Coping Through the Holidays, Part 3: Family Gatherings
What would the holidays be without the demanding attention of family ? In the third and final installment of our series we share tips on getting through large family gatherings. Read part one or part two now if you missed them!
Whether you have a large family or small, close knit or barely seen, Christmas is the one time everyone makes an effort to cram into one place and be together. Let’s face it, family can be more stressful than calming, especially during the holidays. Follow some of these tips to stay safe and comfortable this season.
If seeing family every year causes you any stress, it’s important to evaluate what is most important for you. Think about the annual traditions and things you absolutely hate. You’re allowed to say no or compromise on these tasks. If you don’t think you could possibly host the whole family for another large festive dinner, than it’s okay to ask another member to host this year, or cancel the dinner altogether.
If you gather somewhere else each year and your family causes you immense stress or upset, then consider not going. Family may seem like an obligatory event to attend, but if it puts you well being at risk, then it’s really not worth it. If it’s unavoidable and certain members cause you stress or you constantly feel overwhelmed, prepare a plan. Only plan to stay for a short time. Even arrive early to avoid the craziest time of the event or large amounts of people. Bring comforting items like your favorite scarf, or wear a lava stone bracelet with your favorite calming Young Living Essential Oils. Having a calming presence on or near you at all times can help you hold it together. Bringing a friend or having a trusted family member as a buffer for the night is also a good idea.
Even if you’re staying home with just your immediate family, it’s important to share the roles to take some of the pressure off you. Have fun with your kids or partner – cook a meal together. Remember, it doesn’t have to be extravagant with 10 different dishes and desserts. You don’t have to put a big emphasis on the day because it’s Christmas. It’s just another day with family. Prioritize family rather than the day itself and you’ll see a huge shift in your stress and thought process.
REMINDER: Christmas can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. If you feel you’re overwhelmed or struggling, please reach out. Book an appointment with your therapist – Aspirations Inc. has therapists available throughout the holidays – or speak to a trusted friend or family member. You are not alone and don’t have to suffer alone. If this advice came to you too late and you need a reset after the holidays, come join our Self-Love Retreat on December 27th. The safe and warm environment allows you to calm and destress the mind while learning new mindful practices to take into the new year for everyday living and your relationships.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season,
The Aspirations Inc. Team