Coping with Stress and Family during the Easter Long Weekend
Easter is a time for friends and family to gather, and for little ones to traditionally hunt for mysteriously hidden eggs. It’s probably the second largest holiday for family gathering’s right behind Christmas, whether you religiously celebrate the occasion or not. During these times, it’s important to care for yourself and your mental well being, especially if you currently struggle with mental health concerns or depression.
Self care is so important to hold on to your sanity. If you find yourself getting caught up in all the traditions and obligations but you’re not enjoying them, step back and take some time to relax. Something as simple as going for a walk can help release feel-good chemicals in the brain. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night. Drink some tea or read a book before bed and keep the technology off and out of reach to avoid harsh lights and distractions that may reduce your sleep at night. Leave the house – sometimes new scenery is all you need to feel refreshed.
While Easter is a little easier on the wallet than Christmas, it still comes with financial responsibility to some, like if you’re hosting the family dinner this year. Ask everyone to participate – whether it’s bringing a food dish, or other party essentials. Just because everyone gathers at your home, doesn’t mean you’re in charge of everything. Consider yourself the venue. You deserve to have some fun and enjoy the social gathering too. Let the kids set the table, or wash up the dishes. It’s important to plan in advance and be clear with everyone involved what you need from them.
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 day 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 Easter. 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: Easter, and other holidays 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 before and after the long weekend – or speak to a trusted friend or family member. You are not alone and don’t have to suffer alone.
Wishing you a safe and happy Easter,
The Aspirations Inc. Team