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Recovery blog

Give Yourself a Gift

By: Erin Birely, LCPC, Team Leader of the Renfrew Center of Baltimore and Alumni Coordinator

Posted on December 23, 2019


We're currently in the thick of the gift-giving season, and if you're anything like me, there's probably a few gifts left to buy! As we think of what the people in our lives would like this year, I encourage us to consider what gift we'd like to give ourselves as well.

The gift of recovery, and even more so, of becoming tolerant and unafraid of our emotions, is something that will keep giving back to us as our skills continue to grow. Here are some tips to keep yourself aware and tolerant of your emotions, instead of avoiding them:

• Practice mindfulness daily – Whether it's a guided practice each day, or simply doing a three point check when you notice emotions intensifying, make sure you are checking in with your emotions daily.

• Ask about antecedents – When you notice emotions intensifying, ask yourself: what is contributing to the intensity? Is there anything you're bringing into the situation from the past, or even future worries? Try to notice the emotion in just the present moment, and you might notice it feels much easier to tolerate.

• Decrease distractions – It's very easy to not notice our emotions when we have lots of distractions around. Try taking time to power down, turn off your phone, tv, radio, and anything else you use to distract, and notice what it feels like to just be with yourself.

Give yourself the gift this season of getting to better know your emotions, and you'll be amazed to see how it can keep giving back to you throughout the next year!




Erin Birely, LCPC started working as the Team Leader of the Renfrew Center of Baltimore in September 2016, and took on the position of Alumni Coordinator in October of this year. In both positions Erin enjoys working with people to make positive and long lasting changes in life through therapy, building their emotional tolerance, and building a community to support them. Prior to joining Renfrew, Erin had worked in private practice as well as inpatient, partial, and intensive outpatient levels of care. Erin has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment since receiving her Master's degree in 2012. When not working Erin enjoys spending times with friends and family, as well as working on home improvement projects.
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