous situations that can feel overwhelmed. Seasonal depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. Some people feel extra isolated watching TV and scrolling through […]

How to Maintain Sobriety During the Holidays

holiday alcohol bottles

Christmas and the holiday season bring joy and a sense of hope to many people worldwide, but for a person in addiction recovery, the holidays can also be a stressful time. If you’re new to sobriety, you may be dreading the holiday season, from events that have a heavy alcohol presence to avoiding relapse during […]

Finding Gratitude During the Season of Giving — and Every Day

giving hands

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means this is the season of giving. When the holiday season arrives, people tend to be more generous, giving their closest friends and family gifts. With so much to be received in this time, gratitude may come easily. What about the rest of the year, though? Finding gratitude […]

How to Manage Your Mental Well-Being in the Middle of the Holiday Madness

holiday face mask

Can you hide in a cave until January 2? If the holidays mean nothing but stress, you might feel tempted. However, most people don’t have the luxury of skipping office parties and family gatherings. Others battle feelings of isolation and despair. How can you manage your mental well-being amid the holiday madness? Here are eight […]

Mentally Managing the Holiday Season During a Pandemic

holiday face mask

The holidays are a joyous time, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or New Years. However, every year millions of Americans battle substance use disorders and co-occurring issues like anxiety and addiction. The time from Thanksgiving to New Years is rough for people struggling with addiction, mental health issues, and anyone in recovery. Along […]

Avoiding Loneliness During the Holidays

lonely holidays

The meaning and spirit of the holiday season is different for many of us, but what stands out, is the companionship we share with others. It’s no secret that most of us remember the holidays as the time of year for bringing friends and families together for a time of celebration. According to a survey, […]

Stress Busting Essentials for the New Year

stress busting meditation

As we step into a new year, it’s easy to let that overwhelmed feeling creep into our daily lives. With the holidays over and the stresses of work and school (or both!) weighing on us, it can be easy to slip into a stress-induced fog. To combat this feeling, it’s important to not only recognize […]

Uplifting New Year’s Resolutions for Your Mental Health

Mental and Emotional Health Resolutions

It’s that time of year again when we wave goodbye to one year and usher another one in. That means it’s also resolution time. The problem with New Year’s resolutions is the failure rate. According to U.S. News, 80 percent of resolutions fail by mid-February. Failure has become so common that most of us probably […]

Hope for the Holidays: A Light in the Darkness for Those with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

“Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence” – It’s a Wonderful Life With all the anticipation, excitement, expectation, and preparation that go into the holidays it is probably inevitable that we end up feeling a certain amount of disappointment this special time of year. This […]

Ring Out the Magic, Ring In the Real for Better Mental Health and Wellness: Unusual New Year’s Traditions from the Past Revisited

New Year’s is the one holiday that is universally celebrated around the world.  Although the methods of celebration and sometimes even the dates vary from place to place, every culture has a New Year tradition.  Many of these traditions are quite unique and interesting. My first New Year’s as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, […]

Important Tips on Staying Sober Through the Holidays

Staying sober can be a struggle on any day, but the holidays tend to be some of the most challenging times to maintain one’s sobriety.  There is no shortage of parties, old memories, and the general pressures and stress of the season to weigh in on one’s mind. It is all too easy to end […]

Holiday Stress Getting You Down? This Year, Give Yourself (and Those You Love) the Gift of Gratitude

Christmas and the holiday season can be the happiest, most wonderful time of the year.  At least that’s what the songs on the radio and in all the stores keep telling us from the middle of November to New Year’s Day. For many of us it is also the most stressful time of year:  complicated […]

Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a New Year’s Resolution

clock at midmight

It’s that time of year again when TV ads have shifted away from buying holiday presents to signing up for gym memberships. Even if you have no fitness goals in mind, if you’re like most Americans, you’ll make a New Year’s resolution…and give up on it by February. If you want to avoid this, there […]

This New Year’s Choose Values Over Resolutions

new years

Today’s post comes to us from Family-Endorsed Provider and Eating Disorder Specialist, Susan Schrott, DCSW, CEDS. In her post, she discusses the importance of reconnecting with one’s values before committing to any kind of change. Some of this advice is tailored to those who live with eating disorders but anyone can learn from her message. […]

Families, the Holidays & Mental Health: A Place at the Table for Everyone

Holiday meals with my family usually include an empty setting at the table. That place is not there to honor someone who has passed away or a member of the military who is stationed overseas and couldn’t make it home for the holidays. It is reserved for a family member, my brother, who comes to […]

‘Tis the Season to be Stressed: 5 Tips for Happier Holidays with the Family


Today’s special blog post for the holidays was co-written by Randi Silverman, CEO of the Youth Mental Health Project (YMHP) and Wendy Ward, Executive Director YMHP.  Randi is the co-writer and producer of the multi-award winning film No Letting Go.  Wendy has extensive corporate experience in advertising, marketing and human connections, and in the last […]

This Year Forget the Resolutions: New Year’s Goals That Really Work

owl on snowy branch

  New Year’s is a time when many of us stop to reflect on the year just passed and promise ourselves that we’ll do better in the one to come.  The custom of making resolutions at the start of a new year goes back to the times of Julius Caesar.  He introduced the Julian calendar […]

Family Friendly Feel Good Holiday Movies


  The holidays are all about reconnecting with your loved ones and enjoying time together. To add to your holiday cheer, here are RtoR staff picks for our favorite family-friendly movies to watch over the holidays. These films can be either TV specials or feature-length movies that don’t necessarily need to reference Christmas or the Winter Holidays […]

Family Wellness Holiday Shopping Guide

  Your purchase of any items on this list from amazon.com help support the costs of running rtor.org, a free service of Laurel House, Inc., 501 (C)(3), non-profit organization. Another Holiday Season is fast approaching and many of us are struggling to come up with gifts to give our family members. This year, give the gift […]

Avoid Family Fights this Holiday Season by Using Myers-Briggs Personality Types

avoid family fights with myers briggs

  The holidays are supposed to be a time of relaxation, good food and family fun, right? Well that isn’t always the case. Google searches for “family fights” and related search terms always increase right around Thanksgiving and the Winter holidays. Expectations and stress can be high around the holidays and if you or a loved […]

Tis The Season: The Mental Health Benefits of Holiday Giving

holiday presents

Hanukkah started more than a week ago.  Kwanzaa is another two days away, the Prophet’s Birthday is even further off, today is Christmas Eve and I still have five more gifts to buy and three more charitable donations to make before I complete my holiday giving list (not to mention a blog post to write […]