The Holidays are Coming and we cannot stop them!! Do you have a hope that this year all the family will get along and you will have the happy Holiday get togethers you have always wanted?
It could happen! But, even in the healthiest of families, old buttons can get pushed that bring up the feelings of childhood: “why does mom always cater to Susie? How is it that James looks like the golden child – if only Dad really knew what is going on with him.” So be prepared.
There’s an old saying that our parents install our emotional buttons and our children and close loved ones push them. There is nothing like trying to please everyone at the Holidays, over-scheduling and feeling tired and cranky to stir past upset to the surface and contribute to anxiety or depression.
If you are worried about how to cope with family during the Holidays here are 6 tips:
- Put yourself at the top of the list – Remember, this is YOUR holiday also.
- Set a plan before the holidays for who you will see and how much time you want/need for your family and friends.
- Let others know about the plan and when you can and cannot be available. Be gentle and loving with the communication, but clear and firm.
- BREATHE when buttons get pushed. Really, 2 or 3 deep breaths creates a PAUSE so your thinking brain can come back on board. Check in with what you need – time out, walk around the block, call your best friend and vent.
- Table emotional HOT buttons during the get together but journal about what came up or make a time to talk with a family member if that feels safe.
- If you want a sober holiday, let others know before hand that there will not be alcohol served.
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Take care of yourself during the Holidays. Have a plan for how you’ll cope with potential challenging situations and enjoy your family and friends as much as possible!!