The winter holidays are fast approaching, and we know it can be a little… stressful to say the least.
Here are 6 survival tips to make it to January without destroying too many relationships…
Set Reasonable Expectations
Expectations are the cause of so much strife and frustration. We expect one thing, and get another. We expect people to show up one way and they disappoint us again and again.
So be reasonable. Will Uncle Jim talk politics during Thanksgiving? Probably. So let’s expect that conversation to happen instead of wishfully thinking it won’t, and come prepared. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Breathe Deeply and Often
Listen, we aren’t going to pretend we can fix your family. (We’re still working on ours, after all.) But we do know that healthy coping skills are critical for surviving the bumpy road that is extended family. Have a list of your favorites, and make sure you include deep breathing on that list.
Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts. Repeat as needed (probably through the end of December…)
When all else fails, find something to distract yourself. Phones, coloring with kids, and a brisk winter walk are all favorites.
Focus On What’s Working
Sometimes we get so distracted by what isn’t working that we forget it’s not all bad. Sure, maybe your family is a little… ahem… interesting, but maybe they make a killer pecan pie and it’s worth the stress. Or maybe you have one cousin who turned out surprisingly awesome. It’s possible they’re the key to surviving the holidays.
Whatever it is, find those moments that are better than the rest.
Sometimes the healthiest way to survive the holidays with family is to celebrate without family. Or to set strong boundaries with the family you will see.
There’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m not comfortable talking about that” and then switching the subject.
You don’t get to control how your family responds, but you can set boundaries around how you’ll be treated and talked to.
And yes, your family may be furious about the boundaries you set. Remember – that’s on them, not you. Healthy people respect boundaries.
CBD is nature’s great anti-anxiety herb. If your heart is racing just thinking about family, CBD may be a great option to help calm your nerves. CBD won’t get you high, either. And while that may be nice, it’s not always legal. CBD is a great alternative that helps calm the nerves and stress.
It’s one of the only ways we survive the holidays with family. Maybe it’ll help you too?
Whatever you choose, and however you decide to celebrate, we hope your holiday season is filled with joy, love, and peace. And just enough chaos to keep you entertained.