How To Survive Family During The Holidays

How To Survive Family During The Holidays

It’s that time of year! The leaves are turning beautiful colors, the air is crisp and cold, pumpkin spice everything surrounds you… It’s time for THE HOLIDAYS.

For many, this time of year is one of excitement and joy, and for others the holidays are more of a somber time. For almost all of us, the holidays usually include more time spent with family in general, and especially with those we don’t see often. That can be wonderful….and painful.

So, how do we make the most of these family get-togethers? How do we avoid the pain of difficult relatives, or differing views? How do we turn our anxiety into excited anticipation? Right this way, dear readers…

How Are YOU?

The first and most important thing is to make sure YOU are OK! Family can be difficult in the best of times, but any sort of dip in our mental health makes dealing with family that much harder. So ask yourself, “How am I? What am I struggling with right now? What things ‘trigger’ my anxiety/depression/stress? What things bring me peace and joy?”

If you know you have a get-together coming up, spend some time in the days before for YOU. Maybe a little spa treatment, some time with a good book, a hot bath and a glass of wine…

Don’t ignore your physical health, easier. It’s much harder to deal with Aunt Lizzy’s prying questions if your body aches, you haven’t gotten enough sleep, and your indigestion from last week is STILL THERE. Drink water, sleep enough each night, and eat smart!

How To Survive Family During The Holidays - The Holidays are stressful, and sometimes family makes it worse! Here are some tips to survive this holiday season. #family #holidays #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #selfcare http://firstmatewifey.com/how-to-survive-f…ing-the-holidays/

Plan For The Inevitable Questions

Are you pregnant? Going to be?

Who is that nice young man from Facebook?

How can you vote for HER?!

Did you HEAR what cousin Susie did last week?

What are you even doing with your life, anyway?

We’ve all hear variations of these questions, and more. Chances are, you are already dreading these questions, perhaps even specific ones you REALLY don’t want to talk about. So how do you deal with them?

Start by making a list of the questions you anticipate and dread – all of them – and rank them in order of how much you DON’T want to deal with them. Everything from “I can totally answer this with zero stress” to “I will literally rip my eyeballs out if even ONE more person THINKS about asking me this”. Now, take the worst questions and plan on how to 1. Decline to answer (yes, you are allowed to do this), 2. Answer with as little information as you are comfortable giving, and/or 3. Redirect or re-frame the question into something you ARE comfortable answering.

In general, try to direct the conversation where possible if you think it is heading to uncomfortable questions. People generally like to talk about themselves, so be sure to ask your relatives questions about themselves, too! Who knows, you might even find ways of connecting more than you anticipated.

Make A “Hell No” List

You know what I mean; the topics that make you want to get up from the table, walk out of the house, and drive away. We usually have a threshold for most topics, but when they go down certain paths we KNOW the conversation is going to get passionate and heated (and in some cases, mean and inconsiderate).

What are the topics that are hard to discuss with your family? Usually, those will be Religion, Politics, and perhaps other human rights issues that tend to fall under those discussion threads (abortion, LGBTQ topics, immigration, etc). Decide what level or parts of those topics you CAN and CAN’T engage in. Where do you go from “This is uncomfortable, but still good conversation” to “I can’t stand to listen to them about this any longer”? For example, perhaps you can discuss politics such as Presidential elections, Supreme Court nominees, etc., with only minor discomfort, but as soon as the #MeToo debate comes up, you start seeing red and can’t handle the heated discussion around you.

Now, take that list and go to the next step…

How To Survive Family During The Holidays - The Holidays are stressful, and sometimes family makes it worse! Here are some tips to survive this holiday season. #family #holidays #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #selfcare http://firstmatewifey.com/how-to-survive-f…ing-the-holidays/

Set Boundaries And Rules

Yup. That’s right. You deserve to have boundaries and set rules even around your own family.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy to do (though it does get easier as you practice and your family becomes used to it). Boundaries and rules can help create a sort of bubble around you, one that only lets in that which is helpful, encouraging, and loving, while keeping all of the nagging, stressful, hurtful stuff. You will still be able to see it, perhaps even interact with it, but it’s contact with you is minimal.

Communicate your rules and boundaries with your family ahead of time. This might be best to do by starting with a few trusted family members you can be honest. Perhaps you can phrase it this way:

“All of the discussion around the immigration and refugees lately has really drained me; I’m just not up to talking about that when we all get together this weekend. Can you help keep that topic off the table?”

This is likely to be met with compassion and understanding by most, and will probably be passed on to other mature family members to help keep the topic to a minimum. Now, this is obviously not going to work 100% every single time, so be prepared to gently request the same thing mid-conversation as well, and have a different topic ready to bring up in it’s place. And remember that it’s OK to leave a conversation if the other person(s) isn’t respecting your request or it is causing to much anxiety.

