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Ho-Ho-How to Survive the Holidays

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Season Change: Ho-Ho-How to Survive the Holidays

Whew, Where did this year go?! If you are like me it seems as though this year came and went quick. For me, life was definitely "LIFEing" me. One minute I was setting up my yearly goals/resolutions then I blinked and it was two weeks before the New Year again.

As the holidays are approaching, your anxiety tends to increase. So much to do, so many people to see and so many obligations. The nature of so many things can become overwhelming. During this time it is quite normal for the holidays to trigger some favorable and unfavorable feelings. It’s like YES, I am glad that I finally have time off of work and YES, it is great to finally see my family, but man no one is looking forward to that Aunt Kerry or Uncle John. You know everyone has an "Aunt Kerry", that family member that always has something negative to say or questions every aspect of your life; and an "Uncle John", the alcoholic, pessimist that always starts arguments, ruins the fun and asks you for money.

A history of trauma can give you a high tolerance for emotional pain; but just because you can take it does not mean you have to.

Many of us have a plethora of family experiences that have shaped who are. Some of those experiences are good and others are traumatic. No matter what they are we have learned to adapt, accept or block those experiences. A history of trauma can give you a high tolerance for emotional pain; but just because you can take it does not mean you have to. During the holidays it is important to protect your peace! Establishing boundaries with your family does not mean you have to disrespect them, instead it means that you love yourself enough to teach your family how to treat you or dismiss yourself from their presence. Just because they are family does not mean that they are not toxic to your well-being. We cannot control other people but we can control how we interact with those people and how we internalize those interactions.

With that being said here are a few tips to help you survive the holidays!

1. Implement Self Care

  • Set timelines for how long you will visit at family functions.

  • Take time to do a hobby (read, watch tv, listen to music, eat/cook).

  • Aromatherapy (light candles, take a bath with essential oils, use aroma scented lotions)

  • Massages

  • Drink calming tea (chamomile, peppermint).

  • Get some fresh air by taking a walk, go on a bike ride, or sit at the park.

  • Journal about your feelings.

  • Take a nap.

  • Reach out to your support system.

2. Set your expectations and clear boundaries

  • Be okay with saying “NO” to people and requests.

  • Set timelines for how long you will visit at family functions.

  • Express when people overstep their boundaries and redirect them to respect your individuality.

  1. · “I respect your values and beliefs about that but I do not share those same values/beliefs.”

  2. · “I appreciate your concerns, but this is my decision to make.”

  3. · “I expect my partner to be treated with respect while we are here or we will not be coming over anymore.”

  4. · “Please stop asking when will we have a kid. It puts unnecessary pressure on my relationship. We will do what we feel we are ready for when we are ready.”

  5. · “I see that you are frustrated with them, but I do not want to participate in family gossip.”

  6. "Thank you for inquiring about my academics, but this is not the time to discuss that."

3. Release that negative energy

  • Work out / Exercise

  • Journal

  • Deep breathing techniques

  • Yoga

  • Re-strategize & Limit interactions with triggering individuals.

  • Seek therapy to help you unpack those emotions and family traumas.

Comment below if you have any suggestions that have helped you survive the holidays.

Cheers to a Happy and Healthy Holiday!

*Update: The Holidays have passed and hopefully you were able to "survive the holidays". If you are needing to debrief and unpack your feelings and experiences, feel free to contact JC Wellness Experience for a free consultation and schedule a session.

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