Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. Be proactive about making plans for yourself for and exercising during the holidays. So how do you deal with friends and family members who are not living at peace with themselves? Being ahead of the game and staying on top of your plans will make you feel peaceful and accomplished. Then we feel deflated when we walk in the front door and see that nothing has changed. On the other hand… 6. Don't Feel Like You Have To Lie About It For me, one of the hardest parts about was admitting it to other people.
At best you may be surprised to find that they actually are changing, that some of your wishes have come true. I will be sure to emotionally zip up before entering the door for Thanksgiving. Sketching all of this out beforehand can create immense peace of mind — and knowing that you have this option, rather than simply sitting there and taking it all night, can sometimes help keep toxic family drama from cutting too deep. . The last thing you want is for your negative reaction to overshadow the initial offense. While you may be feeling alone in your life right now, knowing that the holidays can be a lonely time for many people may help you to feel less so. Awww, Mom's fixation on my supposed bodily flaws and Cousin Beth's obsession with proving that she's more successful than me? Strategy 5: Debrief Even if you don't play any participant observation games, it's crucial to follow up on family events by debriefing with someone you love.
It seems that the people you spend the holidays with might have a big part in whether your holiday is blissful or dreadful. You can do this, I believe in you! Only do what feels right. Get those Norman Rockwell pictures and sappy Hollywood movies out of your mind. You may even hate them, but be at the family holiday because you love someone else in attendance. Try focusing on the positive. Think of it more as postponing the argument until after the holidays. Nonetheless, if a relative is particularly difficult, and you are struggling to remain in a loving frame of mind, consider talking to someone else or switching rooms.
Decide ahead of time about how much time you want to spend there, stick to your plan, and reflect on the experience later. This article has more on meeting people and. You have every right to set limits around how much time you spend with people who sometimes feel not healthy or safe. Holiday time is just around the corner. Plus, these days our families tend to get more complicated, and this complication carries extra stress into the holidays. I'm not suggesting that you go looking for trouble, but rather, approach the situation with a sense of realism.
Don't make someone feel conspicuous or strange in what they're doing. Do not allow yourself to be pushed around. Depending on your family's interests, basketball, board games, charades, or even something such as decorating cookies may be a good choice. Talk to Jesus in your heart about all this holiday season brings up for you. Many holidays place special attention on children, and it often helps to focus on their needs. Prior to the event, think through various boundary options until you come up with a scenario that makes you feel comfortable.
Note: Posts contain affiliate links. It's up to you to decide which activities, traditions or events you can handle. All of these strategies, from relinquishing hope of transformation to mimicking your relatives in riotous conversations with your friends, are designed to help you love your family unconditionally, in whatever way works best for you. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one. Share your memories with others of holidays spent with your loved one by telling stories and looking at photo albums. I will use everything and anything that reminds me that I am okay the way I am, and to trust the process, even though it feels mighty uncomfortable at the present hour.
Before you meet your relatives this season, take a few moments to sit quietly and acknowledge what you wish they were like. Decisions like… Which family gatherings do I attend? If you are already anticipating that a gathering will be stressful, your anxiety may get worse by the time the actual gathering begins, says , a psychiatrist and medical director with Scripps Health. Use external cues such as a nice manger scene or a crucifix as a reminder if you can. Physical exercise is often an antidote for depression. Would you be more enthusiastic about a get-together if you planned to leave after no more than four hours? If you see one group in November, see the other in December, or alternate years. And accept the inevitable ups and downs: You may feel peaceful one moment and gut-wrenchingly sad the next. Taking things personally makes you easy prey for these predators, the black magicians….
Consider if these consequences are something you can live with or if they are a part of your growing pains towards healthy individuation from your extended family. Experiencing joy and laughter does not mean you have forgotten your loved one. Talk with loved ones about your emotions. Here are a few tips I use in interacting with those family members who tend to wake my grumpy inner child, triggering an ugly tantrum right about the time Santa shows up with his loot. Make a plan You would be wise to start strategizing before the doorbell rings about where you are going to sit, what conversations you will have, how you will respond to sensitive issues, and boring questions you can ask to fill the uncomfortable voids. Read the book by Doctors Cloud and Townsend.
Loneliness and Loss During the Holidays Some of you have endured the loss of a loved one, spouse, or child. Who you are, what you weigh, your progress level, etc. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. Try to stay in tune with your own highest truth and you will know how to get through the holiday without judging yourself or others. Strategy 1: Give Up Hope Most of us go home for the holidays thinking along with comedienne Abby Sher , God, grant me the ability to change the things I cannot accept. If you smile, embrace it. Comedy Club In this exercise, you look to your family not for love and understanding but for comedy material.
Its outlandish advice, to be sure, but putting God where He belongs and positioning ourselves around Him is always stabilizing and nourishing. If you can locate Christ within you during this Christmas season, foster your awareness and connection with Him. Trust me, I know of what I speak: in the years before , every holiday season felt like I was boarding not a train back to my hometown, but a time machine that took me back to a time in my life when my mercurial mother ruled every aspect of my life. If you need to cry, do so. Social media can create significant amounts of stress in this area;. Another way to keep the big picture is to try and remember what makes these times so special and meaningful.