How To Survive Family During The Holidays - The Holidays are stressful, and sometimes family makes it worse! Here are some tips to survive this holiday season. #family #holidays #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #selfcare http://firstmatewifey.com/how-to-survive-f…ing-the-holidays/

Hang Out With The Cool Kids

And by Cool, I mean the people who will respect the boundaries and rules you’ve set. You probably have a pretty good idea heading into the holidays who those people will be; plan to spend most of your time with them. I’ve heard before that there are usually two types of relationships; those that primarily take your energy, and those that primarily give you energy. Neither relationship is bad or good, but it’s important you achieve balance with them. During holiday gatherings, don’t forget to spend time with those people who lift you up and give you energy.

Final Thoughts

I hope all of this is helpful! I am very blessed to be surrounded by wonderful family, though even they can be challenging at times. I know that many of you have quite a bit of anxiety and dread around family gatherings, and I hope you found something here to help. If any of you have other helpful insights, please comment below for myself and other readers!

One last thing – You have EVERY RIGHT to leave a situation where you are uncomfortable, are treated poorly, or don’t feel safe. No one’s feelings are worth staying in a situation like that. If you need a ride from a party, have a trusted friend on speed dial (or the taxi company).

Take such good care of yourself, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Please follow and like us:

153 thoughts on “How To Survive Family During The Holidays

  1. This was do well written. Unfortunately, i font have much of an extended family so my holidays are spent alone or with my kids. Maybe you could do another post on dealing with loneliness during the holidays.

    1. Hi Brandy, thank you! I’m sorry you spend so many holidays alone; that is a fantastic post idea, and I’ll see if I can make that happen this week.

  2. Pingback: generic viagra
  3. Pingback: cialis for sale
  4. Pingback: cialis from india
  5. Pingback: generic for cialis
  6. Pingback: cheap viagra
  7. Pingback: viagra generic
  8. Pingback: otc ed pills
  9. Pingback: erection pills
  10. Pingback: ed medication
  11. Pingback: cialis 20 mg
  12. Pingback: Buy cialis online
  13. Pingback: vardenafil price
  14. Pingback: levitra 20mg
  15. Pingback: vardenafil coupon
  16. Pingback: sildenafil dosage
  17. Pingback: slot games
  18. Pingback: slot machines
  19. Pingback: cialis tadalafil
  20. Pingback: payday loans
  21. Pingback: installment loans
  22. Pingback: cash loan
  23. Pingback: buy cialis
  24. Pingback: cialis buy
  25. Pingback: cialis to buy
  26. Pingback: cialis to buy
  27. Pingback: buy cialis
  28. Pingback: viagra for women
  29. Pingback: online casino
  30. Pingback: rivers casino
  31. Pingback: gparmc
  32. Pingback: hscuae
  33. Pingback: casino game
  34. Pingback: brennanoil
  35. Pingback: smilepronto
  36. Pingback: ezperdeim
  37. Pingback: real casino online
  38. Pingback: wtmiradio
  39. Pingback: canadian viagra
  40. Pingback: sibelicious
  41. Pingback: viagra from india
  42. Pingback: viagra for sale
  43. Pingback: tadalafil 10mg
  44. Pingback: viagra prices
  45. Pingback: viagra samples
  46. Pingback: online ed pills
  47. Pingback: buy viagra canada
  48. Pingback: viagra coupon
  49. Pingback: otc viagra
  50. Pingback: tadalafil 20 mg
  51. Pingback: sildenafil
  52. Pingback: cialis tadalafil
  53. Pingback: cuenco
  54. Pingback: NFL Jerseys
  55. Pingback: itcolate
  56. Pingback: Adidas yeezy
  57. Pingback: sildenafil citrate
  58. Pingback: UGG Outlet
  59. Pingback: viagra for men
  60. Pingback: Yeezy
  61. Pingback: Yeezy Boost 350
  62. Pingback: Yeezy Shoes
  63. Pingback: Adidas Yeezy
  64. Pingback: cialistodo.com
  65. Pingback: UGG UK
  66. Pingback: alberco
  67. Pingback: entkalker
  68. Pingback: Viagra 200 mg nz
  69. Pingback: viagra pills
  70. Pingback: buy cialis online
  71. Pingback: buy Viagra 130 mg
  72. Pingback: eastoverfc
  73. Pingback: Cialis 60mg cost
  74. Pingback: online cialis
  75. Pingback: Cialis 60mg prices
  76. Pingback: viagra online
  77. Pingback: lasix 40 mg price
  78. Pingback: propecia 5mg nz
  79. Pingback: generic viagra
  80. Pingback: sockcop
  81. Pingback: sildenafil
  82. Pingback: order amaryl 4mg
  83. Pingback: pfister viagra
  84. Pingback: generic viagra gel
  85. Pingback: cialis at rite aid
  86. Pingback: sildenafil 100 mg
  87. Pingback: cialis lilly

Leave a Reply to andy Cancel reply

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
%d bloggers like this: